(Click on the map for a larger view of the surrounding area of the park.)
The Carbide-Willson ruins are off trail # 36 (blue) located a little over one kilometre from P 11. ( scroll down for photos )
The Carbide-Willson ruins are one of the more interesting destinations in the park, and quite easy to get to from P 11. From P11, you'll have to ski about one kilometre on Trail # 36, and then turn right onto a back-country trail. The turn off is located shortly after the first small bridge you'll cross on trail # 36. Pay attention because the signpost indicating the turn off point has been in disrepair for awhile, and no longer has an arrow pointing out the trail (at the time of this writing in 2006).
From the turn off point, it's about half kilometre ski to the ruins. This back-country trail is fairly flat, except for the hills you have to descend as you get close to the ruins. This trail can be somewhat difficult to ski because a lot of people walk on it.
The ruins are of a mini industrial complex that was built in the early 1900s by Thomas Willson. It was used to conduct experiments on condensing phosphoric acid to produce phosphate fertilizer. Thomas Willson was one of Canada's more significant inventors, and he gained the nickname "Carbide" when he discovered how to produce calcium carbide. His patents were sold to what later became the Union Carbide company in the United States.
The fast moving waters of Meech Creek (a small river) next to the ruins are very picturesque. The creek is flowing much too fast to freeze, and water vapour collects on overhanging branches to form frost.
All in all, the Carbide-Willson ruins are definitely worth a visit. The only down side is that a lot of people can be found walking on the trails in this area. Although there are signs indicating that this is not permitted, people seem oblivious that they are not supposed to walk on the ski trails.
(Photos from this trail - click on the images for larger pictures )
Photo(s) and web page, © Michael McGoldrick, 2006.
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