Recently (read: last summer), I discovered Gatineau Park in Quebec, Canada (which is basically my backyard). I was in Girl Guides as a child and we went on lots of hiking adventures but my first adult hike took place in Alberta, Canada. The Rockies are beautiful and the hikes I’ve done demand a slightly higher activity level than most of Gatineau Park. Nonetheless, I love the diversity in the hikes in Gatineau Park.
If it’s your first time, I recommend heading to the visitor centre at 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, QC (open daily). The staff are highly knowledgeable and can provide information on parking, trail lengths and directions. You can also rent snowshoes and cross-country skis here in the winter.
There are a whole list of activities (you can check the website) such as hiking, kayaking ($), canoeing ($), horseback riding ($), cycling, mountain biking and swimming. You can go camping ($) and geocaching. So far I’ve only gone hiking in the summer. I plan to make use of the Sunday bike days this spring/summer (sprained my ankle last summer and didn’t make it!).
There’s another list of activities such as hiking, snowshoeing ($), cross-country skiing ($), snow biking ($) and skating. I did the math and I bought a pair of snowshoes on sale. The equivalent of renting a pair of snowshoes for the day equals wearing my own pair 5 times.
Carbide Willson Ruins Hike: Short 3 km hike to impressive ruins of an industrial plant. You start at Meech Lake and do a loop. I completed this one Fall 2016.
Lac Philippe Trail 74: From P19, follow the trail fro #73 and 74. I’ve been snowshoeing on this trail ($7.50 for a day pass) a few times and it is approximately 8 km. Since there are some hills I would classify this as an intermediate hike. I’ve done this one a few times Winter 2016/2017.
Lauriault Trail (and Mackenzie King Estate): A beginner hike through forest, a lookout to the Lauriault Falls and a short detour will take you to the Mackenzie King Estate (William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s 10th Prime Minister). Mackenzie King Estate has a tea room and museum that is definitely worth the stop. I’ve done this one a few times in 2015/2016.
Lusk Cave Trail: A 10 km hike that takes you to the Lusk Caves where you will need an extra pair of shoes and a headlight to go through the cave! I thought the flashlight on my phone would have been good enough but it wasn’t bright enough and it wasn’t waterproof. I did this on Fall 2016.
Luskville Falls Trail: A 4.5 km difficult hike with an amazing lookout. I found it quite difficult and recommend bringing lots of water. I hiked this one Summer 2016.
Wakefield Trail: There are a few loops you can do. I snowshoed trail 70 and 71 for 12.5 km. A long, difficult hike though forest with lots of steep hills. If you’re looking for a workout, this trail is great! I went snowshoeing and it started to snowstorm and it was beautiful. If you want to complete the longer trail I recommend snacks! I completed this one (in a snowstorm) Winter 2017.
If you have any trails you think I should check out this summer, let me know! How often do you get outside to explore and enjoy nature?