Hiking: Parc National de Plaisance (Le Zizanie des Marais Trail)

With the big July month done with, our hiking resumes. Its still up in the air how frequent and where but we did find that we had never gone to Plaisance National Park which is in between Montreal and Ottawa and is a fairly simple flat hike. Its main attraction this year is the newly re-opened boardwalk after its destruction in 2017 (according to the Sepaq site).

There is a fairly decent amount of trails, not a lot is solely for hiking and walking but most of them are for hiking/walking and cycling. However, there are a few other ones that I have my eye on when we do come back. As for the returning to hiking after over a month away, we decided to take things easier and this one fit our criteria. We ended up parking at the information center which was a 3km hike to the boardwalk and then the boardwalk is a total of about 500m and then walking back so 6.5km as a comeback is pretty decent.

Trail to the Boardwalk

Parc national de Plaisance

As this is mostly walking around walking and wetlands, there’s a lot of scenes of that. The park also offers an array of water activities and equipment for rental which is something that could interesting for those into that sort of thing. We’ve been thinking about doing a canoeing trail soon but not for this one so above is a random shot as we walked towards the actual hiking trail.

Hiking Trail Portion

Parc national de Plaisance

The starting of the hiking trail is really nothing too crazy. If anything its in a forest and by water so there’s a ton of bugs as this year is fairly like that anyways. Not an issue usually but we thought this would be an easy hike and didn’t bring out hiking backpack which had our bug spray, it was an oversight on our end because other than the wetlands around us, we also did get thundershowers the night before. Either way, it wasn’t too bad since the trail isn’t too long but just a note for those who want to try this out.

Parc National de Plaisance

The trail went by a few lookout points. One is more general and the other is for shrubs growing in the wetlands. That wetlands area is pretty nice to look at. It had a lot of water lilies and shrubs.

Parc national de Plaisance

At the end of the normal walking trail is the boardwalk which the little stretch of trail is called La Zizanie de Marais. Its pretty beautiful especially since its really new also and pretty sturdy. It stretches across a good portion of the marsh land with 3 exits and trails that continue on at each side. One goes further in, the other loops back to the parking lot in the vicinity and back to the trail where we came from. In the center is something of a seating area to rest and enjoy.

Parc National De Plaisance

There’s a lot of little wetland aquatic plants and flowers surrounding it. The weather was partly cloudy so the sun kept coming in and out which made it really nice and not too hot.

Parc National de Plaisance

Parc National de Plaisance

I’ll be sharing more of the close-up shots of flowers on this wetland over at Avenue of Daydreams.

That’s honestly it for this trail. If you want to not walk from the info centre and save the 3km to and 3km from then there is a parking nearby. This trail is really nice especially since its completely newly re-opened. We love doing boardwalks and this one is just impressive.

As a finishing note, I have my eye on a trail that starts at the parking lot near the boardwalk so we should be back to do that at some point. Not sure if its this year since its fairly lengthy but its on our hiking to-do list right now.

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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. 

Vancouver & Kelowna: Redwood Park & Iona Jetty Regional Park

Welcome to Day 5 of my vacation this year in Vancouver and Kelowna! We are done with the Kelowna portion at this time but head over to Travel on the menu on top and it will go to the previous posts.

Day 5 is the first full day in Vancouver. We ended up doing two walking trails and going for some shopping.

No day starts without breakfast. Next door to us was IHOP. We both have never tried it so we went to give it a go.

IHOP Richmond

After that, we headed out to Redwood Park. My husband’s goal for this trip was to see sequoia trees and we heard there was in this park. It was a rainy day but had a break when we got there so it was a nice cool walk through the woods. The trails were a bit confusing but we ended up figuring out where everything was. It isn’t particularly a huge park but it was a pretty forest and we enjoyed it.

redwood park

redwood park
redwood park

redwood park

When we left, it started to rain really hard. You will see in the next few days, we won’t care as much and still pack up the days but seeing as we still had time, we made a stop at Mall Metropolis at Metrotown to try to find a raincoat for my husband since he didn’t have a jacket to better prepare for the next few days and ended up with the majority of the stuff on the shopping haul post HERE! Still, what captured me was this awesome Nintendo booth!

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Upon leaving the mall, the rain had died down a little more and we had eaten a quick lunch in the food court. We finally decided to head back to Richmond which is where our hotel is and decided to make a stop at Iona Jetty Regional Park.

Iona Jetty Regional Park

Iona Jetty Regional Park

Iona Jetty Regional Park

Iona Jetty Regional Park

Iona Jetty is a long walkway stretching out like a pier. It is right next to the landing strip at the airport so you can see planes landing in front of you all the time. There is a small beach there and wildlife to observe. However, most people go for the walk to whatever distance. We did a few kilometers and decided to turn around mostly because we had a family dinner later that night and had to freshen up and head out.

Unfortunately, my phone went crazy and we didn’t take any pictures of the dinner.

This wraps up Day 5 of vacation! 🙂
Day 6 is going to be a bit different because we went to a lot of picturesque places.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

I love reflections, especially in the water.  Seeing as this is still the weekend and I’m wrapping up Hong Kong month.  There were a few more photos from Ocean Park that was all about REFLECTIONS, but this time its the magic of REFLECTIONS in the mirror.

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Thats right! I do that sometimes when I don’t want to buy something. I try it on and take a picture for memories.

Its usually funky hats or headbands in this case.  Do you do it?

Next up, I took you to Sea Jelly Spectacular in Part 2: Ocean Park.  The key to that exhibit was how it was a kaleidoscope concept so we were surrounded by mirrors.

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No one did this when I was there.  Everyone was mesmerized by the actual tank of jellyfish and I was too.

The wall around us was full of mirrors.  Just look at this reflection…isn’t it amazing?

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Can you tell which one is the actual tank and which one is the reflection?

A Word A Week Challenge: Journey

Being on vacation means I’m always on a journey somewhere.  In Hong Kong, its all on public transport and sometimes it was over an hour of travelling.  It made Sue from A Word in Your Ear’s word for this week JOURNEY seem so on the spot.  (You can join into her challenge here for more details)  I had to think about which part of my trip felt like a journey.  Leading up from Ocean Park feature for the weekly photo challenge of green, I’m a bit late with this week’s word but I still wanted to participate to demonstrate my journey into the old days of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is different from China in the way that it was influenced by Chinese culture but also because it was a British colony before 1997, it has been influenced by colonial architecture around Hong Kong.  This makes Hong Kong into a different phase in its early days before modernization.  This part of Hong Kong is the part I want to show you.  Ocean Park now features a Old Hong Kong street area.  Here is a gallery to show you my journey through that.

Here is the walk down old Hong Kong street where we get an idea of how the stores looked.  There were side carts and people that sold fruits and vegetables and other goodies on the side of the street as well.  There were posters on all the walls advertising perfumes and lotions, ointments and messages from the government such as to preserve water.  One of the issues is that people needed to get water at a certain place and they only had a certain amount they could get so they would use old oil cans to fill it up and bring it back home to store and use accordingly. There is the old double decker buses and the first generation trams.  You even have the booth for where the traffic control officer would stand before traffic lights existed.  Also, there are rickshaws and we even get the actual frontal display of the theatres and how they looked.

I’m all about history and heritage when I talk about Hong Kong and I feel that as someone whose family is primarily born in Hong Kong, I find it important to understand how my grandparents and parents lived when they were younger and understand the past society.  It has been a tremendous change from back then till now.