Summer is here so it’s time to start getting outside more and enjoy the warm weather. Summer always feels too short in Ottawa so it’s good to try and get out and smell the roses, or in this case canoe a water maze? That’s right, there is an awesome experience just 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa in Wakefield, Quebec called the Éco-Odyssée Water Maze. Here you can canoe, paddle boat or paddle board through a lush water maze. It’s a really fun activities, I went last summer on a rainy day with my family and I highly recommend.
The Éco-Odyssée park is good for all ages since families can chose a canoe or paddle boat. It’s best to do as a group and not solo since prices are per boat ($45 for a canoe, $60 for a paddle boat and $40 for a paddle board). As someone who has very little experience canoeing I didn’t have too hard a time and it was really fun since you can’t really drift off. The canoe is probably the easiest option since the maze isn’t super wide in some spots and if it’s a busy day you’d have trouble navigating around other groups in a paddle boat.
The park is one big maze but there are different paths you can take by following different sign posts. We completed the longest maze route but then paddled around longer and followed a new route. The area is really beautiful and there were lots of little wildflowers, frogs and birds to spot.
We went on a rainy day and ended up being the only people there which was great. The park is open even in the rain unless there is thunder and lightning. Definitely dress appropriately since you could get wet even it it’s not a rainy day and importantly bring bug spray! Also if you already own lifejackets you can bring your own as well as your own canoe paddles. There is a little snack shack there but it was closed the day we went, but you could also drive over to the near by town of Wakefield and make a day of it by having lunch and popping into some of the shops or even doing some nature walks/hiking in Gatineau Park. The experience only took about 2 hours total from the time we arrived to when we left.
Overall it was really fun and a great activity to do with friends, family or even on a date. The Éco-Odyssée park is now open for the season on Fridays and weekends and starting June 18, 2022 it will be open everyday of the week. Make sure you reserve in advance since it can get busy, especially on nice days. But I think going on a rainy day (as long as it’s not pouring) is even better since it’s less crowded and you’ll be protected from the sun a bit more.