The Wonders of Oka National Park: 5 Must-Know Essentials for Nature Enthusiasts

Shruti Sharma
Shruti Sharma Places to Visit
10 Min Read
Courtesy: Oka National Park

Oka is a tiny village on the Ottawa River’s northern bank, northwest of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This town in the Laurentians valley on Lake of Two Mountains, St. Lawrence River, meets the Ottawa River right there and is feasible via Quebec Road 344. It’s 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Montreal.

Brief Introduction of Oka National Park

  • Oka National Park is a small park mainly controlled by provinces located within Oka town and between Pointe-Calumet and Saint-Placide on one of the sides of Quebec, Canada. On the north coast, you will see Lac des Deux Montagnes.
  • The Park belongs to one of Quebec’s largest heronries and the famous Calvary of Oka shrine, which dates back to 1740.
  • The Oka National Park spans 23.7 square kilometers. It shares land with Oka, a municipality in the Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality, and the Laurentides, which is a densely wooded area.
  • The National park’s demographics include natural and artificial earthly topography, including the wetlands of Grande Baie, the shoreline of Lake des Deux Montagnes, Rivière aux Serpents, and the hill road.
  • Within 50 kilometers of Montreal, the Parc National d’Oka provides a range of outdoor activities throughout the year. The beach, water, hiking paths, picnic sites, bike paths, and various exploration activities are available during the summer.

1. Oka National Park: History

The Sulpicians controlled a considerable portion of the park’s real land. It was utilized for agriculture and forestry.

The Québec government purchased a tiny 1.6 km2 tract from them in 1962 to establish the Réserve de chasse et de pêche de Deux-Montagnes, which was renamed “Parc provincial d’Oka” a year later and “Parc Paul-Sauvé” in 1968. Expo 67 required the construction of camping facilities, roads, and a sewage treatment facility.

Outdoor activities like cross-country skiing were in great demand in 1974. The government of Québec purchased some property, including Calvaire Hill, raising the park’s total area to 23.7 km2.

This region, called “Parc de récréation d’Oka,” obtained recreation park status in 1990, with a new mission of protecting the natural environment and very densely wooded area while encouraging outdoor recreational activities.

This was designated a National Park in 2001, a title given by the International Union for Conservation of Nature on a protected area managed primarily for ecosystem protection and wildlife habitat development.

Parc National d’Oka aims to safeguard a representative section of the St. Lawrence Lowlands, namely the southern half of this region. Amerindians have been there for years, as per the artifacts and ecofacts excavated in the park, and they used the Lake des Deux Montagnes coastline for camping, pottery making, fishing, and hunting.

The Sulpicians persuaded French Trappist monks to live in Oka and use the agricultural areas. They worked together to establish a renowned agricultural school. The Trappist monks of Oka and their institution contributed to some of Quebec’s agricultural legacy, including Oka cheese, Chanteclerc poultry, and a new melon.

Several remnants of the park’s agricultural heritage and historic buildings may still be seen today. The jungle is gradually engulfing uncultivated lands.

2. Oka National Park: Hiking Trails and Wildlife

Oka National Park, located less than an hour from Montreal, is historically and ecologically significant.

It is situated on the north bank of Lake des Deux Montagnes, between both the communities of Oka and Pointe-Calumet. It provides camping, outdoor sports and pastimes, a diverse array of plant and animal life, and much more.

Look for maples and beech-sugar maples on Calvaire Hill, red oak-sugar maples on Masson Hill, and white pine-red oaks in the camping section. Perhaps you’ll see any park species, such as the Great Blue Heron, beavers, bats, or the Wood Duck (on the verge of extinction).

oka national park snow trails
Image Source:

If you want your camp area and a picnic table, arrive early! The campground general shop sells basic things, but there is usually enough wood. Oka, the village is only a short drive away if you forget something.

Marshes are now acknowledged for their ecological value. They provide habitats for many creatures, providing locations for protection, breeding, and food vital for survival.

Its vegetation not only prevents bank erosion and lessens the impact of spring flooding but also aids in water filtering. It was predicted in 2001 that 90% of wetlands had vanished in southwest Quebec, making it critical to protect these areas in Parc National d’Oka.

3. Reaching Oka National Park

The National Park of Oka is not distant from Montréal. The peak of the Calvaire d’Oka route offers spectacular views of Lac des Deux Montagnes and the Adirondacks in both winter and summer.

Oka National Park, located 55 kilometers northwest of Montreal, offers a lot to offer history aficionados and nature enthusiasts.

There are two entrances to the National Park. The park’s main entrance gate is on Route 344, while the secondary entrance is near the western end of Highway 640. In the winter, Highway 640 is closed.

From the South Shore, use Highway 30 and Highway 40 towards Gatineau. Take the Oka-Hudson ferry ($) as directed. Turn right off the boat into Notre-Dame Street. The park entrance is 2.8 kilometers on the right.

Traveling is followed by tiresome activities. To regain your energy, we can suggest the best hotels near Oka National Park just for your convenience.

  1. Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka
  2. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Vaudreuil, an IHG Hotel
  3. Château Vaudreuil Hôtel & Suites

Overall, These hotels provide proper hygiene, bathroom facilities, and great ambiance; their reviews show nice secluded separation.

Thus, these can contribute to the best hotel service you will find. Enjoy your trip to the best by staying in these suites to make your trip less tiresome and more memorable.

5. Nearby Attractions of Parc National d’Oka

Oka is such a big tourism pool that you can never complete your list of visits to the place. It’s a little hyperbole, but it’s worth it!

  • First and foremost, during a 1.5-hour walking tour, you may learn about the history and development of old Montreal. Follow a tour into hidden courtyards and explore where the city began in the nearly forgotten Place Royale.
  • Stroll through the lively squares of Place Jacques-Cartier and Place d’Armes, as well as through rebuilt historic warehouses in the Old Port and on rue de la Commune, home to chic restaurants and digital start-ups. See the finest of east and west Old Montreal on this trip, and the walk will be very pleasing.
  • Oka Beach, located in Oka National Park in Montreal, Canada, is another option. Because of the frigid winters in Canada, the summer and winter scenes are very different. It changes into a ski resort in the winter, with bent skiing, sleds, snowshoes, and other winter activities. There are clean lakes and sandy beaches in Summer for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, and other activities.
  • One more thing that can be done is visiting St. Joseph’s Cathedral. After the Cathedral of Yamoussoukro in Côte d’Ivoire and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the dome of St. Joseph’s Cathedral is the third biggest in the world. Around 2 million visitors and pilgrims annually visit St. Joseph’s Church. It is at 3800 Rue Queen Mary, near the Côte-des-Neiges metro station. St. Joseph’s Church was designated a Canadian Heritage Site in 2005. The city of Montreal is represented in the Monopoly game with a photograph of St. Joseph’s Basilica.

Reviews of Oka National Park

During the fall season, Oka National Park is a beautiful and warm area, especially towards the end of October, as if nature’s beauty is at its peak.

You can enjoy your beautiful warm days of the upcoming winter, where Oka provides easy access to numerous local wonders, and the park camping spots are particularly lovely. You will find pathways peaceful and pleasant, and the location is not congested.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your stay at the amazing Oka National Park and experience a holiday of natural beauty, fun, and adventure.

Last Updated on by Namrata

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *