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Ottawa > Visitor Information > What to do in Ottawa > Nature's Wonders  

Nature's Wonders

One of this region’s best features is the proximity of nature to the urban landscape.  The Greenbelt, a 50,285-acre expanse of protected land surrounding the capital, contains forest plantations, conservation areas and presents numerous recreational activities.   

The first stop on this itinerary is the Mer Bleue Conservation Area, located within the Greenbelt at the south-eastern perimeter of the city.  Interpretive panels along boardwalks bring your clients to the bog and explain the efforts in preservation.   

Minutes north of the city lies the 356 km Gatineau Park, an area with spectacular lookouts, sparkling lakes and hundreds of kilometres of trails.  Pink Lake, one of only 15 meromictic lakes in Canada is a gem located within the park.  The lake’s brilliant green colour, steep cliffs, and varied dense forest make the site exceptionally beautiful.   A naturalist program in Gatineau Park, now offered by the Canadian Museum of Nature, includes light hiking on nature trails, explanations of beaver ponds, flora and fauna, and interpretation at a natural history museum. 

And speaking of gems…a “must-see” is the Viola MacMillan Mineral Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature, showcasing Canada’s geological history and samples of sparkling gems and minerals.  The interactive displays and videos in Logan Hall feature fascinating rocks, minerals, meteorites and fossils in its collections from across Canada.  

And only 25 km north of Ottawa lie the ancient Lafleche Caves.  Dating back 12,000-20,000 years, these caves, the largest in the Canadian Shield, present an astonishing array of chambers and pits joined by a vertical shaft more than 50ft deep. 

For more info on this itinerary, contact:  

1. Gatineau Park Interpretation: 
1 hr, (819) 827-2020
2. Lafleche Caves: 
1¼ hrs, (819) 457-4033
3. Logan Hall:
1 hr, (613) 996-5763
4. Mer Bleue Conservation Area:
3 hrs, 1-800-465-1867
5. Pink Lake:
1½ hrs, (819) 827-2020
6. Viola MacMillan Mineral Gallery:
1 hr, (613) 566-4700
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