It was a busy day having left our incredible rental cottage near Bouchette and already hiked both Chute Rouge and Pont-de-pierre. All thoughts of being (happily) tired melted away instantly though at the top of Parc régional du Mont Morissette’s observation tower. The unobstructed 360′ panoramic view of rolling hills and lakes was impressive, especially while dressed in it’s finest fall colours.
The Low Down
- Address: 35 Chemin du Lac Long, Blue Sea, QC J0X 1C0. (1hr+ from Ottawa)
- Cell Reception: Yes.
- Trail Distance: Approx. 1- 7kms (3 different trail options).
- Elevation Gain: 400m
- Duration: 30mins – 3 hrs trail dependent.
- Dogs: Yes, on leash only.
- Crowds: Moderate traffic.
- Washrooms: Outhouse at the parking lot, and washrooms at the observation tower.
- Entrance Fee: Free.
- Season: All year.
- More Information: Visit Pero Outaouais for more information including trail map.
In Good Company
Feeling pretty lucky to have friends that don’t mind getting up at 4:30am to drive in the dark then hike for some incredible sunrise views! Zee has been a long time friend and we’ve managed to hike both Manitou Mountain and Skyline Trail for sunrise before. So it was a no brainer that we’d want to get up early for Mont Morisette and watch the sun rise over the lakes and mountains below.
What to bring
Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:
- Hot Drinks: This would be a great spot to enjoy a coffee at the picnic area beside the observation tower.
- Hiking poles: Mont Morissette has a wonderful 400m of elevation, hiking mostly up switchbacks to the peak. Hiking poles aren’t a bad idea for anyone needing the extra support.
Parking and Trailhead
Remember that old Rhianna song “shine bright like a diamond”?!? …perhaps the most ridiculous thing to hit airways but the perfect description of the park’s new, and very bright white, parking lot. Ha ha. You can park at the first lot at the base of the trailheads 1 & 2 or you can drive up to the observation tower and choose to hike a little from there.
Oh, and there’s a trail map and outhouse at the main parking…but you can barely see them through the glare. 😛
Mont Morissette Trails
Finally a trail that gets your heart pumping! Mont Morissette has 3 main trails, aptly named trail 1, 2, and 3 (guess who’s feeling funny while writing this *hand raised*).
All three trails are well groomed, well marked, and have route maps posted at the beginning and midway points. #winning
Trail 1: From the main parking lot at the base of the mountain, you can hike up trail 1 and either a) opt to go straight to the observation tower if you hit the road after the switchbacks or b) you can continue on trail 1 and enjoy the extra kms along with the second lookout before going up the observation tower (recommended).
Trail 2: On our second trip to Mont Morissette we decided to park at the top parking lot, hike trail 1 and the hike the full length (4.5kms approx with 400m elevation) of trail 2.
It was a moderately challenging hike, well marked, and we really enjoying being in the thick of the woods.
Points of Interest
Although the observation tower is the obvious highlight of the hike during the fall months, there is also another second lookout along trail 1 which is equally breathtaking. Especially if you manage to get up there during sunrise or a foggy morning!
I Love You a Latte
Normally it’s tradition to hit up local coffee shops post hike but this time we decided to stop at Le Hibou in Wakefield for a late lunch. Le Hibou has incredibly delicious food that’s pretty hard to pass up.
Wakefield itself is on the route home anyways, and as most locals know, has plenty to offer. We enjoy our lunch, checked out local shops, then headed to the iconic covered bridge for some pictures. I got the pictures, but not until properly soaking my feet in the river with a misstep.
Wrapping it up
On the first outing to Mont Morissette the plan was to check out a forth trail on the way back to Ottawa, but it was closed for trail maintenance and likely a bit much for the day anyways. Mont Morisette is among the Fall Foliage Trifecta suggested hikes for the season, which is your favourite?