P7 to Keogan
Trails # 30 (blue) and # 1 (green) in the Gatineau Park. These are shared trails for both skate and classic cross-country skiing. Total distance (there and back) is about 8 to 9 kilometres. ( scroll down for photos )
The route from P7 to the Keogan Cabin is a very popular one, and most of it consists of what can be described as a challenging green trail. The first part after leaving P7 is actually a blue trail, the # 30. This section has a number of good hills, plus one fairly steep one with a right angle turn half way up. Fortunately, the hills on trail # 30 represents a relatively short segment of the overall distance to Keogan.
Once at the top of the steepest hill (where trail # 30 meets the # 1), turn around a look back. There is a view of the Ottawa valley through the trees. From this point onwards, you will be on green trail # 1 all the way to Keogan. There are quite a few ups and downs, but no more really big hills.
The Keogan Cabin is one of the more popular ones in the park. It is a destination for skiers coming from various directions, including P10. It's larger than it first appears from the outside, and has about a dozen picnic tables inside. This cabin can fill up fairly quickly on nice afternoons on weekends. There are outhouse toilet facilities in the vicinity of Keogan.
The trip back to P7 may be a touch faster because there are slightly more downhill sections, and this will be especially true on the last part on Trail # 30. But be careful with that steep hill with the right hand turn half way down. It can become slick and fast at the end of a busy day.
It is worth noting that trail # 1 is the main cross-country artery through this part of the Gatineau Park. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it connects with a wide variety of other trails, ranging from easy groomed trails to the more difficult back-country trails. It seems that if you ski on trail # 1 often enough, you'll eventually meet everyone you know who cross-country skis in the National Capital Region.
(Click on the map for a larger view of the surrounding area of the park.)
(Photos from this trail - click on the images for larger pictures )
Photo(s) and web page, © Michael McGoldrick, 2005.
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