Hiking season has officially started for us this year!
The road to the national park
Monday was Victoria Day in Canada so it was a day off and we were able to figure out somewhere fun to hike. Our plans almost did change in the morning but things worked out and we headed off to the Eastern Townships in Quebec to Mont-Megantic National Park.
Its about 2.5 hour drive for us to get there. We always stop at the visitor’s center first. Essential when you are doing a hike to get the bathroom break and also to pay for the fee while getting info on the trails. The lady at the desk was a great help and gave us a good idea of what trails were around us while also telling us the original trail we were going to do was still covered in snow. Usually that wouldn’t be a problem but I haven’t gotten around to getting a new pair of hiking shoes so I was in my running turned walking shoes so the grip wasn’t as good. We ended up going for the Le Mont-Megantic Trail which is a 10 km loop and takes you up to the observatory at the top. The entrance here includes parking and the entrance code to go to the observatory and sanctuary up the hill by car. So, we actually stopped at the top of the trail just before the hill up the observatory which was muddy and snowy in various areas. The trail here is intermediate (although it felt hard for a first hike). Here’s a few pictures and the scenery! Trust me, its so worth it!
The start of the trail! Easy and beautiful with streams running along each side
Close up of the stream
More stream..because I love it
Rocky hills to climb..thank you hiking poles
And more and more snow as we go to the end of the trail
The view at the first lookout
The view at the first lookout
Driving to the Observatory
View at the Observatory
View at the Observatory
A lovely trek but it was a little tough so the pictures were a little scarce for the path going up. Before I wrap this up, I’d love to share a video I posted on Instagram for the scenery at the Sanctuary since that is the top most part of the area and offered a 360 degree scenery almost.
There is a whole bunch of trails at this national park and we’re pretty sure that we’ll come back for some of the other ones later this season. Its a close enough drive and the Eastern Townships are pretty and the national park also has some space observation stuff that we’d love to check out when its not a statutory holiday and they are open.
Not sure when the next hike is but we’re planning on doing a lot more this year so I’ll probably be checking in with another trail that we’ve explored soon!
Two years ago, I tried for the first time, this delightful little activity called tree adventure. Arbraska is the name of the company that owns one of the most reputable of these.
Their most recent addition is located near the Gatineau area in Quebec. The area is located at Lafleche Park. Thanks to Tuango and its fantastic deals, my boyfriend and I got ourselves some and decided to go for the Victoria Day weekend (the one that just past if you aren’t familiar with Canadian holidays). We had two best friends with their respective boyfriend and husband join us. The more the merrier, right? Except this time, it wasn’t for tree adventure. Lafleche Park had a little addition and thats the cave exploration. We had a choice of two tours: one is the easier one called Discovery Tour (which is the one we chose) and the other is Exploration Tour which is more extreme with climbing through tight spaces. My boyfriend is a tad claustrophobic so we opted out of that.
The Discovery tour provides us with helmets with lights on it and the guide tells us how to use it and what to remember. We had to dress warm because once you enter the cave, the temperature drops down to about 4 degrees Celsius. Our guide even gave us a little taste of what the Exploration tour was with a little crawling space path as an alternative. A lot of us did go for it. Our group was a total of 21 people and had a lot of kids so they were all very excited about it. When we reached a higher platform, we sat down and saw one little bat sleeping in a little crevice on the ceiling. The guide said that we had to close the lights and be quiet and sometimes the bat would make little sounds but we only heard water dripping.
The trip could have benefited from a smaller group. Among us six, we all agreed to that. It took around an hour and was pretty interesting for general knowledge. The guide’s enthusiasm is a plus and we saw how certain areas was still waiting to be eventually discovered.
I’m still not so sure if I’d want to do Exploration tour, mostly because my mind goes back to the claustrophobic movie experience with The Descent. I have an overactive imagination so that happens. Although, I am quite curious about how it would be though.
I am quite certain that one day I’ll come back to try out the tree adventure. 🙂 It was a pretty cool experience. Plus, the area is very awesome. Here’s a shot of the surroundings.
There’s also a hiking trail there but remember to bring mosquito repellent because we got bitten alive and eventually just came back. Hiking and spontaneity is one of those things that don’t quite work together 😉
I’m a bit slow with putting this up since this was last weekend. Still, I think its a nice initiation of cave exploration. Its a new experience.
Have you ever gone cave exploring? Are you comfortable with dark small spaces?