Aylmer (Gatineau), Quebec
December 21, 2003
Several well-marked trails lead to high mountain lakes and to the very top of Cathedral Mountain.
From the leisurely walk on Scout Lake Trail to the day-long hikes to Stone City, Smokey the Bear and the Giant Cleft, the 60-kms/36 miles of trails take you to pristine alpine lakes and meadows, the high ridges of the mountain top and more.
Starting off from the Lodge and with varying degrees of difficulty, give yourself time to acclimatize to the altitude by first doing the easy walks around Quiniscoe Lake and up to Ladyslipper Lake at a slow pace. These trails, as well as a few others, are fairly easily done. Once you've gotten your wind back and the headaches are gone, you can try a more difficult route.
**Altitude sickness doesn't happen to everyone and you can't predict if you will get it or not. The symptoms range from slight dizziness to headache and shortness of breath. People with cardiovascular problems may experience other discomforts and should consult with staff before booking. My parents-in-law, spry 80-somethings, try to go on an annual 'honeymoon' in these mountains. They are a little slower now but are still quite able to use any of the paths.
You won't be disappointed by this haven of beauty where your place in the scheme of the universe really hits home!
From journal Hiking on Cathedral Mountain