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Shane

Gatineau Park - Carbide Willson Ruins

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IMG_4106.thumb.jpg.8dd8092e95b16e80815ffb5e321acef5.jpgA beautiful clear Saturday afternoon called for a visit to Gatineau Park to do some hiking. The park is famous for its endless trails and the multitude of choices of where to go and how to get there. This trip was to visit the Carbide Willson Ruins. Located to the North of Meech lake, the ruins can be found after the 3km hike. The trail is not very challenging to get to the ruins, however, there is a long hill halfway there.

Surprisingly, the trail is quite popular and well traveled. Definitely, one of the more popular locations to visit.

Starting from the P11 parking lot by Meech lake, the trail heads up the hill to the North. The forest canopy providing plenty of cover and shade as you make the trip.

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Eventually, you reach a long downhill section, which culminates with a bridge over the lake. Looking South from here you can see Meech lake and the cottages that flank the shoreline. 

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Continuing along the path, you will eventually reach a directional sign post. Oddly enough, to get to the Ruins, you need to head in the Un-Marked direction (in other words, to the Right). 

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Very shortly after, you will arrive at the Ruins. With waterfalls and cascading streams, the building is something out of a movie. Tall and imposing over its domain, it is slowly being taken back by nature. Trees, vines and leaves shoot up from the inside of the building, which no longer has any windows, doors, floors or roof.

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The site is spectacular. A small bridge crosses over the water to the other side.

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A curious round building.

The Carbine Willson Ruins were originally constructed as a factory to produce Calcium Carbide fertilizer. The structures took approximately 1000 bags of cement and were built in the early 1910s.

No matter how you look at it, the site is immensely impressive.

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Beyond the ruins, the trail continues North and eventually hits more junctions, heading off in all directions of Gatineau Park.

Definitely something unique and different to experience, the Carbide Willson Ruins are another treasure of Gatineau Park, waiting for you to discover. No doubt, the Ruins will be even more spectacular when surrounded by the coming fall colours.

Happy hiking!

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    • By Shane
      It had been 3 years since we last explored these trails. With another hot and summery day upon us, it was time to stay cool by hitting the trails during the heat wave. It's truly amazing how nature and the trees can help regulate the heat. You really do not feel as hot when under the tree canopy.
      Arriving shortly after 11am (as the Gatineau Parkway roads are closed till 11 for the Sunday Bikedays), we parked at the lot by the Waterfall Trail. A short little slope down and to the left we find the tunnel, which passes under the parkway. After emerging on the other side, a fairly short hike brings us right to the Bridal Veil Falls. Heading back up and now to to the Lauriault Trail, the long trek begins. The terrain is relatively easy to cross, although there are some mild to hills along the way to go up and over.


      Eventually you arrive at a clearing and lookout point, perfect to see the surrounding region from up above.


      Heading back into the forest, the path takes us up one more hill and then back down some stairs into the Lauriault Parking lot. Here the trail gets a bit tricky if you aren't familiar with it (as it isn't marked where to go next). In actuality, you need to immediately cross the parkway road to the other side and the path resumes there. If you do not cross, you will find other paths that arrive at a small lake and picnic areas, very pretty, but with no real exit as they just loop back into the parking.


      After crossing the road, the trail continues, following the direction of the signpost towards the Waterfall Trail and Parking.
      This final stretch of the trail is relatively easy, with just a few hills, and before you know it (well it was longer than that), you arrive near the tunnel and the parking once again.
      A great trail to discover with a few sights to see along the way.
      Happy hiking!
      Here are some more photos from this hike.





    • By Shane
      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.
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      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!
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      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.


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