Nearly a week and a half post press trip and I still haven’t come down. An adventure that included new experiences focused on adrenalin, appetite and even animals – the fun was non stop! I never knew just how much Quebec and specifically the Outaouais (pronounced Ooh-taa-way) region had to offer in terms of adventure.
And I wasn’t alone. I was joined by four other bloggers including two Canadian writers, Candice of Candice Does the World and Kate of Eat Drink Travel Magazine, and two American writers, Anne of fANNEtastic Food and Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers.
Together we faced fears, stuffed our faces, struck animal poses and laughed a whole lot.
Outaouais, for those who don’t know is a region of western Quebec that is located on the north side of the Ottawa River opposite Canada’s capital. People who live in the region pride themselves on living an active, outdoor lifestyle. Here are my top 5 must try adventures in Outaouais.
The adventures …
1. You may feel like you have had a few too many wobbly pops as you attempt to maneuver through the treetop portion of the Arbraska Laflèche – Cave and Aerial Parks. We used our best monkey moves to travel through the wiggly woody mazes.
After we got our bearings straight, we headed over to the zip lines. Arbraska has six zip lines with one that is more than 47 meters high and over a distance of 259 meters! My advice to you? Enjoy the view.
The second part of our adventure at Abraska Lafleche Park had us sporting even sexier head gear than we wore on the zip lines. As we entered the largest cave on the Canadian Shield we nervously navigated through the cave getting down and dirty on its floor, crawling through spaces I wouldn’t even do above ground.
At one point we turned off the headlamps and I was sure I was going to die. For no reason other than pure panic. Gah, even though it was neat, I am not sure exploring underground is my thing.
The maze offers different levels of challenges that involve identifying flora and fauna, and once back on dry land, word puzzles to solve based on clues found during the maze. Candice was in charge of the compass and I was in charge of the oar. And, of course we thought we would ace the maze so we picked the hardest challenge and failed miserably. Who knew reading a compass required a learning curve? And that we were sucked at steering a paddle boat, and, oar … what oar? We lost our oar. I lost our oar. (I was SO distracted by all the darn birds I could hear and not see.)
So much fun was had and the marsh area proved to be very scenic. Once we moved beyond the fact that we sucked at the challenge and that we may end up in the maze forever, we shared a lot of laughs and made some funny videos. We hope to put a solid video together but for now, here’s a taste:Whoa, that is not my best angle. Anyhow, moving on …
3. Hiking Pink Lake at Gatineau Park was an unexpected addition to our itinerary but I am so grateful it happened. Gatineau Park has tons to offer the nature lover – trails, hiking, skiing, biking, swimming, camping and more. We our time on a 6 km trek around Pink Lake.
Pink Lake is super neat because it’s green. The water boasts a Caribbean-esque colour due to the growth of a microscopic algae. You can read more about unique ecology of this lake here.
The forest surroundings were beautiful and it was pretty easy to get a few good shots with such a beautiful lake backdrop.
4. For those who are regular readers of my blog you will know that this past January I went dog sledding with SunDog excursions here in Saskatchewan. Well, I have to say one thing about Quebec – they do adventure a bit different. And, what I mean by that is they tend to have many traditional adventure activities but they nearly always have a unique angle. Take dog carting with Timberland Tours for example.
Owner-operator and passionate dog lover, Denis Rozon has been racing dogs for 40 years. He doesn’t use the traditional Syberian Huskies, which are often used for dog sledding. Instead, his dogs, which are some of the fasted on the planet, are a mix of German Pointer, Greyhound and Alaskan Husky. And, man can they go!
We were put into a cart called a ‘dryland rig’, standing side by side as the dogs took us for a quick lap around the dry grounds at Timberland. Prior to our exhilarating ride we made sure to visit as many of the pups as possible (I am smooching BlackJack below). To say they were excited is an understatement!
At the end of this month, a race created by Denis will be hosted at Timberland. If you can get to the region during October 26 and 27, be sure to check out the 4th Annual Bristol Dryland Canadian Championship Dog Race!
5. And last but not least, my favourite adventure of the trip offered us the chance to get up close and personal with animals at Parc Omega. So close that I even kissed a few of them!
Parc Omega is huge and is home to a large variety of animals and birds – 1008 acres that can be explored from the comfort of your own car!
Highlights of the visit included seeing a Moose name Brume, whose best friend and roommate is a goat; hanging out with a herd of deer and feeding them carrots; kissing many deer AND a wapiti; and seeing bears AND wolves – my faves! Totally, made my year.
This is a really long list and a long post so if you are still here, thank you. But really I wouldn’t sleep if I didn’t mention all of these wonderful places. Thanks for getting to this point … if you did. J
Thanks to Tourism Outaouais and Tourism Quebec for the opportunity to explore this dynamic region alongside some wonderful folks. Cheers!
Question of the day …
What is your favourite type of adventure?