The Hawk Trail
in thePetawawa Research Forest

A gallery of photos from along the Maunsell Lake Trail and Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest.

2010 February 05

Several years ago logging operations south west of Maunsell Lake rendered parts of the old Maunsell Lake Trail impassable. Subsequently the Hawk Trail was established (see the map from The Friends of the PRF website or the satellite image below). The trail comprises parts of the old Maunsell Lake Trail, Populus Trail, Young Creek Trail and Irene Lake Trail. These latter trails had fallen into disuse and disrepair following the closing of the Petawawa National Forestry Institute in the early '90s.

The map indicates a length of 8 km. However, it appears that this refers only to the loop at the western end of Maunsell Lake. The length of the entire trail, starting at and returning to the old headquarters area, is 12 km. It is perhaps appropriate to refer to the first section as the Maunsell Lake Trail and the loop to the west as the Hawk Loop.

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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The Maunsell Lake Trail near its start at the old headquarters area.

hemlock grove along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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After crossing the Young Lake Road and the power lines, the trail passes through a nice hemlock grove (this view is looking east).

Maunsell Lake along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Arriving at the eastern end of Maunsell Lake

Maunsell Lake along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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An overgrown road runs from the Young Lake Road to this point. This old road provides an easier route to Maunsell Lake in the summer.

Maunsell Lake along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Where Maunsell Creek leaves Maunsell Lake.

Maunsell Lake along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

(photo by Bob: 2010-01-29 - map - explore

Along the north shore of Maunsell Lake

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Between Maunsell Lake and Fuelwood Road

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Creek between Maunsell Lake and Fuelwood Road

The Young Lake Road along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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At the Young Lake Road

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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After leaving the Young Lake Road the trail climbs up into an open hardwood bush with interspersed conifers.

a small creek along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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A small creek under the snow.

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Lots of ups and downs on this section of the trail.

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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The trail runs along a ridge overlooking a small unnamed lake (although the map suggest this is more of a wetland than a lake).

glacial erratic along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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Glacial erratic

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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lookout along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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At the eastern of the ridge, there is a very nice lookout spot that catches the midday sun. Too much snow to be able to sit down though.

beaver pond along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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After descending from the ridge, the trail crosses a beaver pond.

along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

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While I had no reason to be suspicious of the ice, I was alone and I felt it prudent to cross on the beaver dam (to the right of the above photo). This is the view looking downstream from atop the dam.

Maunsell Lake along the Hawk Trail in the Petawawa Research Forest

(photo by Bob: 2010-01-29 - map - explore

Back to Maunsell Lake

I haven't provided any photos for the ~3 km stretch between the beaver pond and the return to Maunsell Lake. This section didn't impress me as being that interesting, the snow conditions were very rough, and frankly, I was too bushed for photography.

This trail has some very scenic sections. But I would rate it as difficult -- especially the western limits. It is remote, and it doesn't see much traffic. Assess your abilities appropriately.

A shorter and easier loop (8 km) is possible by taking a short cut along Fuelwood Road but this misses the best scenery.

Satellite Image