The Hawk Trail
in thePetawawa 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.
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.
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