It was a beautiful Sunday morning at Mont Cascades. After several days that brought some fresh snow, the trails were all covered nicely with fresh powder and a soft but firm base.
The trails at Mont Cascades are suitable for all skill levels and difficulties and are free to access. There is a parking lot located right at the trail entrance.
Almost all trails lead you to the summit via the backside of the mountain. The #5 trail is the most direct route but is the steepest to travel. For today's visit, we took a combination of the #2-3 trails, and then the #4 trail to the summit area. This route is on average easy to intermediate but provides a nice scenic trek through the forest. As you near the summit, you are treated to views of the Gatineau River and the surrounding region.
The trip up to near the summit and back to the parking is approximately 3.5 kilometres, with a vertical of 90 metres. We did not venture to the absolute top on this visit due to coming poor weather (freezing rain). To give you an idea, continuing to the top would add an additional 40 metres of vertical to the trip for an approximate total of 130 metres.
Mont Cascades is a great location to hike and enjoy. The trails are easy to follow and are quite enjoyable to explore. The views along the way make you want to press forward and continue on.
There are two trails (the yellow and grey) that start from the World Cup side of the mountain and head towards the summit. Something we will try on our next visit...
We thought it would be a relatively cold day to go snowshoeing as the temperature was being advertised as -16'c with the windchill. Yes, in the open area of the parking you could feel the fridged wind, but once you enter into the forest and as you ascend the mountain, you no longer feel the cold, and actually end up removing some layers, notably the neck warmer. Don't let cold weather fool you into not going out to snowshoe, you'd be missing out on a great experience.
The quiet sounds of nature and snow. Surprisingly there was an area filled with birds up above in the trees, as you will hear in the below video clips.