We marched right past the bathing, paddling, and sunning crowds, and headed east on trail 50. Trail 50 was much like Trail 1: wide, graded, and multi-use - essentially it was a gravel road where no cars are allowed.
We were only on trail 50 for about twenty minutes, walking eastward until we came to the junction of another trail that would take us on the final leg north towards Wakefield. We stopped at a convenient bench here for our last break of the day.
A bit of the Trans-Canada Trail
Alrighty. Time to head off north, on the final 8+ kilometres to Wakefield. All of us were feeling a bit tired and sore - more than we typically would be for what was, in objective terms, not *that* hard of a hike. I chalk it up to Covid-related de-conditioning. Need to get out there more!
Flowery Meadow and Shady Forest
Various conversations helped pass the time as we followed the ups and downs of the hilly trail 52 that we were following. This is a fun cross-country ski trail in the winter.
Near the northern end of trail 52 there are a couple of nice meadow sections. Very noticeable around here - especially in the meadow sections - was the invasive and chemically-irritating wild parsnip.
Pleasant mixed vegetation
I wasn't unhappy to reach the 4-way junction with trail 53. That meant we were only a few hundred metres from the town of Wakefield and the end of our hike (my feet were getting rather sore). We continued ahead on trail 52 and soon passed underneath the main highway and then to the area around the old Wakefield Mill. We reached Roland's car and dropped our stuff, but crucially, we didn't stop hiking, not quite yet. No, in order for this to be an official traverse, we had to reach the north-eastern boundary on foot. So we walked a few more hundred metres down the road to the small square park boundary sign. Traverse officially achieved.
Walking to the proper boundary
Official Boundary, Wakefield
As a nice reward, there was a nice little ice cream shop right next to the park boundary, and we popped in for a much-deserved cool treat.
So, in summary, this traverse is a pleasant enough hike. It is mostly quiet and away from people (except for a few minor busy bits, like near the lusk fire tower and at Lac Phillipe). Its got a little bit of routefinding challenge in the middle, but nothing too difficult. It has a couple of nice little scenic spots (the lookouts over the escarpment, some lakeside views, and some nice meadows, shady forest tunnels, and wildflowers. I'd say its worth your while if you've already spent many hours exhausting all of the regular Gatineau Park trails and you want something a little different.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - West-East Gatineau Traverse - click map to view
Lusk Falls to Wakefield - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet