Only 1 hour away from Montreal, you can find the streaming Ouareau River surrounded by forest trees. This regional park has few lookout points of the Dorwin waterfall and 2.5km of trails along the river with information points. This is a good place to take visitors – a nice viewpoint of the falls and a simple & relaxed walk in the forest (and of course so close to Montreal).
This is a short post about the Verdun – LaSalle bike trail on Montreal island. This path offers many km of bike paths alongside footpaths and shoreline of the St.Lawrence river. The path has been widened along the riverbanks and includes lots of green area for a picnic. There are several viewpoints, kids playgrounds, a splash pad, a swimming pool and areas for paddleboard (SUP) and kayak. The view of the river is outstanding and you can feel the power of the water near the Parc des Rapides. The walking path which is parallel to the biking trail is very suitable for a baby stroller.
Aux Berges du Lac Castor is a large resort located on the shore of Lake Castor. The resort offers many accommodation options along with a sandy beach and a wooden deck. Canoeing, 30km of hiking trails, playground, beach volley, petanque, BBQ grill – all part of the entry fee. We went there only for a few hours for a dip in the water and relaxation time before heading to see the beautiful Trembles waterfalls, less than 10 mins away by car.
Rain or Shine, it’s outdoor time. We spent about 3 hours in this wonderful orchard in heavy rain and we loved it. Verger Champetre is offering lots of activities for kids: petting farm, animals (alpacas, ponies, sheep, gooses, deer), playground, shop, an interpretive loop trail and pick your own fruits & veggies (cherries, apples, prunes, pears, pumpkins and even garlic!). Unfortunately, the latter we could not do as the cherry season was over and the apple season did not start yet.
So close from Montreal, you can enjoy a full family day outdoor. This dream garden is offering a maze, lavender fields and beautiful monumental sculptures with living plants. We spent about two hours in the garden and then visited the nearby Hudson village with its charming flea market – Finnegan’s Market (open on the weekends).
Everywhere I go, I love to collect tourism brochures. Last Friday evening I was looking for a place to visit and I was going through my box, dedicated to activities in Quebec. I found a brochure about this place. After a search online, we decided to visit it the next day! We decided to combine a visit to the winery with wine tasting, a visit to a super nice antique tractor museum (ideal for tractor fans) and do a 4.5km hike (one way) which starts from the vineyards.
Few weeks ago we decided to visit Chambly for the first time. Equipped with our bikes, we explored the Chambly Canal – which offers 20km of biking trail along the canal (Richelieu River). The canal is linking Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the path is part of Route Verte 1. The locks are a place to rest and to observe how they operate. This is super interesting activity for kids to see. Vessels navigate in a narrow canal, with a 24 meter rise or fall in the river’s level.
Located in the Eastern Townships nearby Granby, this national park is wonderful for families. Surrounded by hills, the man-made Choiniere Reservoir is ideal for family hiking, water activities and biking. On a sunny day, we decided to combine a short hike and enjoy the park with its activities for kids.
Abbey Saint Benoit images have been featured in many regional touristic books. This magical historic landmark is a major attraction. Located in the Eastern Townships, the abbey is surrounded by mountains (Owl’s Head) and nearby the lake of Memphremagog. We also visited a soap factory nearby. Just a perfect day!
If you are looking for a beautiful viewpoint of the Lanaudiere region, this is the place to visit. The trail is about 2 km return – 900 meters to the viewpoint, mostly uphill (elevation gain of about 120 meters).
Located in Granby, on the shores of Lake Boivin, this easy trail is suitable for young families all year long. The long wooden deck along the swamps is offering nice views of the surrounding area. Enjoy bird watching and educative information at the centre which offers temporary exhibitions. Lovely way to spend half a day in nature.
Part of the Laurentian Mountains, located between Saint-Sauveur and Mont-Tremblant, Saint – Adolphe D’Howard is the place for snowshoeing and cross country ski, if you are looking for a less crowded place with challenging hills. This place is one of the most organized outdoor space we have visited, in terms of signs along the way. Clear indications every 50 meters showing the trail you’re on and maps, simple junctions with signs how to head back to the starting point. This post is about our winter hike along the snowshoeing trail in the forest, 6km in total.
This zoo located at the western tip of the Island of Montreal is a good place to go for half a day, all year round. At the zoo you will find species from North America like prey birds, wolves, foxes, lynx, caribou and many more. This is not a regular zoo, it is a wildlife sanctuary where most of the animals are orphans, rehabilitated or born within the zoo enclosure.
If you are looking for a relaxed day outdoor with fantastic views of the streaming St-Lawrence river and Montreal city, this small island – Île Saint-Bernard is the place to visit. Located so close from Montreal, Ile Saint-Bernard is a small island facing Dorval across the St-Lawrence river (which is also called in this part Saint-Louis Lake). The reserve has a variety of eco-systems and it is offering 8km of groomed trails where visitors can enjoy observing animals in their natural habitat. Depending on the season, you can observe many birds, deers and foxes. Throughout the reservation there are many bird feeding stations where you can observe many different bird species.
Mont Saint-Hilaire is located east of Montreal with an elevation of 414 meters. The area is known for its apple orchards thanks to the soil which is ideal for the growth of apple trees. The most touristic activity in the area includes apple picking! We visited an apple orchard and a nearby alpaca farm during a rainy winter Sunday afternoon and it was just wonderful.
Few weeks ago we were looking for a place to do winter tubing (with a mechanical lift) and a walk in the forest. We found this nice park relatively close to Montreal. The park is offering many other activities like snowshoeing trails, cross country ski, outdoor skating and disc golf.
I don’t tend to recommend restaurants and hotels as I do believe it is up to personal taste but I could not resist writing about this fantastic place, not only for the coffee but mostly for its theme with recreational activities. The cafe offers a wall full of board games for all ages. Located in Montreal near UQAM University, we enjoyed a cold and snowy afternoon indoor and it was lots of fun for the whole family.
So close to Montreal, Sommet Saint-Sauveur transforms itself during wintertime from a huge summer waterpark to a ski resort with an additional alpine roller coaster – The Viking nearby. The ski resort is suitable for complete beginners (with magic carpet) to advanced levels, even though the advanced trails are not too steep.
The ski resort, west to Saint-Sauveur is offering 35 trails, 4 lifts, one magic carpet. We were there one Sunday morning to allow our kids to improve their ski proficiency. Looks like this ski resort is known for beginner and intermediate levels as there were many kids lessons taking place and there were long queues at the ski lifts.
How can I describe our day experience at Omega Parc? Way beyond expectations! This 15km drive-through adventure is like a safari expedition to discover the wildlife of Canada. The park has more than 15 species of animals (like deers, elks, wolves, foxes, bisons, turkeys, boars and many more) from different habitats: meadow, forest, mountain, lake and boreal region. You can actually make contact with (most) of the animals by feeding them with carrots (only) when you drive along the path.