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Ascent of Gatineau Park Fire Tower on 2010-04-12

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Grand kids Michael and Holly
Date:Monday, April 12, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gatineau Park Fire Tower
    Location:Canada-Québec
    Elevation:399 m / 1312 ft

Ascent Trip Report

A great outing with my grandchildren, Michael and Holly, on a short very interesting well-used trail with super views of the Ottawa valley ....... 5km, 2 hour RT.
I should note that the highest point of the Park is not at this Tower as given to me by the Park authorities, but rather Mont du McKinstry (see it's TR).

My grand kids, Michael and Holly, and I came here to climb the Eardley Escarpment to the Gatineau Park Fire Tower, as a bonus we got a beautiful stream, the Luskville Falls, lookouts, awesome rock formations, cairns, birds and Ontario's "trillium" just starting to bloom ...... a great trail for young kids on a perfect day for the woods. Holly said she wants to come back in the summer to swim in the stream's pools.
Unfortunately the Fire Tower is closed to the public (fenced in), the kids were hoping that it would be open. We lunched at the summit.

The well-trodden trail starts at the parking, descends stairs to the stream before starting its climb (a few minutes) to the Luskville Falls, water level probably at its highest this time of the year (I'm sure an especially scenic place in the winter). A few hundred meters above the falls you have a choice of trails, right trail (stays right of the stream and crosses to the left of the stream at the top of the Escarpment) or the left trail (crosses the stream here before climbing to the top). We chose to go right and come down the left for a loop hike. Being a federal government funded park all is well marked and maintained.
The open summit is an obvious fairly large bump, capped with the very tall old Fire Tower, numerous solar panels and an old concrete foundation. The summit is rung with trees limiting the view.
A service road comes in on the east side, up from the Champlain lookout 21km to the southeast (it's open to the public for hiking/biking). This is the road that I took for Mont du McKinstry.

DIRECTIONS TO THE TH.
The Gatineau Park entrance is in Luskville, in the municipality of Pontiac. From Hull travel west on Blvd des Allumettieres to hwy #148, go thru Aylmer and just before Luskville make a right turn on Chemin-Hotel-de-Ville (at the corner is the old "Luskville Hotel de Ville 1877"), #148 is a 4 lane highway at this 4-way intersection, follow the signs to the park. Travel a short distance to the Park's gated entrance on the left and to a parking area with facilities. This is the TH for the Luskville Falls/Fire Tower trail, which I class as moderate (5km, 2 hour RT).

"THERE IS PLEASURE IN THE WOODS, THERE IS RAPTURE ON THE LONELY SHORE ...... I LOVE NOT MAN THE LESS BUT NATURE MORE." ......Lord Byron

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:300 m / 984 ft
    Distance:5 km / 3.1 mi
    Route:falls/firetower trail from bottom of escarpment
    Trailhead:Luskville, Gatineau Park off of hotel de ville  99 m / 328 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail



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