P19 to Lac Talyor
(Click on the map for a larger view of the surrounding area of the park.)
Trails # 50 (green) and # 55 (green & blue) in the Gatineau Park. Trail # 50 and part of # 55 are shared trails for both skate and classic cross-country skiing, while the other parts of # 55 are only for classic skiing. Total distance (there and back via a loop) is about 12 to 13 kilometres.
P19 is the furthest parking lot serving the cross-country ski network in the Park for people travelling from Gatineau or Ottawa. You have to drive past Wakefield to get to it.
Trail # 50 is one of the main routes through this part of the Gatineau Park, and is located on what would be a paved road during the summer. It's wide and has long easy-to-handle slopes. Before long you'll turn right onto the # 55, an enjoyable trail which eventually loops back to the # 50. In comparison to each other, the # 50 feels like a highway, while the # 55 feels more like an isolated laneway.
The # 55 has both forested and open areas, and one part of this trail parallels the bottom of a very steep hill (almost a cliff), while another follows the shoreline of Lac Taylor. The scenery in this part of the Gatineau Park is quite interesting. One gets the impression that the hills are bigger and more rounded that those in the Park in the Chelsea area.
For the most part, the # 55 is a relatively manageable green trail. However, as you get closer to Lac Taylor, a small section (a little less than a kilometre) is classified as a blue trail, and it has at least one challenging hill. Nevertheless, this part of the # 55 may be ideal for someone who want to try their hand at something more difficult than a green trail, but doesn't want to get stuck doing a long stretch on a blue trail.
The # 55 becomes a green trail again when you reach Lac Taylor, and here, you will pass one of the accommodations for people who want to sleep over in the Gatineau Park. It is a large semi-permanent circular tent called a Yurt. Continuing on Trail # 55 will eventually bring you past Lac Renaud. Shortly afterwards, turn right to get to the Renaud Cabin. It is a day-use cabin which has about half a dozen picnic tables. Its painted plywood interior is not as nice as some of the others cabins in the Park.
The Renaud Cabin is located not far where trail # 55 loops back to the # 50, and from here it is an easy ski back to P19.
It should be noted that in addition to the Yurt on Lac Taylor, there are two overnight cabins and a winter camping site in the vicinity of where the # 55 joins the # 50. Some are used for organized excursions, and as a result, you can expect to see more "group" traffic on these trails. There is a fee for using the overnight facilities and reservations are required. Click here for more information about the overnight facilities.
(Photos from this trail - click on the images for larger pictures )
Photo(s) and web page, © Michael McGoldrick, 2006.
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