After a few days in Montreal, here I am leaving aboard my car booked beforehand on Turo (all my recommendations for preparing your trip are available here) to furrow the roads of Quebec. Here is a programme; be aware, there is no rest for the wicked!
2 days in the Laurentides
It’s time for the big departure : let’s go to my first Canadian national park, the Mont Tremblant National Park (SEPAQ)!
I’m stopping by the centre of the Mont Tremblant village to buy picnic. And there, I am surprised to discover a really cute village with traditional coloured houses and paved streets. After getting some informations from the discovery centre, I decide to do 2 little hikes in the afternoon:
- The Devil’s Fall : more a walk than a hike. After 30 minutes of walking in the forest, you can access a rather impressive fall.
- The Rock : this time, the thighs are hurting a bit more because this hike is essentially going up, but everything is forgotten once you arrived at the platform from where you have a beautiful view on the Monroe Lake valley.
Then I went at the Manitonga youth hostel for two nights. It’s very peaceful in September; I even had a dormitory only to myself!
For this second day, different kind of plan:
- Descente des méandres du diable en kayak. N’en ayant pas fait depuis longtemps, j’étais un peu inquiète de me retrouver seule sur un kayak pendant 3h, mais j’ai très vite été rassurée : j’ai été accompagnée d’un groupe rencontré sur place, le courant rend la descente facile et les rapides sont vraiment simples. J’ai très vite compris pourquoi les québécois adorent faire du kayak : les paysages depuis le cours d’eau sont vraiment superbes ! Suivant si cest la haute ou basse saison, il vous faudra réserver un des départs ; il faut se renseigner au centre de découverte.
- La Corniche : autre rando toute en montée qui donne accès à sensiblement la même vue que pour la rando de la veille, mais moins en hauteur. Il vaut donc mieux privilégier la rando « La Roche ».
2 days in the Mauricie
Waking up with a rainy weather, I’m therefore deciding to chill this morning and peacefully drive to my next step: Trois Rivières (Three Rivers). After leaving my luggage at the Three Rivers International Hostel (that I don’t really recommend because the staff isn’t welcoming and the sanitary could use a little refreshment!), I’m going to have a look around the city centre nearby. Quite a disappointment, Trois Rivières is a bland port city except it’s the nearest city to the Mauricie National Park.
I’m going the next day. It’s a Quebec Park; I therefore have to pay for the entrance because my SEPAQ pass doesn’t work here. I’m going to the Wapizagonke lake where there’s a canoe rental and also the departure for the Waber Falls.
Clearly, you have to be a bit of an adventurer for this route: badly indicated, no signal, row against the wind, land with your feet in cold water and pull the kayak to pass through the beavers dam and walk with wet feet… The Waber Falls are still quite a good reward!
In retrospect, I would’ve like to spend one more day in this park to go on hikes and see another facet of this place.
3 days in the region of Quebec
4 days in the region of Saguenay – Saint-Jean Lake
For more details on this, go read the soon to be published article 4 days in the region of Saguenay – Lac Saint-Jean.
1 day on the Northern Coast
It is time to change region to go to Tadoussac where I’m meeting two persons I’ve met earlier in a hostel.
The road 172 linking these two regions is known to be very beautiful, which I approve. The weather’s bad and still it’s hard to focus on the road and not stop every 10 minutes! There are many lakes with cottages around, and the road is surrounded by colourful trees.
There is also the St Rose du Nord village which I heard good things about. It’s nested atop the mountain but is also surrounded by water; I don’t really understand where it’s got such a good reputation… Except the atypical landscape, the houses are quite bland even look abandoned, and the touristic buses keep coming…
Note that if you didn’t go all the way to the Saint-Jean lake, the easiest to go to Tadoussac is to take the free ferry situated towards Baie-Sainte-Catherine and will take you there in 10 minutes.
It’s with my two fellow acolytes that I finally reach Les Escoumins, 30 minutes away from Tadoussac for our Zodiac outing with the Croisière Escoumins Cruises company. Why do the wales outing here and not in Tadoussac? Because there are less tourists and it’s therefore cheaper.
We are lukcy because the sun came out just as we went on the boat. We saw wales as well as other marine mammals from a distance that I never could have hoped nor imagined!
Still amazed by our outing, we decide do go to Tadoussac youth hostel, which atmosphere was one of the best of all the hostels I’ve been to.
1 week in Gaspésie
This region is far too great to describe it is a few sentences, so a special article is to come soon on this week in Gaspesie!
For the Gaspesie National Park, I also recommend the Mont Albert hike and the Mont Xalibu hike if the weather is good (which was not the case for me!)
3 days in the Bas-Saint-Laurent
After this rather busy week in Gaspesie, I decide to take my time to join Rimouski, where my future adventures will happen. It’s also the start of the return journey…
After a good night sleep in my Airbnb, I start driving to the Bic National Park which is nearby. With the recommendations of my host, I’ve done the “Les Murailles” hike starting from the Raoul-Roy belvedere. I was disappointed because it’s not offering many points of vews because de trail is in a dense forest, which is pretty but in 21 days of relentless visits, we become picky!
I don’t discourage and head towards the Hell’s Gates Canyon Park. The entrance costs $14.50. It’s a mix of emotions for my eyes! This little park hides many wonders: the highest gateway of Quebec, big and small waterfalls, automnal trees… Impossible to be disappointed by the sight of all of that! The Draveur hike allows to see all these beautiful things.
Second day at the Bic national park, second chance! Today, I’m doing the Grand Tour hike. Can’t really improvise as you depend on the tide. Indeed, the departure has to happen 2h before the low tide; for example, that day, the low tide was at noon: I therefore had to start at 10am.
Here I am, reconciled with this park! This hike is atypical because it’s on rocks surrounding the Saint-Laurent river and you have to climb on them to create a path. Usually, I prefer the hikes where you go higher because I think you’re able to see the landscapes better, but this one allows to see quite good ones as well, and different from the ones I’ve seen so far.
It’s already time to take the road to go to Kamouraska where is supposed to be the second most beautiful sunset in the world. I’m saying “supposed” because the weather didn’t allow me to appreciate the colours of the setting sun; but the decor was promising.
1 day in the region of Chaudière – Appalaches
This region is at the boundary with Quebec’s. This day in detail will soon be an article “What to do in the surroundings of Quebec”.
3 days in the region of Quebec
My stay in this region happened in two parts, so I gathered them two in this article: What to do in the surroundings of Quebec.
3 days in Estrie
It was my three last days of road trip, so I enjoyed my days as much as I could. Find the detail of these adventurous three days here very soon.
It’s time to go back to Montreal for a few days. Here are a few great numbers: I visited 9 regions of Quebec, drove 6000km, walked 200km, did 40km kayaking, and I met so many new animals… Woaw!
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