Trail #71 - Full Loop
Following yesterday's pleasant discovery of a small portion of trail #71, I decided to try the full loop today. Conditions were good to very good, with only a few bare spots here and there on steep sections or areas shaded by a lot of trees.
From P15, with the wind in my face and the sun in my back, I took on the full force of the minus twenty-something windchill by choosing a counter-clockwise direction around the loop.
The first part of the trail on on very flat but picturesque fields in the adjoining valley.
The trail is well marked however it could be easy to miss the signs in a heavy snowstorm.
There was tons of powder to be had for anyone willing to wander a foot or two off the beaten path.
Eventually you must cross a steep ravine created by small stream.
Here is the first crossing...
...and here is the second. Not that difficult but a definite contrast from the surrounding fields.
After 2 km you reach an intersection with Trail #71 headed in two different directions, one way leads to trail #72, the other way continues the trail #71 loop (a rather confusing set-up, see the map above).
In the picture below, I arrived from the left and continued to the right towards the rest area on trail #71 (as described in yesterday's post
). From here it's another 2.5km to the rest area, then 1km to trail #70 and another 1km back to P15 (for a total of 6.5 km).
A round-trip to Brown cabin in one day would be doable but I wouldn't take this way Healey cabin unless I was staying there overnight. For a day-trip to Healey, trail #70 provides a much more direct route.
The second part of the trail leads to the very peaceful Carman lake. I was surprised to see open water on the lake near the trail.
When I saw the bridge I then realized that the lake empties out into a stream at this point.
Upstream view from the bridge looking back onto the lake.
Downstream from the bridge is an old water-level control dam.
The third part of the trail takes us back into the mountains. You'll notice from the contour lines on the map above some rather lengthy and steep climbs. In the picture below, my camera is horizontal looking towards one of these steep sections.
After a while, the terrain levels out and the trail takes you through some very pleasant wooded areas of the park.
Thankfully a fire was already burning at the rest area, enough to keep warm during a quick snack before the last 2 km back to the parking lot.
Total time: 2h45m at a brisk pace and with short breaks.
Labels: Carman lake, gatineau park, snowshoeing, trail #71