Allan Richens was a true trail blazer in Chelsea. He was an avid and accomplished hiker, skier, sailor, cartographer and historian who contributed greatly to our trail network in Chelsea as well as in Gatineau Park. With his straightforward, down-to-earth approach, he lobbied the NCC to restore the cabin at Healy and to erect a plaque at Wattsford’s Lookout. He was a cornerstone of our community, and true community activist.
He wanted people to remember the old names of the trails, such as the” Merry Go Round” in the Park (otherwise known as #11) and Cooper’s Trail in Larrimac, and it was Allan who quietly hung the brown signs for trails in Chelsea such as NorthWest Passage and Bleakney Trail. He introduced us to a myriad of stories and landmarks along the trail on his ever-popular annual hike from Larrimac Golf Course to Carbide Wilson. So familiar was he with the trails, that he seamlessly wove pioneer history alongside favorite family picnic rock outcrops.
Allan’s joy and enthusiasm for life rubbed off on anyone who met him, on the dock, on the trail, or even to see him walking along the 105, making his way up from the Yacht Club on a sunny summer day. We miss Allan!