Monday, 22 October 2007

Wolf Trail

wolf outlook

For the end of October it was like early summer, sunny with temps in the mid 60s so Bryan and I booked the day off and headed up to the Gats to take in the last of the fall colors from the best viewpoint in the park. The Wolf trail is about 7 or 8 kilometres if you do the entire loop so you can take your time at each of the outlooks. I starts at a parking lot on Meech lake and goes up and over the escarpment to a lookout over the Ottawa river valley. One part of the loop climbs up and then along a ridge with great views to the south. We sat for an hour or so on this south facing ledge. The colors seemed past their prime as most of the reds had disapeared but there were still some bright yellows and fading oranges. When we weren't checking out the colors there was a steady stream of colorful hikers who were also out enjoying the day.

wolf trail panorama

The return part of the loop is lower down and in the forest. On the way back we spent an equal amount of time taking photos of the trees as well as of the leaves on the ground (many looked quite artistic at the time!). What a great way to spend an afternoon! I doubt this weather will last long and all I can say is "Bring on the snow!!"

Wolf trail under blanket of leaves leaves on meech lake
rower on meech lake

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Friday, 12 October 2007

Pink Lake colors

pink lake panorama
I took off right after work to sample the fall colors in Gatineau park. I think I may have missed them at their prime but they were still pretty great. There weren't that many cars on the various parkways but the lot at Pink Lake was so full that people were parked on the side of the approach road.

Boardwalk around Pink Lake
Pink Lake has a trail about 2k long that loops around it. The shores around the lake are quite steep and so they have a big problem with erosion. As such a lot of the trail is boardwalks and staircases with small lookouts with views of and across the lake. This is a nice scenic hike that has some nice views that look right out of a Group of Seven art gallery. Also at various spots there are plaques describing the interesting geological signifigance of the lake.

It was quite cold although a nice sunny afternoon. Let's hope that it snows soon and I can visit the lake again,....on skis!

pink lake colors pink lake colors
pink lake colors

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Thursday, 4 October 2007

Giant to New Russia traverse

bryan and ken with great range background
This is an awesome Adirondack hike with plenty of above treeline terrain that is a great choice for viewing the fall colors. From west to east it goes over Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge before descending via Rocky Peak, Bald mountain and Blueberry Cobble to a trailhead on rte 9 in New Russia. Hiking from west to east makes for less ascending and for better sunlight for photos earlier in the day from Giant and RPR. Ken and I enlisted our friend Bryan to join us for his first two Adirondack high peaks.

dix range
Bryan and I met up with Ken at the NR trailhead, arriving somewhat later that anticipated. Excuses and apologies were provided and then we were off to the Giant trailhead on rte 73 (in my car). One might think the trails would be empty on a Thursday in early October but there were five groups signed in ahead of us and on our way up Giant we were passed by two groups of high schoolers from Lake Placid. On the summit of RPR we met another high school group doing the our traverse in the opposite direction.

ken lounging on rocky peak
We were moving slowly and took 3.5 hours to summit Giant. The remaining distance and hours of daylight left meant that we had to keep moving but we still had time to stop at RPR for more photos and stop to snack on Rocky Peak and Bald Peak. Some of the best views of the day were looking back at the peaks that now were bathed in bright afternoon sun. I easier going downhill at this point and there was only the occasional up (and thankfully the trail went round one of the peaks rather than over it!). Still the light was fading when we hit the flat part of the trail and it was dark when I made it to the car.

This was a great choice for my last ADK hike of the season and one I highly recommend!

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