Today, I will describe in more details the Meetup experience and show you additional pictures of the amazing Hunt Lake Trail.
Like many Canadian stories, a lot of Meetup starts in a Tim Horton’s. People gathered for a quick coffee and meal on the go as they wait for everyone to show and decide carpooling to the event. For this event though, my girlfriend Mary-Clara and I, decided to skip carpooling and meet everyone up at the start of the trail (we live outside of Winnipeg and it would have been a detour for us). So, on a nice Saturday morning, we arrived at the trailhead and met another couple who had also decided to skip carpooling. Unfortunately for us, the rest of the group showed up quite a bit later than expected and there was growing frustration as we were ready to get going. Eventually though, everyone showed up and any frustration quickly evaporated as we started hiking. It was a nice Saturday morning with a temperature that was just right and luckily, we didn’t have any mosquitoes with this dry season.
For the first part of the trail, we follow the South-East escarpment of Hunt Lake. It has quite a bit of ups and down and is quite rocky but the view is amazing and just the first kilometer is already worth the change from the landscape of flat prairies around Winnipeg.
The first place that people tend to stop and take pictures is “the cave”, along the rock escarpment, maybe two meters above the base is a small recess in the rock formation that can fit a person or two and is accessible by scaling the wall, hanging to rocks and trees to lift us up.
As we continue in the trail, we eventually leave the edge of Hunt Lake and start following the South-Eastern edge of West Hawk Lake, a bigger lake formed by a meteorite crater and also Manitoba’s deepest lake.
While the terrain also contains a lot of ups and downs, roots and rocks, it also contains some more leveled terrain and the bigger climbs and descent are more spaced allowing you to get to a more regular pace in between the major obstacles.
In this endurance section, memory becomes more of a blur but still offers a lot of natural beauty from rock formations, lake points and bays and different forest environments. After approximately 2h20 minutes of hiking we finally reach the shelter at the end of the trail.
There, the group decides to take its only major rest and lunch, knowing we have the same distance to go back, some dip their feet in the cold water of the bay while others find proper seating in the shelter and the rest sits on the bedrock of the Canadian Shield overlooking the bay. During the return, people starts feeling the strain of the 13.4 kilometer hike in their muscles but everyone makes it safe and refreshed by the experience.
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