Later this summer we’ll be heading to Vancouver Island for a couple of weeks of vacation. As part of that vacation, the entire family will be hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine trail, exploring the west coast of Vancouver island and camping on the beaches as we go. To prepare for that, we’ve been donning packs and hiking the Gatineau Hills near Ottawa on the weekends, trying out our equipment and testing out the various freeze dried meals that are available to backpackers.
Yesterday we hiked the Wolf Trail out of the trailhead at Parking Lot P-13, at Blanchet Beach, on the western shore of Meach Lake. The trail is just under 8 km long, with some 300m of elevation gain over the distance.
Beginning at the Blanchet Beach trailhead the trail is a steady uphill climb criss-crossing a small stream. At the 1/2 km mark, the trail forks. The north fork continues another 3/4 km before crossing a small stream, and then steeply ascends another 1/2 km out of the forest to a pleasant ridge which opens up to a series of excellent views of the value below, and views of the Ottawa River valley to the south.
At about the 3.5 km mark a bench at the Mahingan Lookout provides a welcome spot for hikers to rest sore feet, and take in the views.
From the Mahinga Lookout one can look south to Ottawa River Valley.
The Tawadina Lookout at 5km is an even better spot to look out over the the Ottawa River Valley below, as well as a place to stop and eat lunch.
From the Tawadina Lookout, the remainder of the trail is an easy 3 km, mostly downhill through the forest, and back to the parking lot.
Photo’s taken with a 3 year old Nokia N95 phone, and maps taken from Garmin TOPO Canada collection. Janice also wrote about our little trek over on her blog, including comparing young Ben’s photos (taken with a 12Mp Casio Exilim, versus my 5Mp Nokia N95). She has uploaded three of Ben’s pictures to her Flickr stream, and they’re clearly better than mine.