About Geoheritage Day

About Geoheritage

Sites and Favourites Sites

Geoheritage Site List

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips

Explore Geoheritage Day

Visit exceptional geological sites in the National Capital and across Canada, either virtually or on your own this year during the 13th annual Geoheritage Day!

We have added more sites across Canada so be sure to expand the map and check them out.

Learn more about how geological processes have shaped the local, regional and national landscape, given us a glimpse into past environments and life forms and provided resources for our use. We have enhanced our digital presence so that you will still be able to visit either virtually or on your own to see how each site fits into the local geological history.

Please follow local guidelines and regulations for COVID19, and remember that collecting on NCC properties, National and Provincial Parks and Geoparks is prohibited.

Please be aware:

  • Sites will be un-hosted, all information will be virtual
  • Guests can visit sites in person, provided they follow all local and provincial COVID19 protocols

We would love to receive pictures from guests who are able to visit the sites. We'll post these pictures on our webpage and social media outlets. Please email pictures to: earth.sciences@carleton.ca 

Did you know?

In the last 2 billion years our National Capital has been home to a huge mountain chain, a tropical beach, a habitat for large whales, and buried under 2km of ice…

Geoheritage of the National Capital Region

Many unique geological and surface landform features provide important records of the past in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. These include the billion-year-old Precambrian rocks of the Gatineau Hills, the 450 million-year-old fossil-bearing Paleozoic rocks of the Ottawa Valley and the unconsolidated sediments produced during the last Ice Age and during the subsequent time when the Champlain Sea covered much of the Ottawa Valley, less than 10,000 years ago. The present drainage systems, dominated by the Ottawa River, have been incised into this geological assemblage, and many areas within the region have been subjected to significant modification by landslides. These components of our local natural history strongly influence the groundwater reservoirs, surface waterways, agriculture sustenance, mineral wealth, biodiversity and the foundations for buildings and transportation.

Jan Aylsworth and Jean Dougherty

View Document

History of Geoheritage Day

Explore Geoheritage Day was initiated in 2006 to celebrate the diversity of exceptional sites of geological significance within the National Capital Region.  Held each year on a sunny autumn Saturday, the event invites the public to come out to their local parks and green spaces and learn how geological processes have shaped our landscape, given us a glimpse into past environments and provided resources for our use.  Geoheritage Day is hosted by volunteers from Carleton University’s Department of Earth Sciences, and the Ottawa-Gatineau Geoheritage Project, supported by our partners from the Cardinal Creek Community Association and the International Biodiversity Conservancy.   During the pandemic, the event has continued in digital version, adding virtual sites, culminating with this year’s release of the
Canada-wide Geoheritage Day website!  We plan to continue adding publicly accessible sites, so that folks across Canada can go out and discover the geoheritage in their own regions. 

A Geoheritage Site is a locality that meets one or more of the following:

  • Exposes a significant record of natural history
  • Contains characteristic or unique features
  • Contributes to understanding the natural history of the region
  • Offers new scientific insights
  • Offers distinct aesthetic and cultural values

To make site suggestions contact beth.mclartyhalfkenny@carleton.ca