NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Northwest - Gatineau Park South
LAURIAULT FALLS and MULVIHILL LAKE TRAIL
Spring: ** Summer: *** Fall: * Winter: *
Independent Directions to this Site: From Autoroute de la Gatineau or Highway 5, take exit # 3 or Boulevard St-Raymond heading west. Travel 1.5 km west to Promenade du Lac-des-Fées and turn left or south on it. Follow Lac-des-Fées 0.4 km to Rue Gamelin and turn right or west on it. Go 0.9 km to the (Promenade de la) Gatineau Parkway and turn right or north on it. Proceed 7.5 km northwest, to the junction of the (Promenade de la) Gatineau Parkway with the (Promenade) Champlain Parkway. Turn left or WSW onto the (Promenade) Champlain Parkway and drive 2.3 km to the pay parking area on the right or north for the Waterfall Trail (fee because of its proximity to the MacKenzie King estate) or a further 0.9 km to the free parking areas for Lac Mulvihill on the right or north and the Larriault Trail on the left or south. All these parking areas are on the trail loop for the Lauriault Falls and Mulvihill Lake Trail.
Gatineau Park South Route Directions: From the swampy area just west of the junction of the Champlain & Gatineau Parkways, continue WSW along the (Promenade) Champlain Parkway for 2.2 km to the pay parking area on the right or north for the Waterfall Trail (fee because of its proximity to the MacKenzie King estate) or a further 0.9 km to the free parking areas for Lac Mulvihill on the right or north and the Lauriault Trail on the left or south. All these parking areas are on the trail loop for the Lauriault Falls and Mulvihill Lake Trail.
Map of the Lauriault Falls and Mulvihill Lake Trail area, Gatineau Park
Site Description and Birding Information: This three kilometre loop trail goes through a good combination of habitats, Mulvihill Lake, forest swampland, and maturing deciduous woodland. The openings provide greater visibility and possible avenues for raptors. At the southeastern corner of the loop, an offshoot trail goes to the waterfall lookout. The MacKenzie King estate is just off the northeastern side of the trail. The portion of the trail between the estate and the falls is called the Waterfall Trail. A rare Louisiana Waterthrush was seen here from July 4 to 10, 1981; a record suggestive of attempted breeding. Then, more recently, from May 13 to at least May 29, 2004 and from June 4 to 10, 2005; one of these birds picked this spot to set up a territory. On May 2, 2006, a singing bird was again found near the falls. It was soon evident there was a pair of birds and while visitors were discouraged, it was annouced after the fact, that the nesting attempt was successful. While they seem unperturbed by the constant hiking activity prevalent on these trails in summer, it appears as though at least part of the trail system (the section from the top of the falls to Mountan Road, rumour has it) will be closed if it nests below the falls again. And on May 12, 2007, a pair was again found near the falls. God help us from misplaced conservation efforts. Better someone should spend their time trying to convince the Pope to allow birth control! Now that could save a lot more than just Louisiana Waterthrushes.
In winter, this section of the parkway is closed to vehicles and is opened to skiing only. Hikers may still use the trails. The exact dates are weather dependent, but usually from mid-November to early April.
There is an excellent bilingual brochure, complete with trail map, available at the visitors' centre and sometimes at the trailhead.
Lauriault Falls and Mulvihill Lake Trail
Gatineau Park South Route Directions: From whichever parking lot you've chosen, return to the (Promenade) Champlain Parkway and continue north along it for 2.0 km (or 2.9 km if you parked at the Waterfall Trail lot) to the parking area for the next site on this route, the King Mountain Trail at Black Lake.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2015 Larry E. Neily
Last update: October 27, 2009