P12 to Western
(Click on the map for a larger view of the surrounding area of the park.)
Trails # 40 (blue), # 33 (blue), and # 2 (blue) in the Gatineau Park. Trail # 40 is only for classic cross-country skiing, while Trails # 33 and # 3 are shared trails for both types of skiing. Total distance (there and back) is close to 10 kilometres. ( scroll down for photos )
It should be noted that the drive to P12 involves a fairly long stretch along a relatively narrow road on the south shore of Meech Lake.
This entire route to the cabin at Western is composed of blue trails and can be challenging. When going towards the cabin, most of trails # 40 and # 33 involves working your way up a large ridge to get to a plateau at the top of the hill. In other words, it can sometimes seem like you are climbing hill after hill. Some can be quite steep and many have twisty turns.
These trails go through a nice wooded area that still let in lots of sunlight. There are also a number of bright open areas. The # 40 can be especially scenic and parts of this trail run along a brook and follows a ravine.
The cabin at Western offers one of the best views of any the shelters in the park. It sits on top of the buff and overlooks the Ottawa Valley and the Ottawa River (roughly opposite Dunrobin) . This great view can be enjoyed through the cabin windows or when sitting on a long bench outside. Western is a cozy rustic cabin that is built with large round logs, but it's not very big (maybe only 6 or 7 picnic tables). The wood stove in this cabin has a glass door for viewing the fire.
(Photos from this trail - click on the images for larger pictures )
Photo(s) and web page, © Michael McGoldrick, 2006.
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