Parc Omega is what many people envision Canada to be. Wide open space, beautiful animals, and even tipis and log cabins where you can spend the night. I have been to Parc Omega (or Omega Park in English) many times, but always in the winter. This was my first time visiting in the summer, and my first time camping overnight in Parc Omega’s new accommodations which opened last year. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of howling wolves!
Camping at Parc Omega is the perfect Canadian summer experience, whether you’re a local living in a nearby city or traveling from abroad. It’s an awesome weekend adventure, or unique addition to a longer trip.
Here’s my guide to camping at Parc Omega!
Getting to Parc Omega
Parc Omega is in Montebello, Quebec. It’s halfway between Montreal and Ottawa, and an easy drive from either. Coming from Ottawa, take the 50E (Est/ East), and take the 50O (Ouest/ West as we are in Quebec, after all!) if you’re coming from Montreal. The drive is about one hour from either city, and the exit for Parc Omega is well marked on the freeway.
The most incredible part of Parc Omega’s overnight area is the boardwalk. Everyone staying at Parc Omega has access to a beautiful board walk where you can wolves and bears. There was even a wolf pup and a bear cub there during my visit. The wolves and bears are of course separated. While I think if you’re going you should also spend a day or two exploring the rest of Parc Omega, you can go and just stay overnight and see the wolves and bears if you wish. This is a separate area of Parc Omega’s ground that you can access without passing through the main gates. People visiting for the day do not have access to the grounds or the board walk.
Parc Omega’s Accommodations
There are a few different lodging options available at Parc Omega. Rather than pitch you own tent, you stay in accommodations that are already on site. Enjoy all the perks of camping, and then some, with the usual pitfalls. Make a fire, walk through the woods, eat burgers, and wake up to the sound of birds chirping and wolves howling. There’s no sleeping on the ground or going days without showering. There are racoons though, so keep your bags and coolers closed!
Tipis. I stayed in a tipi during my stay. It was perfect for 2 people. There were two unbelievably comfy double beds inside. There were also families with young children staying in the tipis. ($100/ night for 2 people)
Wi-Tent. Wi-tents are an interesting design, and can accommodate up to 4 people. The wi-tents are a really interesting design, and have their own wooden patios. ($160/night for 2 people)
Log Cabins. There are 3 different kinds of log cabins available, and they can accommodate from 4 to 7 people depending on which one you book. ($140-$300/night for 2 people).
The great thing is, if you’ve got all the camping gear you need at home, you can bring it. If you don’t own sleeping bags, are travelling from abroad, or simply prefer to pack light and not have to worry about it, you can rent bedding for your stay.
- additional adult: $30
- fire starter kit including paper, kindling, and wood.
- bedding + towels including a comforter, quilt, sheet, towel, and face cloth.
Food and Amenities
There are places to eat one you enter Parc Omega. I like having lunch at the Park House part way through the day, the pesto chicken panini is delicious. The dining options at Parc Omega are accessible during the park opening hours, from 9AM to 5PM. Purchase food before the park closes, or bring your own food if you’re staying the night. There is a beautiful kitchen + dining hall available to anyone staying at Parc Omega. We opted for traditional camping food like burgers, chips, and iced tea, but I saw a couple in the kitchen assembling a pizza that looked fit for a 5 star restaurant. The kitchen is fully equipped, so cook up a storm and enjoy!
Washrooms and showers are available on site as well, just a brief walk from the accommodations. The showers are spa-quality, and there are mirror and electrical outlets in the washrooms if you need them.
Parc Omega Activities
There is tons to do at Parc Omega! When you stay overnight, you receive a discounted entry ticket to the park and it’s valid for 2 days instead of one. Double the time to see cute animals! Parc Omega is regularly adding more activities and programming, so you can see and do even more with 2 days.
Drive the car route
The car route is the main attraction of Parc Omega. A 12km trail winds through this 2,200 acre property. This enormous property allows the animals to come up to your car for carrots, or stay far away if they choose. Stock up on carrots because you will need them to move forward through the park. The elk are very insistent, and they work together to set up road blocks that require you pay a carrot toll.
If you don’t want to drive your own vehicle in the park, caged in golf carts are available for rent at the main entrance. This option is great for anyone who is visiting by motorcycle, or visiting from abroad and renting a car. It’s probably best not to bring a rental in to park omega, just in case.
Walk the First Nation’s Trail
The First Nations trail is a beautiful testament to the relationship between Canada’s aboriginal people, nature, and legend. The trail winds around a lake, and along the walk you will find totem poles made by an Algonquin artist representing each of the First Nations. There is a plaque beside every totem pole explaining the legend that it represents.
Many of the fallow deer like to spend their time near the First Nation’s trail, so you will still need carrots!
Go on a Wagon Ride to the Heritage Farm
The Heritage Farm is only open in the summer, so this was my first time visiting this area of the park. It’s the most adorable petting farm! There are lovely gardens, goats, birds, sheep, cows, and bunnies. There are even some peacocks milling about in this area. It’s possible to walk to the Heritage Farm, or you can enjoy a wagon ride pulled by tractor to get out there.
See the Birds of Prey Show
There are 2 “Animation shows” at Parc Omega, and they run back-to-back twice a day so it’s easy to catch both. At the bird’s of prey show you will see beautiful bird species like an owl, falcon, and eagle. Get to the show on time and take a seat near the front so that you have a good view of the birds!
Learn about Wolves at the Grey Wolf Presentation
The wolves are one of the most impressive animals at Parc Omega. Right now, there are wolf pups on site and they’re absolutely adorable. The wolf viewing deck is a custom design by the parks technical director that lets you feel like you’re right there with the wolves, even though in reality you’re at a safe distance. You can visit the wolves anytime, or go for the presentation to learn about them and their group dynamics and habits.
Drive the Car Route again
Yes, I really did put this in twice and you should do it twice, at the very least. I think we drove the car route 4 times during this visit, and it’s a different experience every time. The time of day completely changes your photos, and you never know what the animals will be up to. Animals that were hidden away sleeping or in the shade at one time of the day will be out playing and exploring at another time.
What to Pack
There are a few things you will need to enjoy your stay and your days of exploring at Parc Omega!
- A Stainless Steel Waterbottle. It’s important to have water with you, both for driving around Parc Omega and for the campsite. Stainless steel bottles are my favourite because they keep water at the desired temperature all day. I love my Manna stainless steel water bottle (it even has little pineapples on it). I take it with me everywhere.
- Sunscreen. I like Aveeno’s for face and neck, and a sport sunscreen for arms and legs.
- Bug repellent. Best to go with the heavy-duty, deep woods bug repellent.
- Tooth brush / toiletries.
- Change of clothes and spare socks.
- Rain jacket. Just in case – even if the forecast is calling for nice weather, it’s often wrong in these parts and you don’t want your stay made any less enjoyable by the weather.
- Hiking shoes. I love my North Face hiking shoes. On your visit you will be on your feet a lot if you choose to explore, on trails that are easiest to walk with a good pair of shoes.
- Food. Whatever you will want for the evening and next morning, bring with you.
- A power bank to charge your electronics. Yes, you can charge them up at the community centre too if you want to. Personally, I preferred being able to charge my phone on the picnic table beside me back at our accommodations.
- Books, audio books, or a movie. You enter the camp grounds between 4PM and 6PM, and if you have already spent the full day exploring Parc Omega it’s nice to relax for a couple of hours. I loaded a few audiobooks on to my phone and rented + downloaded a movie from iTunes before leaving home.
- Flashlight. I did not bring a flashlight and instead used the one on my phone when I needed to make my way down the trail at night. The paths are lit with patterns, but in the few steps from your accommodations to the main path, it’s pitch black. My phone flashlight worked out fine, only because it happened to not be raining when I needed to go out at night. It did rain on and off though, so I advise bringing a flashlight in case using your phone is not an option.
- Camera, always!
What if it rains?
It’s always an important question when you’re outdoors. How will your visit be impacted by the rain? Well, it did rain on my visit. It was sunny most of the day, and at night the rain came down. The rain did not detract from our stay one bit. The tipi stayed completely dry inside, and it’s always easier to enjoy a rainy day if you’ve got the right clothes and gear.
Thanks to Parc Omega for hosting me during my stay! All thoughts, opinions, and enthusiastic notes about animals expressed in this post are my own!