It was a long muggy summer, definitely not one that was conducive to hiking. We’d been waiting for the weather to cool off long enough to kill of bugs to make a hike in the Gatineau Park more enjoyable. 

Despite a rainy forecast for last weekend, Sunday morning was looking good. After hanging up a few loads of laundry we set off to hike Ridge Road from Old Chelsea. I knew that the Army Run had shut things down along the Sir JAM parkway and by the Portage Bridge, so we decided to drive through the park to get to the other side. 

There was also a road closure in the park, which forced us up towards the Champlain Lookout, then back down the Fortune Parkway. A bit of a detour but also a chance to see if the leaves were changing. They’ve only just begun.

Federal action plan money had leveled out some hiking paths last year. I was a bit disappointed to see Ridge Road almost completely graded. While it did make the path a lot drier, it definitely took away some of the challenge on the steeps, heading up to the Skyline Loop. Don’t get me wrong, it was still steep, but I missed having that unevenness that forces you to pay attention to loose rocks and pick your way through the mud. In fact, on the one section that hadn’t been completely regraded, I tripped on a rock and almost fell.

Can’t wait to get out again this weekend.

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