Willson Carbide Ruins – Go Explore!
Built in 1911 by Canadian inventor Thomas Willson, the Willson Carbide Mill was originally used to create calcium carbide for the production of acetylene gas. Far from an overwhelming success, the mill eventually fell into a state of disrepair, and was victim to an unforgiving fire, leaving only its foundation as you see today.
Some great photos of the original site are found on the Capital Gems website.
For those familiar with the Gatineau Park, it is truly a sight to be seen.
Fun facts: In the past it has also been a haunt for nude swimmers 😉
If you are on the hunt for an instagramable date, or just a cool trip to take with friends, this should definitely be one for the NCR bucket list. Make sure to pack a bathing suit (or not?) as the water just calls for you to go for a dip! And a picnic lunch is always a great treat.
The hike is very manageable and would be easy enough with small children. Important to note is an EXTREMELY long hill that will leave you winded, or laughing dramatically trying to convince your friends you’re not as out of shape as you actually are.
For more details on this history on this site, you may find this website an interesting read.
Word to the wise – if you’re going to explore the trail system beyond the ruins it is probably best to map your trail ahead of time (like any smart hiker would). A group of friends recently made the mistake of forgoing this important step and spent about 4 hours wandering aimlessly making their way back. #liveandlearn.
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