One of the biggest perks to living in Ottawa is how close we are to some of the best things that nature has to offer. A local and tourist favourite is the Gatineau area, perfect for a variety of outdoor activities and adventures. The area is home to a variety of ski hills, hiking trails, and a popular little spot called Wakefield Village, from which you can enjoy it all. Perfect for a day trip, or even a weekend getaway, here are the best things to do in Wakefield, Quebec.
Located beside the Gatineau River, in the heart of the Gatineau hills, Wakefield is a beautiful place to visit year-round. As a small village that thrives on tourism, Wakefield is made up of a collection of shops, restaurants, and artisan boutiques, perfect for exploring for a few hours. Plus, there are a few scenic spots and activities to enjoy as well. These are my top picks for the best things to do in Wakefield.
The Best Things to See and Do In Wakefield Village
Jamboree is my favourite shop in Wakefield. It’s the perfect Canadian country shop and just oozes charm. Here you’ll find all kinds of things from lanterns to artwork, blankets to kitchen gadgets, scented candles to garden decor. My favourite time to visit Jamboree is in the fall when they get their holiday items in. It feels so magical here when it’s full of Christmas things!
Khewa is another fun spot to check out; a Native art boutique and gallery features a variety of paintings, jewellery, and clothing accessories including boots, moccasins, and mucluks all created by talented Aboriginal and Inuit artisans.
Paddle on the River
As I said, Wakefield Village is on the river, which makes it a great place to swim, canoe, kayak, or SUP. If you have your own, you can bring them with you. Or you can head over to Expeditions Wakefield who will rent them to you.
Please keep in mind that many of the docks along the river are private property, so ask the locals where it’s ok to launch from.
The Covered Bridge
The red, covered bridge is essentially the symbol of Wakefield. The original bridge was built in 1915 but was destroyed by a fire in 1984. However, the community came together and rebuilt the Wakefield bridge in 1998. It’s a popular place to come walk and learn about the bridge’s history which is shared on a variety of plaques inside the bridge itself. It’s also an incredibly popular photo location, especially for weddings! Visiting this iconic bridge is definitely one of the top things to do in Wakefield.
Wander along the Boardwalk
The Wakefield Boardwalk is relatively new. It’s build along the waterside of the road and stretches through a good portion of the town allowing you to enjoy this adorable area. When the boardwalk ends you can continue your walk along the old train tracks. The Wakefield train stopped running years ago so you don’t have to worry about watching for trains.
The Wakefield Bakery has been around for ages. My mom remembers coming her with her dad as a little girl to get bread on the way up to our family cottage. That tradition has continued and we frequently stop en route to pick up some fresh bread and their delicious raisin buns. They also bake cookies, pies, bars and squares, and have some savoury items as well.
Do you have a sweet tooth? Head over to La Consider which is right beside the Bakery. Truffles, fudge, chocolate bars, and even some nostalgic candy can be found in this little shop. There are also plenty of maple-flavoured treats along with some jars and jams. My personal favourites, however, are the chocolate covered marshmallows on a stick.
One of the most popular places to eat in Wakefield Village is Le Hibou. The menu is quite small and features meals like burgers, fish and chips, and a thai bowl. But it’s fresh and delicious. If you are coming for a meal time, arrive a bit early as they do fill up fast!
The Black Sheep Inn
The Black Sheep Inn is a bar known for it’s live music. Visit their website to find out who’s playing next.
Where to Stay in Wakefield
Wakefield is an easy day trip from Ottawa (only about 25 minutes from the downtown core). However, it’s also a fun little staycation spot and if you plan on spending a night or two in Wakefield Village then I highly recommend the Wakefield Inn and Spa.
Tucked a bit away from the main street of the village, Wakefield Inn and Spa is a beautiful property located beside a waterfall. The property has two restaurants (dinner at Muse is amazing) on site as well as a spa complete with an outdoor hot tub.
The Wakefield Inn and Spa has some great spa packages available for those who want to make a weekend out of it. I did a little girls getaway with my mom here and it was fantastic.
Things to Do Nearby
For those who decide they would like to spend a day or two in Wakefield village, there are a few other attractions and spots to visit nearby as well.
For hikers, cross-country skiers, or nature lovers in general. Gatineau park is full of trails and places to explore. There’s a parking lot with trail access about a 5 minute drive from Wakefield.
Edelweiss is the closest ski hill to Wakefield Village. They have 20 different hills of different levels of difficulty.
Camp Fortune is another ski hill just a little further away (closer to Ottawa). They have 24 runs of varying levels of difficulty.
Spa lovers should definitely consider spending a day at Le Nordic. Thermal baths, massage services, an infinity pool with a bar, saunas, and more can be found onsite here.
Last Tips for Things to do in Wakefield
There are plenty of great things to do in Wakefield village making it a perfect day trip or weekend getaway. Given it’s proximity to Ottawa, it does tend to get quite busy on weekends. Especially during the summer and fall when the colours are at their peak. Keep this in mind if you want to visit, it might be worth booking some experiences (spa, hotel, restaurant) in advance.