Branching to Escarpment path
The character of the terrain and landscape immediately changes: instead of a leafy and closed-in stream gulley, we emerge into a drier region, with open patches, bare bedrock, lichens, and - as we walk higher - increasingly nice views out over the Ottawa valley. This culminates in a nice high spot along the crest where there is a large open area and clear views over a wide angle from southeast to west. A very large stretch of the Ottawa River and river valley is visible from here.
Although it is breezy and cool, we are in a nice stretch of mostly sunny skies here, and it is the perfect non-buggy scenic spot to stop for our afternoon food break. We have seen no other hikers since the climbing cliff area - all is peaceful and uncrowded here.
Mid-afternoon Snack Break
Our lunch break marks the end of the major climbing of our hike, and from here, we continue northwest, exchanging the clear open bedrock areas for a stretch of pine-needle strewn open forest with the slightest of paths leading through it. It is mostly on the level, although there is some minor extra elevation to climb. We follow this very pleasant forested stretch all the way to the next drainage, which we reach at an old breached beaver dam area. We turn left here and very quickly arrive at a point along the official Lusk Falls-Fire Tower trail. This marks the end of our 'herd-pathing'.
A sign right at the point where we rejoin tells us that the park has turned this into a one-way trail to aid in social distancing, and we head with the flow of traffic, continuing for a few minutes in the direction of the fire tower. There's an alternative descent trail (which has now been turned into the covid-19 "down" direction), and we take that.
The descent trail is as bouldery and rough as I recall it from the last time I was on it, and it is a bit of a monotous hike down from here. We get a few rain and hail showers - none of which last longer than a couple of minutes. We encounter people - lots of other hikers, all the way back to the main Lusk Falls trailhead, and I am very grateful for the peaceful solitary walk that was the story of the first 2/3rds of our hike today.
Since we arrived back at the main Lusk Falls trailhead, we were not at the location where I had parked the car, and our loop was not yet complete. A drop of the pack allowed me to run the final half or so kilometer back to fetch the car and complete the loop.
An enjoyable day, and once again I'm grateful for the ability for us to get out and hike once again.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Eardley Escarpment - click map to view
Eardley Escarpment Loop - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet