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Average Rating:    (2 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 1

The McKinstry part (the downhill section) is doubletrack with rocky and rooty parts. It can be extremely fast if you ease off the brakes. You can get into trouble if you don't keep your eye on the trail ahead. Once you get to the bottom you'll be on the road for 2 or 3 kilometres until you get to the O'Brien parking lot. You'll then travel on doubletrack for about 15km. It's hilly, with a lot of great climbs and fun downhills. You'll also enjoy the scenery. There are places to stop along the way, if you are so inclined. The last 5 or 6 kilometres of this part of the trail are fire road. Don't despair you'll soon get back to the hard stuff. Once you get to the signpost that says Wakefield, go right. You're now going to climb for a couple of kilometres. It gets real rocky in some places. Once you get to the top, it's all down hill (fast and rocky at times). You will then hit some singletrack until you get to Wakefield, Quebec. The return is a lot of fun. Once you get to the McKinstry trail (the downhill section in reverse) you need to be in shape. It's a 30 minute + steep uphill climb. In conclusion: If you ride this, bring along energy bars and a hydration pack with 2 water bottles. You'll need it, especially in the 90 degree summer heat. There is no name for this route, but I enjoy it because the first downhill section is so fast and fun. It's also a long ride that is varied and challenging. It will test your fitness level.
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Trail Directions
Enter Gatineau park from the southern entrance, and travel all the way to Champlain Lookout (the highest point in the park) Park your car and travel up the trail to the fire road. Go up the fire road and turn right at the Mckinstry trail. You're now at the top (1100 elevation). Bomb all the way down the hill (3-4 km) until you get to Meech Lake (#12 parking lot) go right to the O'Brien parking lot and go up the trail. Follow the posted signs to Wakefield.
Trail Length
30-40 miles (3+ hours)
Trail Level
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads

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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

Review Date
November 15, 1998

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: DirtDog , from Ottawa

Yup - long and gruelling ride. I used to do this route (or something similar to it) in my newbie days. It's still a relaxing alternative to the heavy duty technical riding I do now. the only precaution is keeping an eye out for targets (pedestrians) on the downhill section. Having said that, there are manyother routes in the park that offer the same challenges and distance that don't require driving the 30 or so kilometers (from downtown Ottawa) to the Champlain Lookout. Try riding up there from the park entrance and back instead - that's a good 75km round trip ride from where I live, and there's no shortage of fast doubletrack , up and down. I do that ride a few times a season for training.

Recommended Route:
I think John is referring to the McCloskey downhill - not McKinstry. McKinstry Lodge is about 7 or 8 km further up Trail #1 (almost to the firetower).

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Highland Fling, Quarterman's, Pink's to Kingsmere. check out www.cyberus.ca/~fmoffatt for more details

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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)