Whenever I find myself planning a weekend trip to get out of town, the two usual suspects come in mind: Montreal with its great restaurants and music scene, and Toronto, with its sports teams, art galleries, and incredible city landscapes. Now, don’t get me wrong, Toronto and Montreal are both great options for a weekend gateway. But for those lazy weekends when a 4-hour drive might sound like a bit of a drag, it’s nice to opt for a day-trip to a local destination for a more relaxing small-town experience.
I decided to check out Wakefield Village about a month ago with my family, and I enjoyed it so much I ended up going back after a few weeks. Located about a half-hour drive from downtown Ottawa, this small village in the Gatineau Hills is a great summer destination. The main stretch of the Village on Chemin Riverside runs right along the Gatineau River, parallel to a set of old railroad tracks. This is where you’ll find most of the restaurants and shops of Wakefield, including the two that I’ve had the chance to try so far: Pot-au-Feu at 794 Chemin Riverside, and The Village House at 759 Chemin Riverside. Pot-au-Feu is a great option for a casual, hearty breakfast with a nice patio overlooking the river. If you’re looking for a more upscale dinner, The Village House is the place to go.
The Moulin Wakefield Mill is another big destination in the village, with its spa, logging options, and two restaurants overlooking the waterfall. It’s a nice option for those looking for a quite dinner, or for those that just want to enjoy the scenery of the falls. If you’re looking for an interesting location to take pictures, check out the Wakefield Covered Bridge. This picturesque red wooden bridge is located at the end of Chemin Gendron, and is definitely worth a look.
These are just some of the places that I had a chance to explore , and I am sure there are other spots in the area that are worth mentioning. If I missed or overlooked something, feel free to comment!
Maksim Apelfeld is a contributing photographer for Ground Floor Photography, a local Ottawa-based blog and online print shop, specializing in fine-art photographic prints for home décor.