• 3 days in Estrie •

3 days in Estrie

This month of road trip through Québec is coming to an end. This time, I’m going from Québec to Montreal via the south of the Saint-Laurent riverTo discover the region of Estrie!

Day 1

After a bit more than a 2h drive, I’m making a stop at the Mégantic lake that I’ve heard so much good things about… And I’m not disappointed! I’m enjoying the calm of the touristic station of the Baie-des-Sables during the low season period to admire this place: a lake bordered with automnal coloured trees and a few pretty houses, I’m not getting bored of this!

Mégantic lake

Not far from here is the Mont Mégantic national park, known for welcoming the most performant astronomical observatory of Canada… Just that!
My plans of observing stars there were quickly forgotten: the discovery centre staff told me that the observatory is only open to public during the weekend in low season. It’s mandatory to leave the park after the sunset. This park has a particularity: most of its interest points are accessible by car (but also on foot), so let’s go! I’m driving until the Mont Saint-Joseph from where there’s a very nice view and I enjoy this moment to do the small Promenade boréale (walk) of 2km. Once again, I see the colourful Canadian forest.

The light is starting to set, it’s time to go to the Mont Mégantic where there is the observatory but also the best spot to see a sunset.
I couldn’t see the one in Kamouraska, the one that’s supposed to be the second most beautiful sunset in the world (more details here), but this one certainly deserves a trophy too! I let you see by yourself.

Right, so I refuse to leave the area without having seen any stars. I’m therefore testing the alternative spot recommended by the discovery centre: the Halte municipale of Notre-Dame-des-Bois. Let’s be honest, it’s not a place you would dream of: it’s a car park on the side of the road and the night isn’t very reassuring. I’m taking a few pictures of the sky full of stars (my first ones!) and I’m quickly going back to the safety of my car to go to the Magog-Oxford youth hostel (which I strongly recommend to anyone who wants to visit the region).

Day 2

The hostel is only 10 minutes away from the Mont Oxford national park. Therefore, I’m going to see the surroundings and I come across this marvellous little colourful island in the middle of a lake where some people are kayaking… A real postcard!

I’m doing the “La Boucle des 3 Etangs” hike after being recommended it. I’m quite disappointed because its ponds are lacking charm and the path is so busy... I think this park has a lot better to offer.
The weather is overcast, not ideal to visit a park! I’m therefore going to Sherbrooke, one of the big cities of Québec.
I recommend you to start your visit by going to the tourism office for two good reasons: it’s possible to park for free for a few hours and they offer different parcours to visit the city.
I choose the “Les Murales” circuit which allows to discover the city while finding wall paintings at every corner of the city, which retrace its history. It’s a nice way of walking in the streets of Sherbrooke, which, I have to admit, I don’t love as much as Montreal or Québec

I still had a crush at the end of the circuit for the Nations lake where I was able to see an amazing sunset… This region is undoubtedly favourable for them!

Day 3

I’m starting this new day, well decided to discover more about this SEPAQ park (to know more about the different parks, click here).
To do so, I’m doing the hardest hike of the park: the Sentier des Crêtes and its 18.7km (9h walk).
Well… Okay I cheated a bit! I walked until the Pic de l’Ours where I made a u-turn to go to the Grande Halle car park where my car was. Which is still about 10km walk!
But these 5h of walking were enough for me to be amazed: this hike is going straight to my Top 5 best hikes of Québec! It’s not easy because it’s going up quite a bit and sometimes you have to climb here and there to join the path, but it’s worth it. The points of views on the different lakes of the park are surrounded by automnal colours trees. It’s magnificent.

I’m really glad that my road trip is ending on such a positive note. I can finish it in Montreal (our 4 days program available here) with magic in my heart!

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