About 45 minutes across the Ottawa/Gatineau border, in the Outaouais region, is a drive-thru experience that both kids and adults alike will truly enjoy. Parc Oméga is a beautiful 12km nature route surrounded by trees, lakes and valleys. Home to a variety of North American wildlife, this is not only an experience to learn more about the animals, but to see them up close and personal.
My 8 year old daughter and I visited the park in late-fall, while on a girls getaway weekend with our friends. Even though we have lived in the area for a year now, we hadn’t had the chance to visit yet and were looking forward to sharing the experience with the out of town guests. There were 8 of us total in our party so we loaded up two vehicles to make the short drive from Gatineau. Once we arrived, we parked one vehicle at the park house and all loaded into the second to start our journey.
It’s good to note that at the park house (maison du parc) there is an opportunity to purchase bags of carrots for $2.50 per bag. We bought 4 bags which was more than enough for our group. The park house has a gift shop and a canteen selling hot lunch and snacks (the poutine is delish!)
As we travelled along the road, we were greeted by Elk & Deer who would come right up to the windows and eat from our hands. They were very gentle and the kids enjoyed petting them as well. We also saw many wild boar and bison on the road although they were not as social but beautiful to look at.
As we travelled through the different areas, there were also quite a few animals behind barriers. Close enough to see them well. The big moment for me was seeing the Moose. I know it may be shocking to hear as I’m Canadian but I have yet to ever see a Moose in person. We pulled the car over and watched these majestic creatures for quite awhile.
We also had the opportunity to see wolves, coyotes, and black bears and were definitely closer than what you might experience at your local zoo. The kids were absolutely fascinated! They have a radio station you can switch to during your drive as well which tells you all about the park along with facts about the different animals you will see.
One of the highlights of the day though was stopping at the Colonization Area. It’s located around the halfway point and is an area where you can get out of the car. There are deer in this area that come right up to you, and feed dispensers as they aren’t big fans of the carrots (so bring quarters). There is also a wagon ride which you can take to the far end of this area where you can see more animals, a sugar shack, and animal shows. We were not able to explore this area due to time constraints, we did take the wagon ride over anyway.
Parc Omega is located in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, Quebec – just outside Montebello. It’s about a 45-60 minute drive from the Ottawa are and WELL worth the trip!! You can find out more about the park, admission prices and operating hours by going to their website: parcomega.ca.
I was invited to visit the park through Tourism Outaouais and received free passes. As always, all opinions are my own. It’s a really great place, you should totally visit!