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