When In Canada, Eh?: Outaouais, Day Two

My snowshoes!

Most vacations I plan involve either a myriad of museums, religious institutions, and landmarks (sending my travel companions into cultural overload) or a beach, a fruity drink, and the mindset that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere.  Embarking on this new frontier known to the more athletic world as “adventure travel” is a pretty huge step for me.

Going into the trip, I told myself that I wouldn’t say no to anything, no matter how it may have made me squeal with fear on the inside.  I was especially terrified of the thought of skiing, so when we found out we’d be trading the skies for snowshoes, you can imagine my (hidden) excitement.

Surprisingly enough, I quickly found that not only was I really enjoying the snowshoeing experience, I also kind of rocked at it.  (If you’ve snowshoed you know this is no claim-to-fame, but given my lack of winter sports knowledge, I’ll gladly accept credit for anything that doesn’t knock me off my feet).  It’s kind of like walking the sidewalks of Manhattan in heels…just make sure you go toe first when you’re walking downhill, and you’ll reduce your risk of falling face first by at least fifty percent.  With odds like that, what’s to lose?


Yes! I CAN do adventure travel!

The crunch of the snow in Gatineau Park was quite meditative.  So much in fact, you really don’t even realize you’re exercising at all, which is exactly the kind of adventure travel I love.


Gatineau Park

Lunch was at the Nordik Spa, a fabulous carrot soup, Caesar salad, and about four glasses of pop.  Was this because I like the idea of requesting “another pop, please”?  Maybe.

After a few hours of rejuvenating in the spa, we headed to the Wakefield Mill Inn, the only hotel in the federal park of Gatineau.  I immediately fell in love with the quaint inn as the owner, Robert Millings, gave us a history of the mill, and it’s transformation into the charming inn it is today.  My immediate thought was, “I can’t wait to come back here with my boyfriend”, and was shocked that only about 2 percent of the inn’s clients are Americans.  With fireplaces and jacuzzis in the rooms, a phenomenal on-site restaurant, and views looking onto a 28 foot waterfall, the place oozes of romantic getaway destination.  And with a flight less than two hours from NYC, it’s more than possible to make a weekend of it.


Enjoying the fireplace at Wakefield Mill

We ate dinner on-site at the Mill’s restaurant.  I started with the potato and leek soup with sauteed shiitake mushrooms from Le Coprin with a smoked cheddar cream, followed by the Napoleon Tofu…layered crispy vegetables, deep fried tofu, smoked tomato sauce with wild garlic flower and roasted fennel, complete with maple lacquered beets.  The final course was a chocolate mousse, and although I was stuffed, I finished every mouthwatering morsel.  When in Canada, eh?


My soup tastes as delicious as it looks!

By: Jessica Tiare Bowen



  • Bella says:

    I am sure that you would love skiing as much as you liked snowshoeing :). haha. I would love to try snowwhoing as well and thank you for a little tip how to start. Very helpful…It seems that all food was soooooooo delicious…

    • Used York City says:

      The food was amazing, with such good presentation, too! The poutine was a Canadian specialty…french fries smothered with gravy and cheese curls!

  • Kelly says:

    Sounds like a dream! Does the Wakefield have a spa? I’m thinking it could also be a fantastic spot to do a girlfriend getaway, right!?

    • Used York City says:

      It would be a GREAT spot for a girlfriends getaway or a bachelorette party! They actually have two spas…one is a silent spa, and the other is a private house where you can bring up to ten friends to have treatments done…while drinking wine and being as chatty as you want!

  • Lauren says:

    Looks amazing! I love fires, jacuzzis and food!
    This sounds like a perfect get away – Hiding out in the snow for a few days by a fire –
    I love the snow shoes! I’ve never done it before but it sounds like fun!!

    • Used York City says:

      Hi Lauren! You would LOVE it here…the outdoor adventure balanced with fantastic amenities of the resorts makes for the perfect getaway! And snowshoes are the BEST!

  • Awesome! This post makes me so excited! Now next year you’ll have a series of posts on snow shoeing and if we actually get snow in the northeast, you can lead snow shoe adventures through Central Park!!! Ok … so maybe you’re not quite as obsessed with it as I am, but I am really glad you had fun, nontheless. Let us know next winter, and we’re happy to take you along on one of our winter adventures in New England. Thanks for sharing! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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