Hiking: Parc National de Frontenac (Le Massif de Winslow Trail)

Last week’s hike went to a visit out to a farther side of the Eastern Townships as we headed to check out the trails at Frontenac National Park. The hiking trails there are normally in the more easy category with a few longer ones in the intermediate. Seeing as our last hike went a little more difficult than we had imagined, this was a good option for us. The final decision after talking to the visitor center was that Le Massif de Winslow Trail was the one most worth it to do which is about a 20 minute drive further to reach its parking lot for where the trail starts.

Le Massif de Winslow trail did have a few need to haves for sure if you are planning to go. Bug spray being one of the most important as it is lined with stagnant water all around with little lakes and lots of puddles and water on the left and right for a good portion of the beginning trail. Luckily, we did have all of that so we came out with not too many mosquito bites. Just a friendly advice before you decide to go. Sunscreen could also be good since the good portion of the beginning has not a lot of shade.

Parc national de Frontenac

If we were to talk about Le Massif de Winslow, it would be in 3 parts. The first is the above section. Its in the open air on flat ground walking towards the first intersection. There is a lot of lakes around it, a lot of insects flying around, bullfrogs here and there in the ponds on the side and then tiny little frogs that you can barely seeing hopping around the path every once in a while.

Parc national de Frontenac

The second part of the path is a turn into the actual forest path. it still is fairly flat but goes into this dense forest landscape. There are less bugs and less ponds and we start seeing some running water of little streams before you hit the next intersection which is a loop to go to the various lookout points: one is a beach and lake lookout and the other is a lower mountain to look at the scenery from a higher point of view.

Parc National de Frontenac

Parc National de Frontenac

Since it a loop in the third part, we went the counter clockwise direction (which seems to be the path less chosen) but its a good choice since the lookout points are fairly together at the beginning of the clockwise so it ended out trail with a nice scenery before heading back into the normal path. The height of the mountain isn’t too high but has a bit of weaving in and out at a short distance to get the mountain view so that was probably the more difficult part of the trail.

Parc National de Frontenac

The way back also passed through a lovely little waterfall like this one which was pretty awesome. Le Massif de Winslow in the end is just different in the loop so as the loop finishes off the mountain, the rest of the way is just flat land and going back the way that the trail starts.

That’s it for this hiking adventure!
Hiking might be taking a little break in July as the weather gets hotter and the schedule gets busier.
We’ll be back to it in August!

Hiking: Gatineau Park -Sugarbush Trail/Waterfall Trail (Gatineau, Canada)

Hiking season has officially started for us! At the point that this post is going out, most national parks and provincial parks around us should be open. It wasn’t quite the case the previous week when we went to Gatineau Park as they were in a transition phase and only certain trails were open.

The first stop we made was at the information center at Gatineau Park. In that area, the only path open was the Sugarbush Trail. We ended up doing that one as a warm-up since we were already there before heading to the next area.

Sugarbush Trail

Sugarbush Trail

The Sugarbush Trail is one of the winter hiking trails at Gatineau Park. It runs for 1.9 km all around. Its a fairly flat trail with just the normal nature scenery like a mild walk in the forest. Its a good place to warm-up especially since its our first hike just to warm up the legs. There are a few little things to see but it also is quite packed with people. We weren’t sure if its because its an easy trail or the fact that it was the one at the Visitor Centre and people just went because they were already there. Whatever the reason, good warm-up but not really something challenging either.

Moving on to the next trail..this time at P6 of Gatineau Park running through Mackenzie King Estate is the Waterfall Trail.

Window to the Forest

P6 is the parking at the Mackenzie King Estate which we also haven’t been to before so it was an adventure to also see the parts of it that were open. I didn’t really take any pictures of it other than this Window To the Forest one.

We had to cut through the Gardens to reach the Waterfall Trail.  Here’s a few pictures of the the constant running creeks along the way, which is exactly the type of hiking trail that I like because water sounds are about the most soothing in the entire world (at least to me). There is a little bit of elevation here as well but it is fairly gradual.

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

The trail starts in its first part with a creek running alongside. As we we walk further on, its a fairly tame experience. The forest is calm and quiet.

As we head into the second part crossing towards the waterfalls area, we need to traverse through a tunnel which is pretty much a giant pipe. Cue in all the horror films that I’ve seen before where it was in some dark passageway. This one is done pretty well however because it has a nice wooden pathway inside.

Gatineau Park

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

On the other side of the tunnel, the ground elevation still is fairly gradual in change but there are more of the little drops in water throughout. Its one of those parts that are particularly  nice to see. The water is still more of a creek winding to the waterfall, which marks the end of the trail. You can see it below.

Waterfall Trail Gatineau Park

Waterfalls are a my thing for sure. Its one of the reasons a lot of the times, our trails have some kind of waterfall for my likes or some peak of the mountain view. The waterfall isn’t exactly the biggest we’ve seen but then its also quite surprising that hidden in the woods behind the Mackenzie King Estate is this beautiful walk in the park. You can’t say that Mackenzie King didn’t know how to enjoy life back in the days, right?

That’s it for our first official hike recap at Gatineau Park. 
My guess is that we’ll go back to Gatineau Park later in the summer to check out another trail.
Or at least until the summer trails officially kick in because when we went it was still the winter trails which were quite limited. 

Hiking: Parc Regional du Mont-Ham – Button & Panoramique Trails

The second hike of 2018 takes us back to the Eastern Townships of Quebec to the Parc Regional du Mont-Ham.

We actually found this one the way back from the last hike in a little pamphlet. There is a nice variety in the trails and the loop you choose to make. If you want to do the direct path, the L’Intrepide trail is 1.7km (intermediate to difficult level) and takes you on a climb to the summit. Of course, being the hikers that we are, we decided to do one of the longer loops starting out in the Button Trail to reach the summit and consequently hitting about 3 lookout points before, then going back on the Panoramique Trail. It took us about 4 hours to complete the 6.9 km route we went for. These two trails are also intermediate to difficult levels so much to our surprise, it was very challenging with the steep slopes and constant quick changes in elevation. A lot of times, hiking for us is both exercise but to see the natural beauty around us at the peak and this one takes you to the absolute peak of Mont-Ham so nothing is obstructing the view (except other hikers). There’s a cross at the top and its quite the climb where they give you ropes to go up. Like I said, its a pretty awesome spot. We actually like to do secluded spots so this location was a little too popular for our preference but we still thought the feeling was fantastic.

Here’s a few snapshots of the trail!

And for a more 360 degrees view, here’s my Instagram video for it. Of course, if you want the updates more, just follow me there. I don’t post a ton but a lot of this hiking views and food stuff.

This wraps up this hiking adventure!
A memorable and breathtaking one as well as a very crazy uphill trek!
We climbed up rocks and hopped down rocks and it almost felt like an obstacle course at some parts.

Vacation 2017 Day 3: Prince Edward Island Drive

And we continue our journey of Day 3 recap of our Vacation 2017.

Today’s itinerary includes mostly a drive around Prince Edward Island. One of my husband’s request for the trip was to cross the Confederation Bridge so that’s what we are doing today. Hopefully, we’ll manage to get a hike in and see some nice scenery. We had a sudden change in our plans halfway through the day as we stopped for lunch to meet up with one of my good friends currently undergoing training in Charlottetown, which was pretty cool.

Let’s see Day 3!

Shediac, New Brunswick
World’s Largest Lobster

Shediac

In the words of my fantastic Game Warp Podcast cohost when I sent this picture to him, he wondered why and who thinks of these things. But then, why not, right? The Atlantic Canada is known for their seafood and PEI for their lobsters. I visited this when I was 12 probably (or younger) and it doesn’t look as menacingly large anymore although still very sizable.

Crossing the Confederation Bridge to PEI

We had a gloomy morning heading into Prince Edward Island. What can we do, right? Breakfast was included at the Days Inn in Moncton so that was pretty awesome. It took one headache off our hands and gave us time to hit the road faster and cross bridge which takes over 10 minutes to cross, I think. The speed can’t be too fast and its about 13kms long.

Lots of Lighthouses Along the Way

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island

Not weird for an island to have plenty of lighthouses and Prince Edward Island had a whole lot. We obviously didn’t stop at all of them, because we are under a time crunch, much more than we even imagined. You’ll see… However, these lighthouses are different just from where they are located and how they are taken care of really seems like they have their own story behind each one.

Port-La-Joye-Fort Amherst

 

Port La Joye Fort Amherst

Port La Joye Fort Amherst

A last minute decision to turn into this National Historic Site to check it out! Port-La-Joye-Fort Amherst is a pretty location. It has several walking trails spanning out of the main trail. There is some history to learn from this land during war and still seeing a part of the formation/trenches. It was a gloomy day and the rain was going to hit any time so we did the main trail, took a general look around, borrowed their washrooms before getting back on the road.

Lunch at Charlottetown

Swiss Chalet

Swiss Chalet

This trip has marked both a lunch and a dinner experience at two different Swiss Chalet restaurants. Funny, because both of us haven’t eaten there before and we wanted to see how it was. The dinner in Moncton wasn’t so good but this lunch at Charlottetown was much better. A nice and relaxing meal to catch up with our friend about what is going on and his upcoming plans.

Prince Edward Island National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

PEI National Park

Cavendish Beach

PEI National Park

Green Gables House

Prince Edward Island National Park spans over the top part of the island with three areas to visit. We visit maybe two of the areas as we drove along the scenic routes. The highlight is to visit Green Gables House and the Cavendish Beach’s sand dunes. Our little last minute detour did cost us more time than anticipated however we did see these beautiful sceneries, plus at two parts, we actually saw a fox. You see one of them here, right in the middle of the road. It did break my heart a little to see it so skinny. I think it was looking for food which we don’t have and I don’t believe we should give food to wildlife anyways.

This was the final stop before exiting the National Park. For us, it was getting late and we still had to get to Summerside and exit the island and head further up to our next hotel. At this point, we were certain that we were immensely behind schedule.

Dinner at Summerside, PEI: Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West

Five Eleven West was the best meal on our trip. While we were behind schedule, we still took time to relax for a nice meal and just enjoy ourselves. My husband loved the burger, and I was pretty happy with my mussels. However, the show stopper here is the sweet potato fries. They were awesomely delicious.

Last stretch to Miramichi, New Brunswick

Prince Edward Island

Sunset

Prince Edward Island

Confederation Bridge from afar

Crossing back to New Brunswick on Confederation Bridge

We ended up getting to Days Inn Miramichi past 10pm. It wasn’t bad but we pretty much got to showering and resting right away as we have a long day on the final day and pretty much our trip back home for another 9 hours. And we do recommend Day Inn Miramichi if you ever decide to go there. Really nice service, the rooms are comfortable and spacious and breakfast is included.

That wraps up Day 3 of Vacation! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! 🙂

Have you been to Prince Edward Island?
Did you visit the red sand beaches and the sand dunes or even Green Gables House?

Vacation 2017 Day 2: Fundy Bay Coastal Drive, New Brunswick

Moving onto Day 2 of our vacation!

To compensate for the incredibly long drive on the first day, we decided to take it a little easier on the driving department and instead of the 900+ kilometres of the first day, we actually only have about 400 kilometres in the second day. However, we do have some time sensitive spot to hit and also want to get some hiking in so its going to be a time trial all on its own. Good thing that we are great with working on tentative schedules and don’t mind missing out on things if we need to. The second day works mostly along the Fundy Bay Coastal Drive.

Let’s go!

Breakfast at Mix Resto-Bar

Mix Resto-Bar Mix Resto-Bar

Seeing as we were tight on time, we decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant and went back to Mix Resto-Bar. The selection was pretty good. My husband had the belgian waffles and I had the classic breakfast with 2 eggs and bacon. It was very good and really enjoyable.

We took a quick walk to our first stop…

First Stop: Saint John’s City Market, New Brunswick

Saint John's City Market

Saint John’s City Market

Our first stop was a quick walk to Saint John’s City Market which was open pretty early so it fit our schedule. We picked up some apples for the road and also some souvenirs for the family. I’ll have a haul post in a few days. My family reads this and I’d like them to get their gifts before I post it up here to ruin the surprise.

And back on the road after check-out!

Fundy National Park

Viewpoint in Fundy National Park

Second stop: Fundy National Park – Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National  Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Fundy National Park

Dickson Falls Trail

Dickson Falls Trail in Fundy National Park is a really nice short trail. Its a pretty easy trail and for us needing to do a quick but pretty one, it fit perfectly. Along most of the hike is walking next to the flowing stream of water that came from the waterfall. If you don’t know, I love waterfalls. A major sucker for them. A lot of times, its really the treat of hiking on certain trails. If you need, just flashback to a Saguenay hiking where we did the Sentiers des Chutes.

 At this point, we were getting incredibly close to missing out on walking the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks so its time to press on…

New Brunswick

Stop on the way…

Third Stop: Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

Hopewell Rocks

We made it with about 30 minutes to actually walk around on the ocean floor. I had been here before but last time, we came on tour so it wasn’t as much time so this time, we actually walked across the entire length. We made it to one viewpoint as we walked back which is about a 15 minute from the entrance to the ocean floor access. I actually took a few pretty cool macro shots however those shots will be over on Avenue of Daydreams. I’m going to have that up and running back to normal again.

As the thunderstorms caught up with us, we sat down for a late lunch at the restaurant at the Hopewell Rocks area.

Fourth stop: Magnetic Hill, Moncton, New Brunswick

Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill has changed a lot from my memory of it. My husband and I decided to try out the Magnetic Hill experience, which is pretty much an optical illusion made by the rolling hills next to it to create the effect that it is pulling your car uphill and all you have to do is steer. Here’s a little video of our experience. Its mostly my husband talking. He’s only steering and for him, that is a strange experience.

Moncton was where we made our stay for the second day at the Days Inn.
We had dinner for the first time at Swiss Chalet and also went to New Brunswick Liquor to find some local wines.

Check back this weekend for the haul and next week for Day 3!

Hiking: Owl’s Head

More hiking was set for us on that week of staycation we had. With a little research, we found our second location which is rather nearby to Montreal also at a offseason ski resort, Owl’s Head. I’ve only ever heard of it before. Owl’s Head, just like most ski locations but hiking spots in the summer/fall, are really another type of beast. They have some designated paths but mostly, its a free walk uphill. Owl’s Head was no different. In fact, the trek up was pretty intense. it was incredibly steep and pretty tiring for such a short walk. We didn’t make it all the way but we did get almost there except for a winding path that went up to a booth or ski station or something. However, the view along the way opened up over a lake and with the leaves changing colors, it was really breathtaking.

Here are some shots of what we saw. It gives an idea of how steep it was and also the views we saw. On our way down, we actually encountered a cute little fellow and I took a little video of it.

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

And for our little porcupine encounter. This porcupine is definitely not full grown but then I’m not a porcupine expert. It was adorable as heck as it walked around forward and in circles and forward more and then went up the hill. It was a slightly windy day so sorry about all the windy  noises.

A lovely  little location for a short but challenging hike. It was getting cooler that day and on the hills near where we saw the porcupine, there was frost forming on the grass. Still, we enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes, hiking can really get to us and we want to give up but when we turn around and see all the natural beauty around us, it gets us all pumped up again to go higher and makes it all worth it!

Vancouver + Kelowna: Trails, Winery & Family BBQ!

Kelowna is located in the Okanagan Valley area in Canada. It is beautiful and stunning and just absolutely breathtaking to explore. The day after my cousin’s wedding, we only had a late afternoon gathering at my cousin’s home for a barbecue with the family. We decided to head out for some hiking/walking trails to see capture some lovely scenery and get some exercise. We went out to a winery for lunch and then rounded up the day with the barbecue. That is the quick runthrough.

Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

Kuiper's Peak Mountain Park

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Kuiper’s Peak Mountain Park is a short 5 to 10 minute trail. There are mountain bike trails as well. This park’s wildlife is still recovering after a forest fire in 2003.

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park

Bertram Creek Regional Park also suffered from the forest fire in 2003. It is a casual walking trail along the Okanagan Lake. There’s a beach and a little area to walk out to take pictures.

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

Cedar Creek Winery Estate

We went to Cedar Creek Winery Estate to have a quick lunch and then went out to walk around. Suffice to say, it was absolutely gorgeous. I’ll be talking about the lunch portion in a separate post.

Family Barbecue

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The family gathering was fun and grand. My cousin’s home is beautiful. They had food catered there and they made burgers for everyone as well. There was this cool sparking wine or cider (local) called Bling. It tasted really good.

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The view from my cousin’s place is absolutely breathtaking. It kind of makes its a life goal to try to move out to Kelowna eventually just to live in this quiet little city.

That’s it for Day 3!
Drop by again to check out the Cedar Creek Winery Estate Restaurant post later this week!