Banner: Peak Fever

Luskville Falls, Quebec

Photo of Gatineau Hills near Luskville Falls
Gatineau Hills near Luskville Falls.

With a maximum elevation of about 1352 feet, this isn't exactly "mountain climbing", but for me this is the closest thing to it in my neck of the woods.

Located in the Gatineau Hills of South-Western Quebec, near the small town of Luskville, it's a short 15 minute drive for me to hit the trails. It is the most popular and accessible of the many trails in these hills along highway 148.

I've been hiking, bushwhacking and camping in these hills for over 20 years. These rocks and trees have seen me at the best of times and at the worst. However, regardless of my state of mind, those hills have always had a soothing and calming effect on me.

As busy as the main trail to the fire tower has become in the last few years, the hills are still a place I escape to. Nowhere in the world have I spent as much time exploring than in this area. There are many unmarked trails unknown to most visitors (which the NCC is desperately trying to keep that way). There are hikes that will bring you to beautiful waterfalls, sheer rock cliffs, and hidden beaver ponds. The more you explore, the more beauty you find in these hills.

Though I won't be ascending any major summits in this park, it is still a special and magical place for me.

Photo of Southwest view of Ottawa Valley from the hills
Southwest view of Ottawa Valley from the hills.
Photo of Southeast view of Ottawa Valley from the hills
Southeast view of Ottawa Valley from the hills.
Photo of Cliffs near Luskville Falls
Cliffs near Luskville Falls.
Photo of hidden pond in the hills
Hidden pond in the hills.

High Point

Photo of Water flowing at Luskville Falls
Water flowing at Luskville Falls.

As amazing as it may seem, after all these many years of hiking in this area, it was only in April 2007 that Alice, Luna and I finally made a journey to the highest point in the Gatineau Hills (45° 33' 27"N, 75° 58' 03"W). A geocache had been placed some years back in that spot and we used the co-ordinates to find our way through the wet snow and forest (there is no trail to the location and the NCC does not advertise where it is). We reached the cache after a few hours and I checked the altimeter on my GPS in disbelief... sure enough we were there (1352 feet), though by our forest covered surroundings you would never guess you were at the high point. No peak bagging log book to sign there, that's for sure... but it's the indistinct nature of the location that gives it a hidden and unique feel. It is so unobvious that you would never find the spot without a GPS... and if you did happen on to it, you wouldn't even realize it. Despite this, it was still a special moment for me considering how much these hills have played a part in my life.

Points of Interest

For more detailed information about the activities, history, geology, and just about everything else the park has to offer, check out the NCC's official Gatineau Park web site: www.canadascapital.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park

But if you want to just jump straight in to it, here is an excellent downloadable map of all the marked trails available during the summer: Gatineau Park Trails [PDF 4.2 MB].


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