Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gatineau Park - Huron Trail

Gatineau Park - Huron Trail

Length: 4.9 km (one way)
Time: 1-2 hours
Terrain: Moderate

The boots are knotted, the pack is full and the dog is excited... Today's hike is the Huron Trail located in Gatineau Park. Parking can be found at the Lac Fortune Lookoff (N45 30.707 - W075 52.099) which is just east of the trail head. The beginning is easy found as it is marked with a signpost (N45 30.727 - W075 52.269).

Trail Head
This 4.9 km hike is marked for its entire length as trail 3 and ends with a fantastic view of the Ottawa Valley. The first leg consists of a steady climb for approximately half a kilometre. After that, the route levels out and is quite easy with only a few more ups and downs. The trail is for the most part is crushed gravel but also includes grass and mud. In the spring it's advised you wear Gore-Tex boots.

For this hike, I recommend you bring at least two litres of water, a camera, a good trekking pole and a bear bell. You're walking into the back country, it's always a good idea to be prepared for anything.

As you progress in the hike you'll pass a number of beaver ponds and even get a nice close-up of a dam. For those photographers, there are a lot of opportunities for scenery shots. This is also one of the trails that does not allow mountain bikers so there is no need to be constantly looking over your shoulder.

As you near the end of the hike you'll intersect with Trail 1, Ridge Road. Continue straight through for another 300 metres to the end of the trail and the Étienne Brûlé Lookout where you can enjoy a nice picnic with a great view.

Étienne Brûlé Lookout
If you planned ahead and parked a second car at the Lookout then you're quickly on your way. If you have to hike back you have two options, returning back on the Huron Trail or heading south on Trail 1 which is an shorter and easier route back to the Lac Fortune lot.

Huron Trail may be one of Gatineau Park's less traveled trails it is all worth it in the end.

Huron Trail Map

Huron Trail Elevation Profile

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