Friday, 13 August 2010


In Montreal now and we wanted to walk in the Laurentian Mountains, an hour or so to the north. Finding a place to walk was not so easy, since Canada lacks the network of public footpaths paths we are so used to at home. The concierge at our hotel came up with the Centre de Plein Air at Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard.

When we arrived we discovered an information point which turned out to be a campsite - which was the Centre. The girl behind the counter spoke almost no English, which staggered me, but I just about got by in French. There was a range of trails available - on payment of an entry fee. We have never had to pay to go walking before, but there is a first time for everything!

We chose a combination of trails to make a five mile walk and set off. Within few moments we had left the campsite area and were in deep pine woods. A short way along a sign pointed to a view point and after quite a steep climb we came to a viewing platform with a lovely view over the lake to the north. Perhaps this was going to be OK after all.

Further on, we headed off - erroneously as it turned out - along a trail to the left. The ground was marshy and soon we were walking a long a walkway made of tree trunks. We had a few jests about walking along trunk routes, ha ha. But soon it petered out and we had to retrace our steps.

We made another little detour across a quite pretty little lake ...

... and then settled down to complete the circuit, mainly through woodland but also with a swampy area for variety.

Conditions:sunny, hot.

Distance: about 5 miles.

Rating: three stars. An odd experience, as we were always conscious of being in a highly organised network of paths. But actually the walk itself was very pleasant and enjoyable, if a bit enclosed in the woods, and we scarcely saw anyone else. And as bonus, there were some nice butterflies ...

Butterflies of the day

I saw three orange butterflies of various sizes which I could neither photograph nor identify with any certainty. This however was definitely a Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

The other confirmed sighting was an (American) Western White Admiral (Limentis arthemis rubafasciata). Like a European one, but with rows of red and blue dashes on the upper wings, and pronounced red spots and blue dashes on the underwings. Fantastic.

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