.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Summer Recap - Enjoying it close to home
By:  Megan McTavish   (2015/09/21)

As the readers of this website might know, the last year and a half has been a pretty busy one for me. It started with welcoming Leena to our little family, continued with three months living in Finland last fall, and then back to work, juggling time with Leena, doing as much ski racing as we could, and getting back into the groove of office life all while Karl steadily worked on his PhD.

This summer, I decided to take the month of July off work in order to catch up on some much needed rest, spend quality time with Leena, and of course have some fun and get some training in!

Given our world travels last fall, and the fact that we are going on another (much shorter) big trip to Norway and Finland in October, we decided that during my month off we would stick close to home. We had a number of fun adventures and I thought I would summarize them for other people who might be looking at doing some active holidays in the area. When you think about it, it is really amazing how many great outdoor opportunities there are right near here.

1 - Chelsea - The first thing we did was spend a good chunk of time in Chelsea itself. We went on lots of hikes, box biked to the grocery store, the market, the beach and the coffee shops, and generally just enjoyed the Center Village and Gatineau Park. Sometimes when you live somewhere you take it for granted, but Chelsea and the park are really special, and we really enjoyed ourselves!

Hiking through the new Hendrick Farm trails to get a coffee at Les Saisons in Chelsea

The destination...

Using the box bike to get around Chelsea...a good way to get a workout in while going grocery shopping!

Quick stop on the Wakefield Bridge during the Ride of the Damned with XC Ottawa Alumni Steve Bursey and Alicia Berthiaume

Coffee break at Pipolinka bakery in Wakefield during another ride

2 - Lac Poisson Blanc - This is a large lake free of cottages that has many campsites. It is great for an impromptu canoe trip since it is less than a 2 hour drive away, and you don't have to do any portaging which makes packing easier!

Getting started on the trip, just before sunset...

In the morning..a beautiful lake!

Leena enjoying the water.

3 - Le Petit Train du Nord (Mont Tremblant) - We went on a short bike trip on the Petit Train du Nord with Karl's parents, which is an old railway bed overhauled into a cycling path. The full length is 180km but there are towns every 20 km or so with cute restaurants, playgrounds, and hotels. We stayed in Mont Tremblant and did day trips, but you can also stay different places along the way. It was great for riding with a chariot since it is relatively flat and there is no car traffic!

At one of the many old train stations where you can stop on the trail.

This one had a great restaurant!

4 - Papineau Labelle - This is a very large park with so many camping options it was hard to decide where to go! We ended up at a place called Camping Saey on Lac Marie-Le Franc which was neat because, although it was "car camping", you had to walk about 100m to the site, all of the sites were on the water and they were quite spread out. The lake was great for swimming and canoeing, and there were a few nice hiking trails as well.

I didn't take any pictures here, but here is a link to a map of the lake: http://www.sepaq.com/resources/docs/rf/pal/cartes-bathymetriques/pal-bathymetrie-marie-lefranc.pdf#page=1&zoom=auto,-121,612

5 - Algonquin Park - On our way home from my family cottage (which was the one "far" trip we did this summer) we stopped for a hike in Algonquin Park. We chose "Centenial Ridges" and it was breathtaking! Just a reminder that instead of burning home from a vacation, sometimes it is nice to take a break, get some exercise, and check something out along the way!

From the top of one of the ridges.

Karl and Leena taking in the view.

Earlier in June, we also did the annual OWL camp, and the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour....two of our local summer staples.

Now the days are cooling off, the rollerskiers are out in droves and summer is officially over.

On to fall!

Interesting Reading. . .
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