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Algonquin Park: Track & Tower Trail/ Whiskey Rapids (Sept. 26th & 27th, 2016)

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Well, what a difference a year makes. No blog entries from me, no trips, no hikes (until this one, of course), BUT! – we did have a baby, so… y’all can understand why we had to take a bit of a breather. Now, baby is almost a year old, so we got him out on the trail as soon as we could and… he loves it! I mean… this kid L.O.V.E.S. being outdoors. Thank the Big Spirit in the sky for that.

And, before I dig into this short excursion, I’d just like to thank all y’all who’ve been checking this blog out while I’ve been away. The numbers don’t lie and it’s clear that there are a lot of you out there who are interested in these trails and parks, so keep checking back to see what new parks and routes get added.

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Whiskey Rapids Trail, Algonquin Park 2016

 

Not only has life been busy with the recent addition of our little boy, work has kept me going 6 days/week since the winter. Suffice it to say, I’ve been lucky to get a 30 minute walk in once every week or two, let alone a full day of hiking in one of our beloved provincial parks. So, when a rare two-day weekend presented itself, I immediately pitched the idea of a hiking getaway that was received very well and signed off on by the Mama Bear of our clan.

Usually, I’m all about the backcountry and tent/hammock camping but, for many reasons (i.e. – schedule, time of year, child under 1), we opted for the more civilized way of doing things and we got a hotel room in Huntsville and just popped in and out of the park over two days.

It was the beginning of the second peak season in Algonquin because of the fall colours, so we were lucky to get a room at all, and the park was quite busy.

We arrived early on Monday, got to check into our room early as well, and got into the park around noon. It was raining. Rain doesn’t stop us, though. I love hiking and camping in the rain. Well… let me clarify – I like hiking in a light rain and I hate setting up or breaking camp in a downpour but, I do love being in the woods in the rain. There is something about experiencing nature in all of her moods.

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Our little hiker enjoying his rain gear.

This is my 6th or 7th trip into Algonquin and, to date, I’ve only experienced the “Hwy. 60 Corridor”. I’ve only entered by the West Gate, never made it as far as the East Gate and all of my entry points have been either at the Western Uplands, Highlands Trail or the Canoe/Smoke Lake access point. In a word, my experience of Algonquin over the last 6 years can be described as: limited. Each time I come here, I only have enough time for the trip that I’ve planned and I always see the signs for Whisky Rapids, Track & Tower, Mizzy Lake etc. This time, I resolved to hike at least two more of the Hwy. 60 trails.

Whiskey Rapids is located 7.2 km into the park coming from the West Gate. It’s a 2.1 km loop that follows the Oxtongue River for about half of its length. It’s a quick hike, less than an hour.

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Viewing the Oxtongue River on the Whiskey Rapids Trail

The Whiskey Rapids gets its name from an incident that occurred (according to the trail guide), at the turn of the 19th century. A few log drivers had chipped in to buy a barrel of whiskey and have it sent to the Canoe Lake railroad station. Upon shipping it home, via the Oxtongue River, the two who had picked it up (and inevitably sampled it before getting it to camp), tried to shoot the rapids and failed. Good thing they tasted it beforehand, because that’s all they would ever get to enjoy from that barrel…

This is a great trail for those who are looking for shorter hikes that aren’t too challenging. Now – a word about the “difficulty rating” of the trails in Algonquin: they are very subjective. In my opinion, every single trail that I’ve been on, so far, has had sections that could be considered “strenuous” or “difficult”, depending on your own personal situation. Me? I have knees that need to be considered and neck/shoulders that constantly require attention in the form of yoga and/or stretches. I always, always hike with poles.

If you’re in your senior years, you should consider every trail to be strenuous inasmuch as there will always be roots and rocks under foot and sharp inclines/declines at any given time. The fact is: if you want to get to a view or a “lookout”, you’re going to have to climb UP. And then, once you’re done, you have to climb back DOWN. It’s the DOWNward climb that I find hardest on the knees.

If you take away one thing from reading any of my blog posts, take this piece of advice: HIKE WITH POLES.

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An average, well maintained trail. Full of roots and rocks. Slippery when wet.                     HIKE WITH POLES!!

If you have bad knees or a bad back, please don’t let this scare you off from hiking. Just be prepared. Even for a short hike like this, use poles, bring water and a good loud whistle. There are sections of just about every trail that will leave you a bit winded.

Of course, there will be plenty of youthful, vivacious, avid hikers out there who scoff at the idea of using poles or the description of these trails as “challenging”, but… who cares what anyone else thinks, eh? Just getting your butt out there is all that matters.

In the final minutes of our hike, the rain started to come down hard. We got to the truck, dried off, and hit the road to enjoy a bit of a drive along the Hwy. 60 corridor. We checked out a few of the campgrounds, to see what the sites were like. Tea Lake campsite is small and had a number of good sites (although, it was closed for the season). We also checked out Mew Lake for the first time and it’s open year-round. A great place for RV’ers.

We headed back into Huntsville for dinner and a quiet night in at the Best Western. It feels a bit weird to give a hotel review on this blog, but: it was nice and I’d stay there again if I had to. The breakfast was decent. No complaints (except for the peak season price of $200/night). The rooms were modern and well kept.

 

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Looking at Cache Lake on the Track & Tower Trail.

The next day brought us better weather. Cool and crisp, but sunny and no rain whatsoever. We packed a lunch of summer sausage and cheese, a few granola bars and 2L of water. The Track & Tower Trail has been on my list for a while, so I was chuffed to get the chance to check that one off (apologies for the alliteration…). The parking lot at the trail head was pretty busy, but once we got on the trail, we only came across 6-8 other hiking parties over the course of the day.

The Track & Tower Trail is 7.5 km, round trip and is well worth the effort. There are many rewarding sights along the way, with the lookout at Post #7 providing an absolute stunning view of the park. The lookout is about 4-ish km in from the trailhead. Truly, one of the best hikes that the park has to offer.

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The lookout at Post #7 on the Track & Tower Trail.

One thing that always strikes me when I’m hiking is the *effort* that gets put into making and maintaining them. When I see a boardwalk several kms into a hike I can’t help but think of the folks who had to shoulder all of the tools and materials there to build it all.

The stairs leading up to the lookout on the Track & Tower Trail are impressive for this very reason. Maybe there’s an entry point that a vehicle can access that gets them closer than the trailhead but, still… that’s a lot of wood and nails to carry. Not to mention the saw…

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The stairs leading up to the lookout on the Track & Tower Trail.

Shortly after leaving the lookout, you’ll walk over the old railway track at Post #9 and be standing on a completely man-made hill, though, you’d barely be able to tell that it isn’t just a natural part of the landscape. It’s truly amazing how the area has healed itself in the last 100 years since all of the logging action. A testament to nature’s ability to recover from the damage that humans inflict on her.

After the railway bridge, you’ll hook up for a short while with the bike trail and then continue on, back into the woods for the final stretch of the Track & Tower Trail that takes you back to the trailhead/parking lot. It’s a good 2.5 kms, and you’ll pass by Grant Lake on your way.

Along this stretch, you’ll pass by a large rock face covered in moss. Our boy loved getting up close and feeling moss for the first time.

All in, with a bit of a break at the lookout and one by the river by the bridge, this hike took about 3 – 3.5 hours. It was a beautiful day and we took our time.

The time estimates given by the park maps seem overly generous. Maybe this is to account for very slow walkers and err on the side of safety.

Thanks again for checking in with Canadian Park Hound! Please check us out on Facebook fb.me/canadianparkhound and give us a “Like”. There are some big changes here that will be announced very soon and Facebook is the only place that I can post the panoramic shots that I take along the way.

Bye, for now! Happy Trails!

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Written by canadianparkhound

November 3, 2016 at 8:25 am

Georgian Bay Islands National Park, August 2015

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Well, this was a pleasant surprise. We were cottaging in Honey Harbour for the week and saw the Parks Canada office right across the street from the Town Center general store so, of course, I had to check it out. I had no idea that we were staying so close to a national park. I’d heard of Georgian Bay Islands National Park, but I wasn’t expecting to stumble into it during a cottage trip. There is a small Parks Canada kiosk sitting at the boat launch and we got some info on the Daytripper boat ferry schedule and planned a quick trip.

View from the Daytripper leaving Honey Harbour on the way to Georgian Bay Islands National Park.

For $15/per person, the Daytripper will take you into the park and come back to get you 4 hours later. As mentioned in a previous post, my partner is pregnant, so this was a perfect amount of time for us although, at any other time, 4 hours would feel like a mere “amuse-bouche”. Because of its popularity, the boat is often full, so reservations are highly recommended. You have your choice of several “ports of call” around the island, and we visited the central landing point of Cedar Spring. Here, you will find the Head Office and main campground. There are a few cabins for rent (about $150/night, 2 night minimum) and tent camping sites.

The view from a tent site just behind the main office. A bit too close for my comfort, but still… it’s well maintained and very close to the toilets if you have little ones.

Upon reaching the dock at Cedar Spring, you walk along the boardwalk to get to the main office. Along the way, you’ll pass by a few of the cabins, which are interspersed with tent sites. Personally, I recommend the sites elsewhere on the island since these cabins would have *a lot* of foot traffic passing in front of them all day long. If you choose to camp at Cedar Spring, be forewarned that you’ll have every boat load of the Daytripper walking right in front of you from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm. If you don’t care about that and want the convenience of a short walk with your bags, then… this is the place for you.

The start of the "Lookout Trail".

The start of the “Lookout Trail”.

Just behind the main office, you’ll find the trail junction where you can head off in a few directions. We chose to take the loop of the southern part of the island, over to Christian Beach, down to Beausoleil Point and back up to Cedar Spring. The park map isn’t great at offering info on the real distances, but I can tell you now, we ended up hiking for about 12 kms. Suffice it to say, I’m very impressed with the mother of my child! In my mind, a pregnant woman is the strongest creature in the world. The trail is relatively flat, so it wasn’t that challenging. It was a bit longer than we expected, but it was worth it! Beautiful scenery. The bugs got to be a bit much on the final stretch coming back up to Cedar Spring from Beausoleil Point, so stick to the outskirts of the park in warm weather if you want to avoid them.

FYI, the “lookout” on the Lookout Trail, is no longer a lookout now that the trees have matured. There’s still a wooden landing, but you’ll be staring into the forest. It’s a good connector trail to Christian Beach.

View from the Lookout Trail along the way to Christian Beach.

Christian Beach on the west side of the island.

An island just off the coast of the park.

There are a few cabins for rent on Christian Beach, and while they are still along the trail (meaning: you’ll see some foot traffic passing in front of you), it’s a more remote part of the island and therefore, more secluded. These cabins look quite new and well maintained. Each has a nice veranda. As I understand it, you have to arrange your own transportation there. I heard that water taxis cost about $60 each way.

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Beausoleil Point is a nice wide spot with a gazebo, several picnic tables, BBQ stands and a porta-potty.

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As you get back up towards Cedar Spring, you can take the Heritage Trail, a side trail that passes by a First Nations (Anishnaabe) cemetary and the site of a former settlement. One feature is a lovely flag stone walkway.DSCN0172

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Georgian Bay Islands National Park is a fantastic park. I really can’t wait to get back here to explore the rest of the island and spend a few nights. One of the crown jewels of our park system, for sure.

Written by canadianparkhound

August 15, 2015 at 10:56 am

Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area

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I gave myself the moniker “Canadian Parkhound” for a reason: I search for parks. It began while living in Toronto and my desire to find trails that were fun to hike (meaning: beautiful and hopefully a bit challenging) as well as private and secluded. It’s pretty much impossible to find a hiking trail in the big city that could be classified as private or secluded. So, I began to explore the Caledon region and the Bruce Trail when and where possible. Of course, I love the big National and Provincial Parks, but I’ll take a good conservation area any day. Forks of the Credit is a nice hike, but it’s pretty busy. Whenever I’m driving through a new area, I’m always on the lookout for a local trail. No park is too big or too small for me.

This summer, I’m working at the Blyth Festival in Blyth Ontario (come see “Seeds” or “Fury”, folks! You’ll see the Canadian Parkhound in action on stage!). When I’m here, I live in the small town of Auburn, just 10 minutes west of Blyth towards Lake Huron. This area is peppered with Provincial Parks (i.e. – The Pinery, Point Farms) and they’re quite lovely. There are also a few Conservation Areas around here (Falls Reserve) and Wawanosh is just up the Donnybrook Line, about 10 minutes north of my place. There is something about a conservation area that I just love. Usually, they’re quite small and can often be found in unexpected places. As such, these parks are not heavily traveled.

Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area

Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area is a well-kept, forested area situated along the Maitland River. There is a simple trail system consisting of a large loop that has a few secondary trails that will take you through different parts of the forest with a nice section that follows along the river.

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Starting off at the Nature Centre, you’ll begin with a nicely groomed trail. Early on and close to the Nature Centre, you can go down to the creek…

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I’ve been here at least a dozen times over the past two years and I have never seen another soul (save, of course, for birds and two deer). Aside from myself, I think that the only other folks who show up here in the summer are the maintenance crew. It’s obviously a great educational center, so I imagine that there is more traffic here during the school year. It’s a perfect place for a quiet hike by yourself.

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Taking the large loop, you can circumnavigate the entire area, or you can cut through the forest at a few different points. The forest is beautiful and will take you through a variety of tree stands. The scenery is quite diverse.

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Ultimately, the trail will bring alongside the Maitland River. A gorgeous and pristine area.

There is a camping area available, but the access to that portion of the park is further north along the Donnybrook Line by a few kilometres. I’ve driven through it and, at the time, there were about 8-10 trailers there that looked like they were seasonal guests. It’s small and cute, but you kind of get the feeling that you’d be moving into a small village that already exists. I’m sure you’d feel welcome there, but you’d definitely be in the company of others if you chose to stay there. If you want to have some privacy, you might be better off at Falls Reserve or Point Farms.

Wawanosh is in the heart of Huron County farmland. I think that it’s really only known by locals, and if you want a place for a nice hike, picnic, and a short visit, make sure to take the time to visit Wawanosh.

Degree of difficulty: Easy. I’ve managed to eke out about 90 minutes of hiking by exploring the various side trails and have done the large loop in about 35 minutes while power-hiking. I usually hike with my large backpack on. I do this to add resistance. It’s my “gym membership” as it were. It adds about 50 pounds and doubles as training for when I actually get out into the backwoods and helps my body to not be shocked when I hike with that amount of weight on my back. If you’re just going out for a leisurely stroll, you could probably spend the better part of two hours on these trails and also speed out of there quickly if you needed to.

Next up: Falls Reserve and Point Farms reviews!

Written by canadianparkhound

July 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

La Mauricie Nat’l Park (Les Deux Criques Trail), Shawinigan Quebec, August 2011

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About six weeks after my “One Week/Four Parks” Gaspé to Fundy car camping trip, I took a quick stop in La Mauricie National Park in the Laurentian Mountains. I was heading back home to Toronto with a friend who wanted to join me to hike Les Deux-Criques Trail.

We stayed at one of the campgrounds and, as is with all campgrounds in Quebec, the sites were very well maintained. It was busy but not crowded. The sites are well-treed and give enough privacy so as not to feel like you’re on display for all passersby.

The campsite at La Mauricie

Les Deux-Criques Trail is rated as “difficult” and I would agree with that. The difficulty has more to do with the 17km length and several demanding up and down climbs, sometimes over difficult rock. For the most part, it is very passable and well-maintained. Be sure to leave room to check out every lookout.

Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

At one of the waterfalls along the trail.

One of the lookouts along Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

Another small waterfall along Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie National Park.

A lookout on Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

Not every lookout has a platform and a bench, but there are plenty of spots for a rest break along the way.

Lunch at a lookout.

Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

A lookout along Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie, Shawinigan Que.

Les Deux-Criques Trail, La Mauricie National Park

We had perfect weather for the entire day and the entire hike lasted about 7 hours. If the weather is against you, the hike would be quite difficult through certain passages. It’s a great choice for a full day hike.

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/qc/mauricie/visit/carte-map/snowshoeing_raquette.aspx#Mekinac

Kananaskis Country: Prairie View Trail, Barrier Lake – Sept. 2012

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Labour Day, 2012

I’m fortunate right now to be getting the chance to spend a few months in Calgary, so of course, my next hike had to be in the mountains. I’ve never hiked in a mountain range before and the options here are endless. One of the first things I did upon arrival was to buy a few trail books. I had never heard of Gillean Daffern before, but she and her husband Tony, are trail-blazers of the highest order. I bought the 2nd edition of their Kananaskis Trail guide (published in the mid-’80’s) at a used bookstore and, though it was exhaustive, I wasn’t sure how up-to-date it would be. Luckily, Gillean and Tony maintain one of the best hiking blogs I’ve ever come across at: http://kananaskisblog.com/

I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of trails that there are to choose from. My hiking partner and I decided to just get ourselves into K-Country and ask for trail suggestions at the Info Centre. The Info Centre at Barrier Lake is just a few short kilometres south of the TransCanada highway, on Hwy. 40. I had read previously that the folks there are super helpful and friendly and that info was bang on. It’s nice to encounter park staff who are avid hikers themselves.

While standing in line, we overheard the attendant, Bob, telling a group of fellow tourists how to minimize their chances of a bear encounter. Their was a sign in the lobby saying, “Bear in the area”, but I would imagine that you should always be thinking that an encounter is possible. Seems to me that a more appropriate sign might read as follows: “There are always bears in the area. We happened to see one of them recently.”

We asked Bob if he could recommend a good 3-4 hour hike with a lookout or two. He immediately pointed us towards the Prairie View Trail at Barrier Lake and described to a tee, what we would be looking for along the way. The signage is clear and the trail is wide and well traveled.

Wondering whether we should carry bear spray or not, Bob explained that, while its a personal choice, this was the time of year that the bears were focused on packing in as much food as they could before winter. Therefore, they were out looking for food. He also admitted to carrying bear spray with him on every hike. That was good enough for me, and I was happy to buy a canister. $45 and it fits on your belt. Of course, we didn’t see a bear as the trail was really busy. It was Labour Day and we expected to see a lot of traffic. Either way, I’m planning for multiple hikes in the Rockies and I’m always happy to have an extra can of spray to offer a fellow hiker.

In Ontario, I find having a can of bear spray or a bear bell jangling can get you some sideways looks by fellow campers. We have primarily Black bears to deal with and they aren’t Grizzlies. That said, more deaths have occurred with black rather than grizzly, but really, who’s keeping score? I hope to discard a full can of bear spray when its expired, untouched. As for the bear bell, I keep that going mostly to let fellow campers that someone is nearby. Some of the thunderboxes in Algonquin are pretty close to the trail, if you know what I mean.

The trailhead, crossing the dam.

The parking lot at Barrier Lake is 2 km south of the Info Centre. The trailhead is at the parking lot, beginning with crossing the dam. Once over and into the trees, you stick to the right and follow the signs.

It’s not a terribly long hike, about 6 kms up to the first peak, and you can take another 700m trail up to a second peak that gives you a full panoramic view. As it turned out, we only hiked to the first peak and were very satisfied with the 3/4 view of our surroundings.

The start of the trail is very well maintained and relatively flat. Wide enough to accommodate the heavy traffic in both directions.

Prairie View Trail

About 500m or so, before the first peak, the wide trail ends and confused us for a moment as we thought we had reached the end. The lookout was impressive. Soon though, we saw a group of people above us at the actual peak.

1st lookout on the Prairie Trail

1st lookout on the Prairie Trail

The last bit of trail up to the peak is quite steep, making me wish that I had brought two poles for each of us. As it was, we got by with one each. We watched several people face the challenge of coming downhill without the assistance of poles. I’ve said it before in this blog and I’ll say it again: I admire the strength of those who hike without poles, but my knees can’t take it otherwise. We were plenty happy to have the assistance of our poles on the way back down.

The “Prairie View” from the 1st peak.

view of Barrier Lake from 1st peak

view of the mountain valley looking west from the 1st peak.

another view from the 1st peak

another view from the 1st peak.

I don’t know what compelled me not to pack my hiking shoes for my trip out West. It was a poor choice for me to go at it in my Blundtstones as the insoles (albeit well worn already) got shredded on the descent. At least it wasn’t a long and arduous hike. All in all, it took us about 3 1/2 hours to climb up and back down.

I’m looking forward to more hiking in the Rockies. I can see what all the fuss is about.

Back at Barrier Lake at the end of the hike.

Prairie View Trail, Barrier Lake, Kananaskis AB at EveryTrail

Written by canadianparkhound

September 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

One week, Four parks. Gaspe to New Brunswick. July 2011 Pt. 3/5 (Forillon Nat’l Park))

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Part 3: Forillion Day 2

Battle of the St. Lawrence, memorial plaque.

I find Forillon National Park to be exceptional. It is well maintained and though relatively small, it has a lot to offer. Seeing as we only had the day (and one more night), we chose to hike the trail to the tip of the park. The trailhead is at the parking lot at the end of the road, past the campgrounds. You really can’t miss it.

The trail starts at the look out point by the memorial plaque. It’s a quick ascent up the rocky path with the view of the St. Lawrence fading as you start to cut inland to cross to the other side of the point, heading towards the small community of Grande-Grave. This trail was once a portage for fisherman getting supplies between Grande-Grave and Forillon. What a treacherous portage when you consider the weight of the gear at that time

Hike route to the tip of Forillon

It’s a little over 9 km from the trailhead to the tip. Once you pass through Grande-Grave, you can follow the footpath that takes you closer to the water than if you were to merely walk along the road. We had plenty of whale sightings from the footpath, though, they don’t show up in any pictures.

Trail to the tip of Forillon

It was an overcast day, which made it pleasant for a long walk but, like any good Maritime day, it threatened to rain most of the way.

View along the Gulf of St. Lawrence

When we neared the tip, the reality of rain was beginning to set in and we were started to worry about the 9 km return trip, while having to cut back through the forest and end with a challenging rocky descent back at the trailhead at dusk. Ah, the things you wish you would have thought about at the start of the hike…

View from the tip of Forillon

The rain held out for our visit to the tip, where we rested for a few minutes and had a snack. It’s an impressive view and worth the effort. It is possible to take an easier route that can be done by driving to Grande-Grave and through to the parking lot at the very tip of the park, skipping the hike from the campground side of the park altogether.

About ten minutes into our return trip, the rain started. It started out fairly gently, and quickly opened into a steady downpour. We were lucky enough to catch a ride with a sympathetic solo photographer who was camping nearby us. I’m happy to be ending this part of our blog by not having to recount a harrowing journey in the rain and dark, full of misery and blisters.

We spent our second and final night in Forillon playing cribbage by candlelight, sharing the communal building by our site with a young family, waiting out the rain together. Luckily, it didn’t pour all night, but it stayed wet. The next morning, we woke up and threw all of our wet gear, loose, in the back of our Honda Element. We’d dry it out in Kouchibouguac.

What I liked about Forillon:

– well maintained tent sites with more privacy than any park that I’ve experienced yet. The facilities are very well maintained.

– the viewpoints and sites are all worth visiting.

What I didn’t like about Forillon:

– nothing, it was all good!

 

Part Four: Kouchibouguac

Part Two: Forillon

Part One: Le Bic

Written by canadianparkhound

August 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Nose Hill Park, Calgary AB, August 2012

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Calgary’s northwest end is home to one of the largest municipal parks in North America: Nose Hill Park. With just over 11 sq. km, you’ll find well maintained trails and many footpaths that you can follow for hours. Within, you can find over 300 km of trails to follow. The park is open to hikers and cyclists and there is a large “off leash” area for dogs to enjoy.

Nose Hill is an interesting feature on the outskirts of Calgary as it gives you the opportunity to take in a panoramic view of the city of Calgary to the south, the flatness of the beginning of the prairies to the east and the magnificent Rockies to the west. Essentially, it’s a foot hill that lies before the mountains, but in an otherwise flat area, it gives you the opportunity to climb a few hundred feet and get a bit of a bird’s eye view, if you don’t have the time/chance to get yourself into the mountains. It’s a perfect spot for day hikes tailored to whatever length you wish.

For my first trip in the park, I hiked a counter-clockwise loop around the bulk of the circumference. The distance was just under 9.5 km and it took about 2 hours. I started out at the parking lot by 14th & Berkley Gate and crossed over to the west side, and then headed due south with a view of the Rockies to my right.

The main trail is paved and wide enough for hikers, cyclists, joggers, dog owners to move in both directions, with plenty of informal footpaths and bike trails for you to explore throughout. The peak itself is a large flat plateau of grassland. Beautiful.

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When you reach the south end of the peak, you’ll get a great view of downtown Calgary.Image

Turning back north, along the eastern edge of the park, you can opt for the footpaths that take you through more hills, or stay on the easier main trail. I took the footpaths and stayed on the edge of the park, enjoying the view on my way back to the car.

I love it when a city or town has a park within its limits that have hikes that can offer, a) privacy and, b) a multi-hour hike. My basic criteria for a good hike is one where I need my hydration pack and a snack. Nose Hill fits the bill. If you’re ever in Calgary, I would highly recommend taking a few hours out of your day to visit this fantastic municipal park.

Written by canadianparkhound

August 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm