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Nature Activities for Seniors in Ottawa-Gatineau

A group of older adults laughing in the sun

Get out and explore close to home with these great day trip ideas.

Only 16% of adults meet the physical activity guidelines set by the Canadian Health Measures Survey (1). But that doesn't have to be the case. Spending time outdoors and engaging in nature can significantly enhance the quality of life for seniors.

Some of the benefits include better physical health, improved cognitive function, and increased overall happiness. This post is the first in a series of great day trips for seniors across Canada. If you're looking for travel ideas or day trips for seniors, look no further than the beautiful region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

When it comes to nature and outdoor activities, Ottawa-Gatineau is a treasure trove for seniors seeking active living experiences. Here are some day trip ideas for seniors to consider:

Guided Nature Walks

Looking to change things up from your daily retirement living routine? Embark on a journey through the natural wonders of Ottawa-Gatineau with guided nature walks. These walks offer a unique opportunity to explore the region's scenic beauty.

“When it comes to nature and outdoor activities, Ottawa-Gatineau is a treasure trove for seniors seeking active living experiences.”

One captivating location is Gatineau Park, a sprawling expanse of lush forests and shimmering lakes (2). Accompanied by guides, you'll meander along well-maintained trails, discovering hidden gems. Marvel at the vibrant foliage during the fall season or witness the enchanting blooms of spring.

Another remarkable option is the Mer Bleue Bog, this wetland teems with diverse flora and fauna (3). Your guide will unveil the secrets of this rare ecosystem, pointing out rare plant species and the delicate balance of life that thrives within its boundaries.

You’ll get to meet new people and share your interest when hiking. So, lace up your walking shoes, and embrace the serenity of nature.

Botanical Gardens and Parks

Indulge your senses in tranquil botanical gardens and parks. One such gem is the Dominion Arboretum, nestled within the heart of Ottawa (4). Here, you'll find yourself surrounded by a captivating collection of trees and plants from around the world.

As you stroll along the maintained paths, the vibrant colours and fragrant scents of blooming flowers will ignite your senses. Take a moment to look at the water's edge, where you'll see nature's reflection, creating a serene and picturesque scene.

You can also venture into the Central Experimental Farm's Ornamental Gardens (5). It offers an array of flower beds, showcasing palettes of seasonal blooms. Both botanical gardens and parks offer a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. They are also very educational.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Spotting

If bird watching is your passion, start your journey at the Lac Deschênes-Quyon section of the Ottawa River. This area is known for its remarkable bird species. Get to observe the graceful flight of blue herons. You can also catch a glimpse of majestic bald eagles soaring above the water.

Another hotspot for bird enthusiasts is the Mud Lake Conservation Area. You can witness the migratory patterns of numerous bird species throughout the year. Listen to the melodic calls of warblers, chickadees, and woodpeckers as you enjoy the scenic views.

Grab your binoculars or camera and embrace the serenity and variety of nature.

Photography Outings

Unleash your creativity and capture the breathtaking beauty of Ottawa-Gatineau through photography outings. Discover a myriad of scenic spots and viewpoints that serve as the perfect backdrop for your visual masterpieces.

You can begin at the iconic Parliament Hill, where architectural grandeur meets natural splendour. Frame the majestic Parliament Buildings against the vibrant hues of the sky during sunrise or sunset. You can also engage in other wellness activities such as yoga, meditation, and even picnics (6).

The hill is also home to the Library of Parliament which houses a collection of over 1 million books and documents. The Canadian War Museum tells the story of Canada's military history.

To immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature, visit the vibrant Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park. Explore the ruins, mystical gardens, and scenic trails, capturing the mystical atmosphere that permeates this historic site.

These photography outings invite you to explore the world through your lens. They allow you to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of the region's landscapes. So, grab your camera and unleash your creative vision.

Kayaking or Canoeing

These are great ways to explore the natural beauty of the Ottawa-Gatineau region. There are many different places to go kayaking and canoeing in the area, from the calm waters of the Rideau Canal to the more adventurous whitewater rapids of the Ottawa River.

No matter your skill level, there is a kayaking or canoeing experience that is perfect for you. If you are a beginner, you can start with a guided tour of the Rideau Canal. If you are more experienced, you can try paddling the Ottawa River or one of the many lakes in the area.

It's also a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and see some of the amazing wildlife. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start paddling!

Fun Nature Activities for Seniors enjoying Independent Living

Embrace the incredible opportunities awaiting you when you enjoy life in a Revera retirement home. It’s all about giving you more time to do the things you love within an active, social community of fellow seniors. Engaging with nature not only promotes physical and mental health but also fosters a sense of adventure and discovery.

Explore the great outdoors and let your senior living journey be enriched by the incredible benefits.

Join Revera's senior independent living community and discover what More Living can be for you. Book a tour to get started.


1. Statistics Canada: Tracking physical activity levels of Canadians, 2016 and 2017 (April 17, 2019)
2. National Capital Commission: Gatineau Park
3. National Capital Commission: Mer Bleue
4. Gardens Ottawa: The Dominion Arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm
5. Gardens Ottawa: Ornamental Gardens of the Central Experimental Farm
6. Government of Canada: Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older) (November 7, 2019)

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