King Mountain provides the best view of the Ottawa Valley in the area! With several different ways to hike, cross country ski, bike, or drive in, King Mountain is a favourite destination for Gatineau Park adventures!
The King Mountain Trail
Circling the summit of King Mountain is the King Mountain Trail, a 2.5k loop that provides 10 stunning panorama views of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau and the Ottawa River flowing for miles. The King Mountain Trail features many interpretative panels – interesting ones, too! – which make the tour of the top educational as well as inspiring.
King Mountain Trail starts at Lac Black, a pretty lake surrounded by trees, hills, and and a nice little picnic area.
The hike starts out walking up stony steps through a dark forest of hemlock trees, which can only grow on the cool, shady, rocky side of the mountain. As you emerge from the hemlocks you can see the dividing line between the dark cold side of King Mountain and the sunny south face, with red and white oak trees taking the hemlocks’ place.
Be sure to read the interpretive panels as you walk, King Mountain is a unique spot, with some vegetation that you would normally need to drive 200k north to see!
Around the 344 metre (1,129 feet) summit of King Mountain there are 10 amazing lookouts and lots of little nooks and crannys to explore, too. King Mountain and the Gatineau Hills make up the southern tip of the Canadian Shield, and King Mountain is the highest spot along the Eardley Escarpment, which stretches for 30km to the north.
To the west you’ll see fertile plains rolling out to the Ottawa River, and the southern view is a stunning vista that includes Ottawa and Gatineau on the horizon line.
King Mountain was also the first triangulation point in Canada, and you\’ll find a recently-restored monument to commemorate the spot. GuideGatineau put together this great little YouTube video with a history King Mountain:
Hike to King Mountain Trail
There are several routes you can take to hike up to King Mountain and the King Mountail Trail. Here are a few of them:
Kingsmere/Trail 17 to King Mountain
This is a great 8k round-trip hike that drops connects with the King Mountain Trail about 2/3 of the way through. Trail 17 is difficult but worthwhile, as you walk almost uninterrupted along a beaten path through forests and over rocky outcrops as you make your way to King Mountain.
Start at the Kingsmere P7 parking lot and make your way north up Trail #30 and hang a right when you see the end of Trail 8 (that\’s where you\’re coming out). Watch for Trail 17 on your left, and make your way along this gorgeous trail for about 3k, at which point you\’ll be dropped onto the Parkway.
Turn left and walk about 200 metres along the Parkway and you\’ll come across the King Mountain parking lot and the trailhead for the King Mountain Trail.
Instead of wrapping all the way around King Mountain, keep your eye out for Trail #8, which you can take back down to the Kingsmere parking lot.
Kingsmere/Trail 8 to King Mountain
A shorter but equally enjoyable hike to King Mountain is to take Trail #8 from Kingsmere/P7.
This 5k round trip starts by heading north along Trail 30. You\’ll quickly see Trail #8 branching off on your left. A short 1.5-2k hike through beach forests and you\’re goingt to meet up with the King Mountain Trail.
Enjoy the lookouts along the trail and then wrap around to head straight back down Trail #8 back to the Kignsmere parking lot.
Drive to King Mountain Trail
If you just want the amazing view without the effort, there\’s a handy parking lot right at the trailhead for the King Mountain Trail. Here is a map of the King Mountain Parking lot. From there, you can hop on the 2.5k King Mountain Trail loop.
This is a great spot for a picnic lunch, too!