The Gatineau Parkway is closed during the winter months and used as a cross country ski trail. Call the Gatineau Park Information and Ski Condition line at 819-827-2020 or 1 800 465-1867 (toll-free).
As you stand at the Champlain Lookout the whole of the Ottawa Valley is displayed before you. But 11,000 years ago you would have seen something completely different, the Champlain Sea, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. The sea is thought to have been similar to the present day James Bay region of Canada, a subarctic ocean dominated by ice. Plant and animal communities in and around the Champlain Sea were likely similar to those that exist near the present Gulf of St. Lawrence, where beluga whales and several species of seal still thrive.
During its maximum extent, the Champlain Sea covered an area of over 20,500 square miles in portions of Ontario, Quebec, New York and Vermont. This area includes much of what is now the St. Lawrence River Valley, the lower Ottawa Valley and the Champlain Valley.
About 15,000 years ago the Wisconsin Glaciation, the last of four major glacial periods to cover the Ottawa-Gatineau region, reached its peak. The Laurentide Ice Sheet covered an enormous area of eastern Canada with ice that was kilometers thick. The tremendous weight of the glaciers caused the earth beneath them to compress and subsequently sink. Immediately after the glaciers retreated northward the land remained depressed for quite some time, and global sea levels were rising with the melt waters, allowing the ocean to overflow the land. As the ground level rose up, a process called ‘isostatic rebound’ which is still occurring in the Hudson’s bay area, the sea retreated. By about 10,000 years ago the sea had entirely receded from its bay and the current landscape of rivers and lakes formed.
To log this cache go to the posted co-ordinates and photograph yourself with the Ottawa Valley in the background and post this on your log. Then you must discover the answer to these three questions and email them to me, Bluelamb03
1. How thick was the ice sheet that covered this region?
2. How deep was the Champlain Sea in this region?
3. What is the elevation of the Champlain Lookout now?