Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sentiers des moulins (Mill Trail)

This location offers a good network of cross-country and snowshoe trails in the Lac Beauport area near Quebec City. Looking at their trail map I decided to snowshoe up to the Lac Beauport and Stoneham (ski resort) lookouts, followed by a quick stop at the Tourbillon cabin.

In general the trails were well marked. As you can tell by the elevation curves on the map, this was a good physical challenge. To avoid any doubt, the picture below proves that I made it up to the top, as shown by the "you are here" ("vous êtes içi") indication in the picture below.

The trails were really nice, with a great combination of lookouts, dense forest, good snow coverage and varied terrain.

Unfortunately, the trail map doesn't show all of the roads and snowmobile trails, which led to some confusion as to my progress around this loop (despite my navigation skills and having a compass with me). In the end it all worked out, but I would have preferred having a all of the details on the trail map.

I may be spoiled by the quality of the shelters in the Gatineau Park, but I found the Tourbillon cabin to be somewhat disappointing. Thankfully, I had no need to stay there for more than a few minutes and was on my way after taking a few quick pictures. Their web site shows many other cabin/shelter options, some look quite nice and comfortable.

All in all, despite a few opportunities for improvements, I really enjoyed snowshoeing in this area and would not hesitate to recommend it to others. I look forward to going back their myself.

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