That's an Excellent Question: Trail Names in Gatineau Park?
By: Craig Storey (2009/01/21)
I am a recent XC skiing addict, and I have been checking out your site regularly. I have noticed some of the people who write in list a trail name with the trail number (i.e Burma (3)). Could someone provide me with a list of the names and their associated numbers for all of the Gatineau Park? Thanks,
Good question! This is something we get asked fairly often. Unfortunately we can't answer it very well. I suspect very few people still know all of the trail names. You see the history of the Gatineau Park ski trails dates back a long way, at least to the 1920s with the Ottawa Ski Club. I'd suggest reading - Trail Riders - History of skiing in the Gatineau Park for a great history lesson.
To quote the article..
A map of Gatineau Park today doesn't contain information about the history of the trails. There are no quirky trail names, just a system, colour-coded and neatly numbered from Trail #1A to Trail #40. [Actually up to #56 now].
Those names once had historic significance. They reminded skiers of the pioneers who blazed those trails. Skiers would gather around a fire in the lodge and discuss the wildlife they spotted on 'Doug's Trail', what kind of condition 'Franks' was in, or who they ran into on 'Chicken Run' or 'Pipe Dream'. As the names of these trails were repeated around the fire for generations, so were their stories.
I've learned a few of the trail names from the people who first showed me around the park and I assume that they learned the names in much the same way. Here's a brief list of the most common trail names and associated numbers.
#1 = Ridge Road (Penguin to #2), 7.1km
#2 = McCloskey Road, blue: 0.8km, from #40 to #1: 2.1km
#3 = Burma, 4.8km
#6 = Skyline, 3.3km
#8 = Highland, 3.2km
#9 = Western, 5.1km
#11 = Long Merry Go-Round, 4.3km
#12 = Alexander's Road, 1.4km
#14 = Chicken Run, 0.6km
#16 = Blanchette, 4.9km
#17 = Frank's Trail, 3.9km
#18 = Walters, 0.7km
#19 = Canyon Trail, 0.8km
#21 = Huron (east of McCloskey), 2.2km
#31 = Booth Hill, 0.4km
#32 = Lake Trail, 0.6km
#22 = Upper Sparks Trail, 2.4km
#28 = Remparts, 1.3km
#30 = Booth, 1km
#33 = Wolf Trail, 1.4km
#34 = Pleasant Valley Trail, 1.9km
#38 = Beaver Trail, 1.2km
#40 = MacDonald Road, 2.7km
P8 to P9 = Duldrums
You can refer to the NCC's Gatineau Park map for numbers. Better yet, have a look at these amazing old maps of the park! By 1978 the map shows both trail names and numbers, and the park looks very similar to what we have today. The credit and thanks for preserving and scanning them belongs to Bill McGee. I think he also compiled this list of the names of hills in the Gatineau Park as seen on a 1975 map. Just click on the map for a much larger view.
Checkout the suggested routes!
Map Details and Art Work
The art work and details on these maps is amazing. Here are some of my favorite bits.
Skier on the Lake Trail in the 1946 map.
North Pole on the 1946 map.
Ski Trail Art work from the 1957 map. Notice the map cost $0.10!
Inset Trail Names - Numbers from the 1978 map.