Monday, September 24, 2018

Terra Firma Forest Trails

                                     PENS makes walking on Suttons' mountains possible

I love hiking. Thanks to PENS (le Parc d'environnement de Sutton). 52 kilometres of hiking trail in the Sutton Mountains are yours to discover during summer and fall. PENS is a 40-year-old non-profit organization with a dedicated team of skilled trail blazers (in every sense of the word). Environmentalists of all specialities keep the trails clean and safe  with total attention to ease of ascent, the team consists of experts and volunteers that oversee the grooming of the ground, drainage and maintenance with clearing. Most surprising, they carry out all such tasks by hand!

Pens cleared the old ruined trail on left;  new trail at right

I had the pleasure of hiking one day with Patricia Lefevre, Director of PENS. 

Patricia Lefevre

                                         Together we we hiked the Spruce Trail 

View walking toward lake Vogel

    (PENS cleared the ruined trail at left; new trail at right)

There are many trails that loop around the ski area -- the longest is Round Top at 952 feet. In fact, the region offers four summits with staggering views.

On the 3-kilometre hike to Spruce Lake, Patricia pointed out many beech trees, yellow and white birches, hemlocks, maples and spruce. It was glorious. 

We rested on a tree "seat"

Lingering at Spruce Lake

We then went to secluded Lac Vogel. It's pristine perfect for solitude.

                  Marmite Trail

Take a look at the smooth wooden railing that starts you on your way on this easy woody trail. PENS made those in order to provide support as you go down the few steps. 

This charming path was once used to transport wood and ice from the mountain.

Ruins from the past 

Its forest of lush maples hugs the narrow Sutton River.
 Listen to the little waterfalls tumbling over rocks.

On the way, I spotted chickadees, a blue jay and a woodpecker. This creates an enchanting ambiance as the water ambles on.

The river starts just after the stairs

The 3.8 kilometres lead you to Sutton village. Just follow the yellow sign marking on trees as they stand along the river.

                          What a wonderful way to be at one with rock, river and forest!

“Thank you Patricia for hiking with me, and for inviting me to judge PENS “Together” exhibit of stunning photos taken by locals of Sutton’s magnificent nature”.