Sunday, May 28, 2006

Champlain lookout, Pink Lake, Champlain Park

We took a little daytrip to Gatineau Park today, and visited a number of lookouts, including Champlain lookout (pictured). We were able to see the escarpment where the Canadian shield ends, and the St. Lawrence Lowlands, in this case, the Ottawa Valley, begins. It was quite beautiful, though we thought the blackflies were going to carry us off in really tiny pieces.

We stopped at Pink Lake on the way back through the park. We've hiked the trail around Pink Lake before, but today we just stopped to take a look from a place on the road, and to take a few pictures. The flies were better here, but they started to gather just as we were leaving. Pink lake is particularly special because it's one of just a handful of Merometic lakes in Canada. Merometic lakes don't mix as normal lakes do, and therefore the oxygen and nutrients don't reach the bottom. The last few meters of Pink Lake have no oxygen, and therefore don't support life. A layer of anerobic bacteria do inhabit the lake 7 meters from the bottom, as near the light as possible, without entering the oxygenated water. There are some special species of fish also, left behind from when the area was covered by the Champlain sea just after glaciation.

After Pink Lake, we croseed the Champlain bridge and stopped at Champlain park. It's nestled in the middle of the Ottawa river, north of downtown, under the aptly named Champlain bridge that crosses the river between Ottawa and Gatineau. The park seems to be a fabourite haunt for Kayakers, as there are some minor rapids on the river there, and a good place to launch boats. The ducks and ducklings also seemed to enjoy the area. It has an excellent view of Ottawa/Hull downtown.

After a good afternoon of playing tourist, we headed back to the house.Posted by Picasa

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