After the La Serpentine shelter, the trail - which had been proceeding mostly on the flat for some time - started to descend again. It was leaving the topography and geology of Mont Albert; I could tell this especially from the rocks beneath my feet - there was an abrupt reduction in orange-colored serpentinite boulders.
The trail of the Tour du Mont Albert soon came to the edge of a large scenic lake - the Lac du Diable. From its shores were several fantastic views of the nearby peaks, including a relatively low ridge known as Mont Olivine.
It was not yet noon and I was making quite good time along the Tour route. I had read that Mont Olivine offered a particularly fine view in exchange for a relatively modest climb. So, when I arrived at the trail junction just east of Lac du Diable, I convinced myself to make a little side trip to the top.
In all, it took only one hour to ascend to Mt Olivine's summit and return to the main trail (so, thirty minutes each way). Definitely, it was worth it. Mt Olivine, although only about 2200 feet (670m) high, has a mostly open summit in the form of an elongated ridge. It offered superb views back up the valley of the Ruisseau du Diable - the valley that I had just hiked down just an hour before. An excellent addition to an already scenic Tour du Mont Albert outing, this peak is a worthy destination all on its own.
Lac and Ruisseau du Diable
After Mt Olivine, the scenic highlights of the day were over. A non-descript forest path led downwards into the valley of the Saint Anne River (the main valley that bisects the park north-to-south in this area, and also the valley that contains the park's main highway). Along the way was a lookout to a set of falls along the Ruisseau du Diable (the chutes du Diable), but the falls aren't that big and the lookout is very far away from them, so this was not really all that interesting. Soon the trail crossed the Ruisseau du Diable over a footbridge (at this point the stream was actually flowing with water), and began travelling north, roughly parallelling the park's main highway.
A wide, almost vehicle-width trail led north. It was almost a wheelchair-accessible path at this point - wide and with almost no irregularities in the surface. A footbridge permitted access across the Saint Anne river to the eastern banks, where another trail ran north past the Chute Ste-Anne - a waterfall in the Saint Anne river itself. A few minutes beyond this and I could see and hear cars zipping by on highway 299, through the trees off to my right. At the next available opportunity (which happened to be right in front of the 4-star Gite du Mont Albert hotel), I crossed over the highway.
Passerelle des Eaux-Vivres