Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gatineau Park - Skyline Trail

Gatineau Park - Skyline Trail

Length: 5.7 km loop
Time: 90-120 minutes
Terrain: Moderate

Located in the small village of Kingsmere in Gatineau Park is the Skyline Trail.  This 5.7 loop takes you along the southern and eastern ridges of the Gatineau Hills and provide some great views of the National Capital Region.

Parking is located at P7 (N45 29.454 W075 50.524) off Kingsmere Road. Before you can  get to the actual Skyline Trail (Trailmarker 6) you'll need to follow approximately 1 km of the Trans-Canada Trail. From the parking lot head north along Trail 30 until you reach Trail 1 on your right. From here, hike up the steady slope until you reach your first scenic view, Wattsford's Lookout. There is a great bench where you can take a few moments to catch your breath and enjoy the view.

Wattsford's Lookout
Once you're ready to hit the trail again go back out to the main path and follow Trail 1 to the left. After about 100 metres you will see the well-marked entrance to the Skyline Trail.

From here the trail turns from a wide, easy path the a narrow, rocky path. There are spots where you will need to watch your footing but it is not too difficult. At around the 100 metre mark of the trail there is a split, take the right path as this is the quicker route to the lookoffs. The hardwood forest provides some great scenery, especially in the autumn months. Gatineau Park in general is very well knows for their beautiful fall colours. 

After 1.4 km on the Skyline Trail the trees on the right will open into more great views of the region. At around the 1.6 km mark you'll reach the actual Skyline Lookout where you're at an elevation of 350 metres above sea level. From here you get a great view of downtown.

Skyline Lookout
As you continue along the path it will start veering to the left towards another lookout which has views of the east. At this point of the hike you are located near the top of the Camp Fortune Ski Hill, one of the top resorts in the region. When the trail was initially made it was a short cut for residents of Kingsmere to get to the ski hill. 

As you make your way along the path you'll eventually find the Trans-Canada Trail near the Wattsford's Lookout. From here, follow the same route back to P7.

Skyline Trail is a great spot for those looking for tough hike with tons of scenic views. Even though it is has some rough terrain it can still be enjoyed by people of all ages as well as dogs.

Happy Trails


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