Parc National du Mont-Orford

Mount Orford Park Stream
Mount Orford Park Stream

While on my trip to Quebec I Went back to Mount Orford for a some hiking. DD and I had been to the park about five years ago and since I was visiting the Eastern Townships and Brome Lake I decided to take a drive to Orford and re-explore the trails we had done.

The park is close to Knowlton, Quebec where I was staying so I drove Sunday to the mountain to get in some walkies.

It costs $5.50 for a single person to enter the park and it was totally worth it to have the tranquility.

I started by doing the 8km loop around the Cherry Pond or Etang aux Cerises as they call it. I did the Colline Des Pins trail which has a nice vantage point over the Cherry Pond and then connected to the Colline Serpentine, which was a fairly easy snowshoe trail.

I prefer the narrow winding trails through dense forest to the ATV trails and wide cleared bike trails but it was still nice. Part of the the trail is the Route Vert or Green Route that runs through southern Quebec and that is a gravel bike trail which isn’t the most fun for hiking but it was still nice!

Because they were calling for rain and it was a Sunday, there was hardly anyone else on the trail. I passed maybe 5 other hikers near Le Vieux Camp and close to La Castor camps. I didn’t see any creatures but a few birds and some lush green ferns and plants. At one point I saw a little pond filled with thousands of baby froggies! It was crazy there were so many in the clear water…they kind of looked like little spermatazoa and as I stopped to kneel down and watch them swim a little mama frog popped out to say hi! Nature is a crazy creator!!!

Tadpoles
Tadpoles – Baby Frogs in a clear stream on Mount Orford Quebec

It’s beautiful in the Stukely Lake area but the bike trail I was on, trail 5, was more like a road…not enough thick bush to zig zag through…but still nice! As I approached the end of the first 8km and returning back to the main park kiosk it started raining and I got inside just in time because a torrential rain started falling.

Luckily, I’ve learned to always carry rain gear and proper footwear in the car wherever I go and so I stopped at the 2005 salsa Vibe and grabbed my rain coat and rubber boots! Whew! Just in time!

I was starving by this time as breakfast was a long way back! Luckily there was some vending machines in the main office and I had just enough, two loonies and some quarters, to buy a Kashi Bar, a bag of peanuts and a vegetable Lipton Cup a Soup! Just like the good times on the trails back in NB!! Oh my! It was sooooo tasty to have a hot soup after the walk and rain!

Beaver Lodge and Beaver Dam in Mount Orford Park
Beaver Lodge and Beaver Dam in Mount Orford Park

After lunch, in the pouring rain, I went on to trail number two which goes by the Bear Pond, Etang de l’ours, Middle Pond, Etang du Milleu and Martin Pond, Etang Martin which was the traill DD and I had done those years ago. Trail number 2 is my favorite part! It is only 4km but a nice loop. When I got to Etang de l’Ours I was wondering what all the mud was doing in the pond…as I got closer I realized the pond had emptied!

The dam in the pond had burst from the heavy Quebec rains and the entire pond had drained! Completely empty! It must have happened within the last 24 hours because it looked really fresh mud…the poor fish must have all been swept away…it was sad to see such a big pond that was more like a lake all empty!

I conitnued on my way, rain making the trail muddy and sloppy…yay for rubber booties!

The Middle Pond was awesome, just like I remembered! The beavers have maintained their superb beaver dam and the reflections on the pond they created were amazing. Beavers are so crafty…the dam was a marvel of construction!

Back at the main camp I was pretty much pooped. A 12 km hike isn’t that much but more than we usually do on a Sunday. After I was done I drove to Magog, the sun came out and I stopped for some food at the IGA in Magog and drove back to Knowlton.

What a great day!

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