In late summer 2012, Carey Kish and Fran Leyman embarked on an 8-day, 70-mile trek on the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) through Gaspésie National Park. Gaspésie is a vast expanse of high summits, alpine tundra, dramatic escarpments, deep valleys, old growth forests and pristine waters located just inland from the St. Lawrence River on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. It is also home to a remnant herd of woodland caribou, as well as moose, deer, black bear and hundreds of bird species. The park’s “Grand Traverse,” was the pair’s goal, and carrying relatively light packs and staying in simple but comfy backcountry refuges, Kish and Leyman enjoyed a magnificent walk.
In the park the IAT connects Mont Logan to Mont Albert, both of which feature extensive alpine terrain and the good possibility of spotting caribou. In between are miles of excellent ridge walking with great views and good swimming.
The refuges are spaced a good day’s walk apart. Each well-maintained outpost has bunk space for eight, table and chairs, woodstove, water source and privy. You need only carry a sleeping bag; no tent or mattress necessary.
At 7pm on Tuesday, May 7th at Fields Pond Nature Center in Holden just outside of Bangor, Kish and Leyman will show slides, describe their adventure, and give advice on replicating it. This program is jointly sponsored by the Fields Pond Audubon Center and by the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. For more information, email John Mullens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Holly Twining at email@example.com
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