Sunday, September 20, 2009

Parc nationale de Plaisance Quebec

Today I had the pleasure of discovering la parc nationale de Plaisance. It is near Thurso Quebec and comprises of a series of islands, penisulas and marshes in the Ottawa River. It is a natural haven for birds and has dozens of observation platforms.

The northern cycling path was a challenge for my road bike, in particular when my wheels spun in the soft sand along the park roads, but the scenery was spectacular. I rode along sun dappled trails with marsh or river beside me. As we biked along the path a more beautiful scene awaited us. It was a pure delight to the senses!

We rode to Plaisance and visited the falls. There was a village near the falls from 1912-1925. No one knows why the village ceased to exist as there was no church nearby and hence, no records. There are post holes evident where the homes once stood and the site of a mill beside the impressive waterfalls. There is a small museum dedicated to the site and this history in Plaisance, but I did not visit it.

The parc is immaculate, with Yurts for rent, spacious cabins and what appeared to be hundreds of splendid picnic sites. We passed many canoeists and fishermen slowly plying the golden waters. Once we had arrived in Plaisance we took a ferry back to Thurso. The ferry was a pontoon boat and as the journey was 25 minutes, it allowed me time to drink my thermos of mint tea as I sat down.

After the trip, ably lead by Stella Val of the Kanata Nepean Bicycle club ended, I rode along La Route Verte back to Masson to catch the ferry to Cumberland where my car was was. I had cycled some 85 km. This was by no means a long ride, but the scenery and the fact that I was forced, because of the roads to go slower than usual meant that I was able to relax and enjoy the environment that surrounded me.

La parc national de Plaisance is a hidden treasure and well worth a visit!

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