It was a beautiful Sunday morning. Wanting to change things up a bit from our usual weekend routine of kayaking or hiking, we decided to go cycling. As we live in the Plateau sector of Gatineau, it is unbelievably easy to bike in minutes to Gatineau Park. Entering Gatineau Park from the pathway entrance just across from Tim Horton's on St. Raymond, we headed towards the Pioneers trail and the Gatineau Park Welcome Centre, located at P3. From here, heading East we continued on Sentier du Parc de la Gatineau, which runs near the road and has some short hills and plenty of turns and curves through the trees.
A quick right turn at an intersection and we are brought down another path that travels underneath Boulevard des Allumetieres to cross to the other side. From here, the trail eventually rejoins and follows along closely to Allumetieres until you exit on St. Raymond. A little detour through a residential area and we are back on the path, this time the Pioneers Pathway. Featuring a few hills and a wooden bridge over a creek, this trail passes through a relatively dense forest area, where the sun interacting with the tree leaves produced beautiful light rays to pass through.
Finally, the trail reaches one more intersection that leads us to the pedestrian overpass over Allumetieres, and towards home in the Plateau... and more bike trails through nature.
I can't stress it enough, Gatineau Park is a jewel, and a paradise in nature. Whether it is to hike, walk, kayak, cycle or anything else, the scenery is beautiful and stunning and the park is immaculate. You never leave for home disappointed so come on out, discover your paradise and enjoy!
Here are some pictures of our experiences out on the cycling trails. This trip was a loop that we did and was about 10km in distance, but at several points, there are plenty of options to stretch it even further and head off into new directions.
Sentier du Parc de la Gatineau
Heading up to the pedestrian overpass to cross over Allumetieres.
The view from this angle on the bridge looks like something you'd see in Montreal or Laval... are we still in Gatineau?
Heading onto the Sentier des Fées in the Plateau.
A perfect day out on the lake. Lac La Peche, located about 20 minutes West of Wakefield, is the largest lake in Gatineau Park. It is also possibly the most peaceful and relaxing to kayak. The beach is expansive, with plenty of room, making it easy to launch your kayak, canoe or small boat.
Today, the wind was fairly strong, which had the effect of creating strong enough waves to push you around in the water. Luckily shortly after lunch the winds died down and it was much more enjoyable.
This visit we decided to head to the left after setting off from the beach. We reached a small shore, perfect to get out at and stretch.
There are several points across the lake that look nice to visit, from the twin rocks that are popular for people to fish or jump in the water, to the sandy shorelines across to the other side.
Just like Lac Philippe, you are able to rent kayaks and canoes at the lake, so if you want to experience it but don't have your own, the opportunity is there.
Overall, the perfect setting to stay cool in the summer. The beach is quite large, the lake is definitely inviting and the blue and green panoramic landscape is relaxing to take in.
The only downside of this lake, whether coming to enjoy the beach or the water, is the gravel road that lasts about 8km, and takes 15-20 minutes to drive to reach the parking and the beach. While I understand that not every road can be paved, when they charge $12 vehicle access fee to reach the lake, it's not excusable. The dust flying as cars drive the road and though the parking is a bit much, and you are sure to have the rear of your car covered in dust by the time you arrive. Hopefully one day the NCC does the right thing and use the access money collected to pave the road.
Here are some pictures from our time out on the lake.
The twin rocks.
Heading to the shore to stretch.