Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Hiking Murphy's Point Provincial Park

One of my favourite things about Instagram is the hiking ideas it gives me.  When I realized that Murphy's Point, a provincial park I discovered thanks to Narcity, near(ish) to Ottawa would make a great break on along driving day I was set.

When we go on road trips we try to find something fun and active to do every two to three hours (particularly on long driving days) and Murphy's Point was perfect.

Murphy's Point used to be an old mining community.  For $15.50 we bought a day pass for our family to the park (and because it was the weekend in the summer) our entry included actors in period clothes 'working' in the mine along our 2.5 km hike to explain about the area when it was a mine.  All of the ground along the hiking path is sparkled thanks to the Mica mined in the area.

 Taking the path to past entry points of the mine (Our handy hard hats were provided for us to borrow from Murphy's Point for our journey)

Heading into the depths of the mines.  This was the most challenging part of the hike.

Exploring the depths of the cave can be slippery and cool.  I'd recommend wearing running shoes even though we saw a number of people in sandals.

Learning how rocks were drilled, broken down, and removed from the mine for processing.  Kids started working in the mine as young as 14.  Before a 15 horsepower machine was used in this mine, a single horse would need to help miners haul giant tubs of rock out of the mine.

Back at the bunkhouse Molly rings the bell to let the miners know that it's time to go in for lunch. 

Murphy's Point Provincial Park participates in a program to help protect, tag, and track local wildlife, including snakes.  This gray rat snake was about a metre long and was found at the park.  He was brought in to be tagged so the next time they see him they can scan him and track his growth.  He should grow up to be about 2 metres long.

The park was a perfect break where we spent about an hour and a half of the day.  I'd recommend calling or emailing in advance to schedule your trip for when the actors are working and the mine is running because we learned so much.  People who want to stay longer and explore other trails can camp at the park in the summer.  There are grassy spots to picnic all over the park.  They also sell rocks which can make a perfect souvenir.  Jack bought a piece of Mica for $1 and Molly bought a quartz crystal for $3.  The park is just over an hour away from Ottawa city Centre and just over three hours east of Toronto depending on the traffic.  

If you have any hiking recommendations please share!  We'd love to try them out.

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