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.

Advertisements

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: Parc National de la Yamaska (La Digue & La Pinede Trail)

Hiking is still top on our list of activities when we get to chance on the weekends. The last weekend, we headed out a little later than normal due to a prior appointment. After some thinking, we decided to go for a closer location and ended up going to Parc National de la Yamaska (Yamaska National Park) which is mostly known for the Yamaska Beach. I hadn’t gone to this park since a really long time ago. At least over 20 years ago, I’d say when I went with my mom and her friends to the beach. However, its been so long that I don’t remember any of it.

One quick walk around, you can see that there are a lot of water sports that are available on site. At the same time, the hiking trails are for both cycling and walking and if it interests you, it seems there are some winter trails here as well.

Parc National de la Yamaska

While we would have wanted to their Grand Tour trail, which is 19+km long, it just felt more like a cycling trail to do in a day rather than walking so in the end, we decided to go via the La Digue trail and connect to the La Pinede Trail. Parc National de la Yamaska is a fairly flat park so there aren’t a lot of elevations or many views either but they do have a few spots that we found. Its not exactly exciting in terms of hikes but it is a good one to kick off the season and warm up a little before hitting anything more intense.

I’m not exactly sure where the La Digue actually starts so I’m just going to share some pictures.

Along the path we found a little lookout path that pretty much looked out at the river. It didn’t really have a lot to see but there was some views of the water sports going on outside.

On the La Digue Trail, there is also a secondary path. The La Digue also leads to the Choiniere Reservoir which is a stone wall on the North Yamaska River. There are some signs that talk about the wildlife there as well and looks out into the best view on the trail (in my opinion).

Parc National de la Yamaska Parc National de la Yamaska

The rest of the trail looks a bit like this…

Parc National de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

Parc National de la Yamaska

That’s really it for this walk. We walked probably around 10km and something. Its a nice little walk although a little lacking on the viewpoints (as mentioned before).

Hiking: Le Mont-Megantic Trail – Mont Megantic National Park

Hiking season has officially started for us this year!

Eastern Townships

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!

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!