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Gatineau Hills, Quebec

Ridgeline Hike - October 26, 2007

Some photos from an autumn hike along the ridge line trail system. We started at parking lot P7 Kingsmere and took trail 30 to trail 1. From their was a full day heading west along trail 1 all the way to Luskville Falls (about 15km total). We didn't head down the firetower trail, as this is closed to dogs, so we took a shortcut 1 km or so before the McKinstry shelter and headed down the escarpment by way of some unmarked trails (which are some of my favorite spots in the hills). In the central region of the park, the number 1 trail can be busy as it's accessible from many parking areas along the way and is open to mountain bikers and even NCC vehicles, but the further west you head, the quieter it becomes.

Trail 30... The begining
Trail 30... The begining
Keogan Shelter
Keogan Shelter
Shilly Shally Shelter
Shilly Shally Shelter
Huron Shelter
Huron Shelter

The journey took us past 3 shelters along the way. What amazes me is that for some odd reason the NCC doesn't allow overnight stays in these shelters. I think they need to take a lesson from the widely available "refuges" on European trail networks and make these shelters available to overnight backpackers.

Bog / swamp area
Bog / swamp area
Nice and easy trail
Nice and easy trail
Nice small pond
Nice small pond
Love the smell of the fallen leaves
Love the smell of the fallen leaves

One of the interpretation panels along the route pointed out that the trail we were on was once a road used by Irish and French settlers back in the 1840's. For anyone who has ever tried bushwacking through the dense eastern Canadian forests, you'll understand my amazement at the fact that anyone could have settled these lands without the use of machines. I can't imagine how much time and effort it would take to clear a path that size through such wilderness. Why they would bother to settle the land high up on the escarpment is still a mystery to me though.

View of the Ottawa river and valley
View of the Ottawa river and valley
Thanks to thousands of hours of our ancestors work we get a beautiful hiking trail
Thanks to thousands of hours of our ancestors work we get a beautiful hiking trail
Another pond with beaver activity
Another pond with beaver activity
A carved cross sticking from an old stump. The things you find!
A carved cross sticking from an old stump. The things you find!

Perfect weather. Perfect company. A perfect autumn hike by any standard. If I could have this kind of experience more often, I'd... hang on, I CAN have this kind of experience more often! Funny how we take things for granted the closer they are too us.

Beaver ponds off the marked trail
Beaver ponds off the marked trail
One of my favorite spots to hike to
One of my favorite spots to hike to
Luna is always suspicious of water... strange for a golden, I know!
Luna is always suspicious of water... strange for a golden, I know!

First Geo-Cache Hunt - January 20, 2007

Some photos from my first geo-cache hunt in the park. This area can be accessed from the main Luskville Falls parking lot, but instead of heading up the main trail there is a secondary trail near the outhouses. It follows a horseback riding trail for the most part and then turns off and heads up the hills. It brings you to an area with many cliffs where a lot of rock climbing is practiced in the summer months.

Alice and the view of Luskville Falls
Alice and the view of Luskville Falls
Luna, the lunatic, contemplating the unthinkable
Luna, the lunatic, contemplating the unthinkable
Luna! What kind of pose is that??
Luna! What kind of pose is that??
Hermit in the crack
Hermit in the crack

Information

For an excellent Gatineau Park trail map, you can download the following file: Gatineau Park Trails [PDF 4.2 MB].


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Topic: Gatineau Hills
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ch dwna (Canada) says...
Thank you for this excellent write up and some of the photos. Have done most of this in the winter on skies, but not much in the fall.
3rd June 2013 9:59pm
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