P16 to Herridge (& Healey)
(Click on the map for a larger view of the surrounding area of the park.)
Trail # 50 (green) in the Gatineau Park. This is a shared trail for both skate and classic cross-country skiing. Total distance (there and back) is about 9 to 10 kilometres. ( scroll down for photos )
If trail # 1 is considered the backbone of the network of trails in the southeast area of the Gatineau Park, then the same could be said for the # 50 in the northwest section. One of the more popular parts of Trail # 50 is the segment between P16 and the Herridge Cabin. The beginning of the trail passes through some open fields, but most of it is located in a nice wooded area.
There's a fair amount of hill climbing right at the beginning. Once you get by these hills, this trail generally consists of a lot of little slopes. There is, however, a fairly large hill about one kilometre before the Herridge Cabin. This trail is fairly wide, and probably a single lane way during the summer. Trail # 50 is relatively easy to handle. Although the hills can be a little tiring to climb, they are not so steep as to be difficult to descend (but there are a few interesting twists and turns).
The Herridge Cabin is a very popular destination in this part of the Park. It is actually a two story log cabin, and it probably houses over a dozen picnic tables. It's certainly one of the more attractive cabins in the park, and it must have been a very nice home at some point in the past.
Note that Trail # 50 now serviced by the Healey Cabin. This is a recent addition to the cabins in the Gatineau Park. It opened for the 2007-2008 ski season. When coming from P16, it is located half a kilometre before Herridge. To get to it, it's necessary to turn onto a side trail for 300 meters (there are signs and it is easy to find). The Healey Cabin has large windows and lots of sitting area and is furnished with 5 or 6 good size tables. It should be a great alternative when Herridge gets croweded.
Going back to parking lot involves more downhill than uphill runs, and the return leg to P16 goes by faster than might be expected.
(Photos from this trail - click on the images for larger pictures )
Photo(s) and web page, © Michael McGoldrick, 2006.
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