As part of our continuing effort to get ready for the family trip to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail in BC, we set out yesterday morning on another trek through Gatineau Park. This time it was from the Meech Lake side of the Eardley Escarpment, over the top along the old McCloskey Road (Trail #2) to the Western Cabin on the far side of the escarpment, followed by lunch, views, and the the journey back. It was a total of 9.33 km walked, with approximately 200m of elevation gain, as you can see from the map and profile below.
Out of the parking lot, the trail rises steeply over the first kilometer. Mountain bikers use this track, so you have to keep an eye out for cyclists hurtling around corners at top speed. As a result, the trail is wide and well groomed for cyclists, even if a bit steep.
Along the way, you cross small bridges over the numerous creeks and streams tumbling down the hills. This one was at about the 500m mark, early on the initial ascent.
Just as we crested the escarpment, a little over 1 km into the trip, we spotted this young buck in the forest. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my long lense with me, otherwise I would have been able to take a much closer shot.
The western cabin was our destination, at about the 4 km mark. Here we ate lunch, and admired the incredible view across the Ottawa Valley to Dunrobin on the other side of the river. (Click to enlarge.)
There’s a fabulous bench along the escarpment side of the cabin where you can sit, watch the view, and admire the hawks circling above the cliffs looking for a meal.
The park was crawling with tent caterpillars too. Not that I normally want to have much to do with them, but they do make a pretty photograph!
From the Western Cabin, we headed back up the trail to the ridge road (Trail #1), and then North to Trail 24 (the McDonald logging trail) to complete our loop back to the trail head. The trip was just over 9.3km in length, and took us about 4 hours, including an hour stop for lunch at the Western Cabin.