After hiking the Falls Brook Falls Trail near Edmundston I decided I would check out Le Prospecteur Trails to the north of the city. I found a map of the trails on the Edmundston website but no indication on how to find the park. I found another map on the Tourism Edmundston website overlayed on a photo so I could figure out where to look. I also saw a sign earlier in the day so I knew the general general location of the park. I found a single parking spot on a small road past the industrial park, got out and started to climb the steep hill.
The first trail that climbed the hill was called the De l’Évêché trail. At the top of the hill I came to a T with the Bob-Leboeuf Trail going in either direction along the top of the hill. I turned left and passed several benches at lookouts overlooking the City. The trail came to another T with an old road that was part of the Penchant de la Madoueska Trail. I climbed the hill and soon came to Le Montagnard Park. A sign said it is a toboggan and snowshoe park with trails and green-space for picnics. The park looked to be under construction. The Penchant de la Madoueska Trail turned left and followed along a small stream. Eventually it came out at the end of a new subdivision road.
The trail system continued further back in the woods on le Sapin Baumier Trail but I had to start making my way back so I turned left and continued on the loop formed by the Penchant de la Madoueska Trail. The Belle View Trail was a short spur that came to a lookout that looked up through the valley above Edmundston. The trail went down the hill and back up until it got to another lookout with benches that provided another view of the pulp mill and the city.
The trail climbed the hill and came back to the T junction at the end of the Bob-Leboeuf Trail. I returned on the Bob-Lebouf Trail. This time I checked out the Mine D’or Trail as I passed. This is a steep, rocky trail that goes straight down over the hill, passing a rock cut and ending in a rocky area that provides another great view of the city. After sliding in the mud and falling, and almost breaking my camera, I considered continuing the climb down to the road below and walking back to the car. I changed my mind and decided that I should check out the Montagnard and the Des Cascades Trail while I was so far from home so I could concentrate on the trails at the back of the park the next time I came.
I climbed up over the steep hill once again. This time my legs were beginning to burn. I continued on the Bob-Labouf Trail once again until it ended at a junction with the Montagnard and Cascades Trail. I turned left on the Montagnard Trail and after a short climb up the hill came to another park entrance in another subdivision. This area was called Le Montagnard. I returned to the Cascades Trail, which began to drop over the hill again. I was worried that the trail would once again dead end and I would have to climb back up the hill once again. It followed a small stream over the hill that had many small waterfalls. Eventually the trail came to a small bridge beside a couple of picnic tables. There were some interesting wooden step type structures near the bottom of the stream where the water dumped into a sewer drain. The wooden structures looked like something they would have used to sift for gold.
The trail came out in another subdivision that I knew wasn’t far from the car so I hit the pavement. When I got back to the car I hurried to start my drive to the Miramichi. I wanted to get there before the kids were in bed and it was already getting close to 7 PM. I had to leave the exploration of the rest of Edmundston for another day. Hopefully I can share my next visit with Vicki and the kids.
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