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).
Address: Chemin de la Cascade, Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm, QC J0T 2C0 (8 km from the village near 767, chemin Ouareau Nord).
Drive north west from Montreal for about 1h40
Not suitable for baby stroller
No picnic area
The path is part of Club de plein air de Saint Donat, it looks like the path is also suitable during wintertime for snowshoeing.
Park nearby the path entry and head uphill. The hike is not too difficult. The walk itself is inside a forest shaded by trees and after about 900 meters you will reach the viewpoint.
The scenery is wonderful with views over Lac Ourareau and its bays with small islands.
Although not a picnic area, we rested at the viewpoint (with benches) for a small snack and decided to continue walking uphill for another 800 meters until we reached a junction: option to go uphill for the Refuge la Chouette, head towards Lac du Carcan or head back the same way we arrived. The path is marked with circular yellow signs on the trees.
We decided to head back to the car (parking Chemin Cascades) as we already walked 1.7km one way and we decided to head to St Donat for an ice cream! Total walk was about 3.4km. The additional walk is not a must, if you don’t intend to continue for the refuge or towards lac Carcan.
Option 1 – head back to the parking
Option 2: Continue to go uphill towards the refuge house.
Option 3: Continue towards the walk ‘sentier du petit Carcan’ which has 2 additional viewing points.
The walk downhill was fun and easy! Important tip: during our visit beginning of June, the place was full of mosquitoes. Don’t forget your sunscreen and spray against bugs!!! It was a must for us!