The weekend before Thanksgiving, my Dad and I took a drive into the autumn colours of Gatineau Park. The conservation grounds span the northwest border of Gatineau, Quebec, the city which rests across the river from Ottawa, Ontario. Extending about 360 square kilometres, the park offers a plethora of scenic trails, lakes and beaches for endless summer activities such as biking, swimming and rock climbing.
We originally planned to explore two of the park’s most spectacular trails: Pink Lake and the Lauriault Trail. However, our visit didn’t go quite as planned.
Being the first beautiful Saturday of October with the leaves’ bright hues taking form, I came prepared for the horde. But we never anticipated a park with no parking, as every single lot for all hiking trails were full to capacity.
After spending an hour and a half trying to enter the park, then driving aimlessly for parking, we decided anything goes at this point. Eventually we found some prime real estate in an unmarked lot, nowhere near any of the trails we had hoped except for the famous Champlain Lookout. But even that was an hour walk from here without a shuttle bus, and a caged fence from ongoing restoration had partially blocked everyone’s view. Our luck sank further when we were ready to explore by 3:30 p.m. only to find out the last shuttles were in half an hour.
Fortunately, the two of us made the best out of what we could see. This time I brought my DSLR and captured some shots of the premature fall colours during my favourite month of the year.
Funnily enough, I lived in Ottawa for nearly seven years, right across the river. Yet never once did I step foot in Gatineau Park. Until now. I hoped to use up my remaining vacation days and more importantly, enjoy a last-minute adventure with my Dad.
I still yearn for the faraway experiences, but amidst planning and saving money I also value the places closer to home.
Here is the second series of my autumn photography, and with a better camera this time around!
Also note – I decided to leave these photos unedited for this post. I like to view their raw format first, then edit at a later time. I’ll likely share some edited versions on Instagram soon!