First settled in the mid-19th century and long known for its logging, the Outaouais (pronounced: ewt–away) region is now a nature lover’s paradise as well, with 20,000 lakes, countless rivers, 400 km (249 miles) of hiking trails, and 2,730 km (1,696 miles) of snowmobile trails.
To fully experience the majesty of the Outaouais wilderness you could spend close to a week here, but simply driving to any of the region’s major provincial parks is a good one-day journey. Montebello, a little country village on the banks of the Ottawa River, is only a 1½-hour drive from Montréal, and is where you'll find Le Château Montebello, the largest log structure ever built. From there you can find excursions to take you to the surrounding countryside, or if you’d prefer, you can simply take in nearby Omega Park, a safari adventure where you’ll bear witness to many of the region’s creatures interacting within their natural environment. It encompasses an enormous body of land located in the southwest corner of the province.
Gatineau, just about two hours outside Montréal, is in another quaint area of Outaouais. Bordering Ontario, and just across the river from Ottawa, this region contains the vast and gorgeous Gatineau Park.