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.
Here are some more photos from this hike.
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.