My first stop during my excursion into the Gatineau Hills was the Champlain Lookout, one of three lookouts in close proximity along the Champlain Parkway beyond the Mackenzie King Estate. This and the other two, the Etienne Brule and Huron Lookouts, offer different vantage points looking out over the steep slopes leading down to the valley floor. This flank of the Hills is referred to as the Eardsley Escarpment. To give you an idea of altitude, the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau are at an average of 70 metres above sea level. The highest spot in the park, King Mountain, between here and the Mackenzie King Estate, rises to 345 metres. The lookouts are not that much lower in altitude- 335 metres- so there are well over two hundred metres of difference in altitude down to the valley floor.
A mix of farmland and forests on the valley floor leads towards the Quebec shore of the Ottawa River. The land on the opposite shore is rural as well, but still within the city limits of Ottawa. There is a staircase leading down to the lower area of the lookout, as well as a hiking trail descending down the slope. The view from here on a sunny fall day is particularly spectacular.
While I was up here, one of the other people present pointed towards the Ottawa side of the river and noted the locations of a couple of village areas over there- Constance Bay and Dunrobin; the latter of the two was the hardest hit spot in Ottawa by the September tornado.
A series of panels are placed here explaining the geology of the Hills and their current status.
I have more from this beautiful spot tomorrow. I have added this post into this week's Skywatch Friday.