Parc des Montagnes Noires de Ripon: Hiking Guide

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  • Post category:Quebec
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“I couldn’t be more content” said Rosalyn, and really, I couldn’t have agreed with her more. We were testing out a road trip idea which would feed into the new free printables to help guide everyone on new local adventures. Hiking trail #7 up Mont Grand Pic in Parc National des Montagnes Noire was part of one road trip itinerary for the Outaouais region. And boy, did it deliver the wow factor.

The Low Down

  • Distance from Ottawa: 87kms (1hr)
  • GPS Coordinates: unknown
  • Address: 39, chemin de la Montagne-Noire Ripon (Québec)  J0V 1V0
  • Directions: Hwy 50 east until Thurso. Then take the 317 north to Ripon. Turn left on Chemin Montpellier and drive 4.7km. Turn on Chemin de la Montagne Noire and the park entrance is in 1km.
  • Entrance Fee: $ per person.
  • Parking: Five parking lots.
  • Trailhead: Trailhead for trail #7 is at P2. Consult trail map.
  • Number of Trails: 14
  • Total Distance of Trails: 24kms
  • Elevation Gain: approx 140m
  • Washrooms: P2, P4, P5.
  • Cell Reception: Yes.
  • Season: Spring, summer, fall (closes in November).
  • Features: Observation tower, geocaching.
  • Activities: hiking, mountain biking, fat biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and board sports.
  • Dogs: Permitted on leash.
  • Suggested Stops: Black Walnut Bakery, Parc Omega.
  • Nearby Hikes: Forest LaBlanche, Chute Plaisance, Kenauk Nature.
  • More Information: Visit the town of Ripon website for more information and an up to date trail map.

What to Bring

Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:

  • Cash: If you are taking the ferry from Cumberland, then make sure to look up the price per crossing and bring cash. This route is my favourite as I like stopping at the Black Walnut Bakery on the way for coffee and trail snack.
  • Waste bag: What you hike in with, you hike out with. That’s the golden rule, and if you see anything that’s not part of nature (like food wrappers) kindly pick it up to throw out later.

In Good Company

Oh we’re back at it again! Rosalyn from Capital City Explorer and I decided it was high time for another hike now that pandemic restrictions have lifted to allow it. We’ve hike a few spots together like Eagles Nest, Mont Pinnacle, and Parc de la gorge de coaticook.

Parc National des Montagnes Noires Trail #7

Although you can choose P3 and P4 for a much shorter route to the observation tower and lookout point, we chose to park at P2 and hike the full 3.4kms of trail #7 at Parc des Montagnes Noires de Ripon. This hike takes roughly 1.5hrs to complete, or maybe 2hr if you like soaking up the view like we do.

The trail is extremely well marked and maintained. A wide enough path and no overgrowth. When hiking clockwise (recommended) the first km is with elevation and the only part of the trail that provides such a good leg workout. Once you reach the lookout, it’s straight across to the tower before a casual descent through the woods to the parking lot.

You can find trail map signage at parking lots P1, P2, P3 and P5.

Parc National des Montagnes Noires Features

Parc National des Montagnes Noires is a fantastic spot to explore for so many reasons.

First of all is that you can drive to nearby parking lots for both the lookout and tower. This is important, it makes both features more accessible for those that can not hike elevation or distance. Although not fully accessible, the lookout would be manageable with a stroller and is only 100m from the parking. Park at P4 for the lookout and P3 for the tower.

The second perk is that there are multiple trails and start points. You can enjoy a 100m stroll or a 1.5km elevation hike or 20+kms by combining trails.

Last but not least, washrooms. There are washrooms (outhouses) at P2, P4, P5 along with flush toilet at the welcome centre during open hours.

Mont Grand Pic Lookout

It’s a bum burner to hike up (but fun and manageable) but coming up to the break in the trees before the lookout you already know that it’s going to good. And it is. Amazing really. A beautiful spot with a shelter, platform, and picnic table. You can judge the view for yourself, and if you look closely, you’ll see Mont Tremblant in the distance.

Mont Grand Pic Tower

Leaving the lookout, we continued on the trail hiking clockwise towards the observation tower. Standing 12m in height, this is the only tower in Parc National des Montagnes Noires and by far it’s crown jewel.

A good amount of stairs, the new structure is fantastic with platforms every few flights offering a rest point. Keep climbing though, because that 360′ panoramic view is worth it in spades.

Wildlife

No wildlife seen on this hike other than an incredible amont of birds signing while we enjoyed the view points.

Accommodations

There is a little cabin available for rent onsite, check with Parc National des Montagnes Noire staff for more information.

Nourish Thy Self

There are restaurants and grocery stores in Ripon if you needed a spot for a quick bit. No cafes that we saw, so if there is own that you find, please comment below so that it can be added.

Wrapping Up

Only an hour from Ottawa, Parc National des Montagnes Noires is an excellent choice to explore and enjoy the wilderness.

Victoria xo