The Pink Lake trail is definitely an emerald jewel in the Gatineau Park. From its sparkling green water to the many lookout and observation points, this trail has it all.
Easily accessible from the Gatineau Parkway, you are able to park at either the Pink Lake lookout or the Pink Lake trail parking lots. From here, the fun starts, and as the trail is a loop that circles the entire lake along its border, you have the choice to go clockwise or counter-clockwise. We chose the former for this visit. Exploring in this direction takes you to the best lookout points right from the start.
Pink Lake is very unique. Due to its sheltered location, provided by the surrounding trees and hills, the water is protected from most of the wind. This has the result of greatly limiting the movement of the water, and in fact, the water below 15m depth is void of any oxygen, a phenomenon that started over 10,000 years ago. The water receives its characteristic green hue due to the high algae content.
The following interpretation boards, posted along the trail help explain this unique geological location.
Needless to say, it's quite the sight to see and experience. As the lake is a sensitive area, visitors are asked to stay on the trails (which are very easy to follow), to help the regeneration process essential to the continued survival of the lake.
Walking the trail, you will come across plenty of lookout points, lots of stairs and sloping terrain, and plenty of benches to sit down and admire nature. The trail is more intermediate due to the climbs and stairs, but not as challenging as the King Mountain trail.
Overall, the Pink Lake trail is without a doubt among the top three trails of the park. The water, the scenery, the surrounding forests all combine to create a standout experience through nature.
Here are some photos from our visit to Pink Lake.
Finally the heat wave is over, and we can once again enjoy nature and the outdoors without working up a terrible sweat. Heading out around 10am, we forgot that it was Sunday Bike Day, meaning the parkways in Gatineau Park are closed to vehicle traffic. Our original destination would have been the Pink Lake trail, but not currently being accessible by car, we decided to go to the Discovery Trail instead, located along Meech Lake.
This trail can be accessed from the O'Brien's Beach parking lot (just minutes past Camp Fortune).
This trail starts off with some long hilly, but smooth terrain, before arriving at a small bridge crossing a stream off of Meech Lake. You can also catch a glimpse of the Lake and Kayakers in the distance... that was us just a few weeks earlier.
Continuing on, you will arrive at a signpost, at which you can head left and visit the Carbide Willson Ruins (see last year's report here: https://www.slopeedge.net/forum/topic/862-gatineau-park-carbide-willson-ruins/).
Overall, this is a relatively easy trail to enjoy. There are some climbs to do, but the terrain is all smooth and well maintained. The nature is stunning and the alternative views of Meech Lake by the small bridge are worth the visit.
More photos of the visit: