The National Capital Commission announced Wednesday that on May 18, the summer season for Gatineau Park will begin. The park will offer camping, hiking, cycling and the Mackenzie King Estate will be open to visitors. The parkways throughout the park will also reopen to motor vehicles.
The parkways are scheduled to open at noon on Friday and will include the Gatineau, Champlain, Fortune Lake and Mackenzie King parkways as well as the Philippe Lake Parkway, along with the campground and La Pêche Lake access road.
“The Gatineau, Champlain and Fortune parkways offer more than 30 km of scenic routes and provide access to recreational and nature interpretation sites, such as Pink Lake, Champlain Lookout, Huron Lookout, King Mountain and the Mackenzie King Estate,” said the NCC in a release.
The Mackenzie King Estate is also set to open to visitors this long weekend. The 231-hectare country estate belonged to William Lyon Mackenzie King. After spending almost 50 years living and building on the property, King donated the estate to the Canadian government. The estate will stay open until Oct. 21 and opening hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday (the museums are closed on Tuesdays but the grounds are open to the public) and weekends 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The park also offers camping and boat and bike rentals. Campers must register with the park before camping and are encouraged to do so earlier rather than later to ensure they get the space they want when they want it. The NCC also advises visitors that though the warm weather is here, the park is still feeling the effects of the long winter and blustery spring.
“The effects of this spring’s ice and wind storms are still being felt in the Park,” said the NCC in a release. “Although the Park’s trails have been cleared to a large extent, we urge visitors to exercise caution and pay attention to their surroundings. There is still a risk of loosely hanging branches, and debris remains on the ground. Our teams are currently undertaking urgent work.”