The Skyline Trail in Gatineau Park is a moderately difficult, 6km hike that provides a few great views back towards Ottawa and Gatineau.
The trail is really beautiful and rugged in parts, but well-defined and easy enough for kids as young as 4 or 5. The surrounding forest alternates from deciduous to hemlock (I think) and back, with plenty of streams. In parts where the trail gets too muddy, rocks have generally been placed to hop across or there’s an easy route through the woods.
In the spring or after rain it can be pretty muddy, so wear appropriate footwear.
Don’t don’t forget the bugs – in Spring the mosquitoes and blackflies can be brutal, and be sure to do a quick tick check when you get home.
And see the note about the caterpillars below – they can be really intense!
From Wattsford Lookout, hikers can admire the view of the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau and the Ottawa River. Captain Gerald Wattsford was a veteran of the Boer War between South Africa and Great Britain, which was fought from 1899 to 1902. Wattsford settled in this region after the war.
Holes in trees sometimes indicate the presence of woodpeckers. The yellowbellied sapsucker drills horizontal or vertical rows of small holes, while the pileated woodpecker creates large holes
Insane amount of caterpillars
Depending on the year, the trail can be littered with curtains of caterpillars and their webs, hanging down from the trees above. This is especially true on the southern portion of the loop. You will not get out without webs and caterpillars on you.