Gatineau Park Day Shelters in Chelsea, Quebec: A Cozy Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

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by The Local
August 7, 2023
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These charming day shelters are more than just rustic cabins – they're cozy retreats where you can recharge and rejuvenate amidst the stunning beauty of the great outdoors. Whether you're exploring on skis, snowshoes, foot, or bike, these day shelters are your perfect pit stops for a well-deserved break. So, let's dive into the details and discover what makes these shelters an essential part of your Gatineau Park experience.

A Warm Welcome: What to Expect in Gatineau Park's Day Shelters

Imagine a cottage in the woods, surrounded by towering trees and the crisp, invigorating air of Gatineau Park. That's precisely what these day shelters offer. Equipped with all the essentials, including wood stoves (perfect for chilly winter days), picnic tables, clothing and equipment racks, and even outhouses, these shelters provide a comfortable respite for weary adventurers. Plus, there's an emergency communication system just in case. And don't worry about getting lost – each shelter comes with a trail map to guide you on your journey.

Sugarbush Shelter: A Stone's Throw from Old Chelsea

Gatineau Park on Twitter: "The Sugarbush Shelter is now bird friendly! 🐦  We've installed markers on the shelter's windows to help prevent bird  collisions. In Canada, collisions with glass kill 16 to

Located just a few steps from the Visitor Centre in Old Chelsea, the Sugarbush Shelter beckons with its warm embrace. Whether you're on foot, bike, or even by car, this shelter is a perfect stop to catch your breath. Keep in mind that while it lacks an emergency communication system, it makes up for it with a convenient waxing table for cross-country skis. Feel free to linger from 9 am to 4 pm and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Moorside Cottage Shelter: A Piece of History at Mackenzie King Estate

Gatineau Park day shelters - National Capital Commission

If you find yourself in the mood for a summer adventure, make your way to the Moorside Cottage Shelter. Nestled within the historic Mackenzie King Estate, this shelter was reborn in 2022 as a welcoming oasis. Between mid-May and the end of October, it opens its doors from 9 am to 3 pm. Immerse yourself in the charm of this location, accessible by car, foot, or bike.

Keogan Shelter: Where Skiing History Meets Cozy Comfort


Calling all skiing enthusiasts! The Keogan Shelter, located near the Fortune Lake Parkway, has a storied past. Built-in 1923 by the Cliffside Ski Club, it once offered shelter to club members on overnight trips. While it's accessible by skis in winter, you can explore it by foot, bike, or car during the warmer months. A living testament to skiing history, this shelter is a must-visit.

Shilly Shally Shelter: A Photographer's Delight

Looking for a cozy nook on Trail 1 near Fortune Lake Parkway? Look no further than the Shilly Shally Shelter. Though it may be the smallest shelter in the park, it boasts a rich history. Once the summer residence of photographer Rosemary Gilliat Eaton, this shelter invites you to step into its comforting embrace during winter ski outings or summer hikes and bike rides.

Huron Shelter: A Scenic Retreat on Trail 1

For those seeking captivating views, the Huron Shelter is perfectly situated near the Huron and Étienne Brûlé lookouts. Accessible on foot, bike, or skis depending on the season, this shelter is a gateway to breathtaking vistas and peaceful moments.

Western Shelter: Where Adventure Awaits Near Champlain Lookout

Trail 1 near Champlain Lookout leads you to the Western Shelter, an idyllic spot to rest and refuel. Whether you're skiing through winter wonderlands or embarking on a summertime hike, this shelter offers a warm welcome to all adventurers.

McKinstry Shelter: Trailside Tranquility in Luskville Falls

Located on Trail 1, the McKinstry Shelter is a serene escape accessible by skis in winter and by foot or bike in summer. Take a break from your journey and immerse yourself in the beauty of Luskville Falls as you relax in this inviting shelter.

Healey Shelter: A Homestead Hideaway in Meech Creek Valley

Venture to the Healey Shelter for a unique experience that bridges past and present. Accessible by skis, snowshoes, or fat bike in winter, and by foot or bike in summer, this shelter holds the history of early pioneers who settled in the Gatineau Hills. Edward and Bridget Healey's legacy lives on through this serene escape.

Herridge Shelter: A Tranquil Respite Named After a Legacy

Step into the Herridge Shelter, an oasis accessible via skis, snowshoes, or fat bike in winter, and by foot or bike in summer. Named after William Duncan Herridge, this shelter offers a moment of reprieve for weary explorers on trails 50 and 70.

Brown Lake Shelter: Powered by Solar Energy in Wakefield

Nestled near the historic village of Wakefield, the Brown Lake Shelter is a unique retreat accessible by skis, snowshoes, or fat bike in winter, and by foot or bike in summer. Recently converted from a cabin to a day shelter, it's now powered by solar energy, blending modern convenience with rustic charm.

Renaud Shelter: A Modern Gem with a Historic Touch

Discover the Renaud Shelter, an architectural gem with a modern flair. Accessible by skis or snowshoes in winter, and by foot or bike in summer, this shelter received a stylish makeover in 2014. Immerse yourself in its modern design while paying homage to the Renaud family's legacy.

Lusk Lake Shelter: A Trailside Haven Named After a Pioneer

Hiking a lesser-known trail in Gatineau Park - National Capital Commission

If your adventures take you to Trail 54, be sure to visit the Lusk Lake Shelter. Named after pioneer Joseph Lusk, this shelter offers a serene haven for those exploring the great outdoors by skis in winter and by foot in summer.

Outdoor Rest Areas: Gather 'Round the Fire

Amid your winter escapades, make time for cozy pit stops at the outdoor rest areas. Four fire pit-equipped spots provide the perfect setting to rest, warm up, and share stories with fellow explorers. Whether you're on trail 71 or 73 in the Philippe Lake sector, or at the Mica intersection in the Parkway sector, these rest areas are a welcome respite.

Embrace the Comfort of Gatineau Park's Day Shelters

Gatineau Park's day shelters are more than just buildings – they're havens of comfort, history, and natural beauty. As you embark on your outdoor adventures, take advantage of these welcoming retreats. Whether you're skiing through winter landscapes or hiking amidst summer's glory, these shelters provide the perfect backdrop for well-deserved breaks and cherished memories.

So, pack your lunch, light those candles, and let Gatineau Park's day shelters become your home away from home as you explore the wonders of this breathtaking natural haven.

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