I have always enjoyed skiing from P6: Mackenzie King and I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why. Maybe its just far enough off the big roads that you feel like you’re farther away from the city. Everything about skiing from Mackenzie King is just fine…quite nice actually. I wouldn’t necessarily say spectacular, although, the views along the Champlain parkway are stunning. Its a good place to ski and some good trail options, but I don’t think I’d say its the absolute best the park has to offer (with the exception of the great views). I don’t think I necessarily fell head over heals over this trail head, like I did for P11 or P16, but for a nice ski,on a nice day, there is nothing wrong with skiing from P6.
Gatineau Loppet Training Update:
I think I know this was officially the longest ski I’ve done in a decade (since I last did the Loppet in 2002). I’m not sure how I pulled off nearly 40km, but I did (ok, I have a tendency to exaggerated, it was just shy of 39). I really should have done that extra km to break the big 40. Just knowing that I can physically ski 40km is enough to think that I should actually be able to finish the loppet…speed is an entirely different story, but hey, we all know the Tortoise beats the Hare. Its hard to believe it is just over a week away!!
Overview: The Champlain Parkway is your main skating option from P6. Heading Northwest you can see some of the most beautiful vistas in the park (Champlain, Etienne Brule, and Huron look-outs). For parkway skiing, I think Champlain is my favourite. This ski was particularly beautiful. It was just a few degrees below 0, the sky was beautiful, and the sun was sparkling on the snow. I think this great weather was one of the reasons I kept going and going. If you keep going far enough, you will hit the Western Cabin, and then after nearly 20km McKinstry (skiing on the parkway, and then joining the #1). If you manage to make it out to the McKinstry Cabin, and the blue #1 trail that takes you there, there are som really fun S turns.
For those who like: Wide trails, gradual hills, beautiful views.
Don’t Ski here if: You want the trails all to yourself, although, for anywhere in the park, the secret seems to be simply, or not so simply, getting out early, to ski to a nearby hut.
The Trails: From P6, you’ve got the option of a short blue trail #7, or the green trail (Mackenzie-King Road) to take you to the Champlain Parkway. If you turn left, you can follow the parkway towards Pink Lake. Right takes you to some magnificent views. I’d turn right if I were you, and save Pink Lake for skiing from P1, P2, or P3
My Route: I reached the parkway and turned right, then I skied and I skied and I skied. The views off Etienne Brule, Champlain, and Huron are just gorgeous, so save this route for a nice clear day. I would imagine it could get windy along some of the ridges as well.
Elevation and other Details:
Epic Long Ski!! by nicolelunstead at Garmin Connect – Details. Notice that either my Garmin went a little crazy, or I went a little crazy, and somehow a top speed of 77km per hour was registered (must have been my garmin going crazy).
Bringing Baby: With access to the parkway an easy ski away, this is a great place to bring your wee one out for a ski.