Located in the Eastern Townships nearby Granby, Yamaska National Park is wonderful for families. Surrounded by hills, this 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.
Address: 1780 Boulevard David-Bouchard, Roxton Pond, J0E 1Z0, QC
Region: Eastern Townships
Drive east for about an hour from Montreal
Entry Fee: Sepaq tariff ($8.60 per day for adult), kids under 17 free.
Parking: Please note, when the park’s supervised beach (lifeguard service) is open, a parking fee is added $8.31 / car. Sepaq card members need to pay parking fees even if they hold a membership card.
Open year round, check website as schedule varies
Rental equipment available: bikes, canoe, pedal boat, row boat, stand up paddle.
Cafeteria – Yes
Suitable for baby stroller
We paid at the gatehouse and continued to drive straight for about 1 km until we reached the designated parking. Don’t be confused by the camping site signs along the way.
A short walk away from the main parking zone there is a supervised beach and a big playground. The kids played for a while and then we headed for the trail La Rivière.
La Rivière is a 2.5km loop walk in the forest and is considered an easy walk – ‘Sepaq Family Experience’. The trail is marked along the way and easy to follow. It is suitable for snowshoeing during wintertime. For families with young kids, be aware of the cycling path which merges with the La Rivière trail from time to time. Bring bug spray and try to avoid walking on the low vegetation along the trail (due to ticks). The trail has different stations with the park’s animal & vegetation info and quizzes for kids.
The trail starts nearby the ‘Le Maxime Discovery and Visitors Centre’.
The walk is inside the forest until about halfway where suddenly the brown soil turns green with a viewpoint of Rivière Yamaska Nord and two picnic tables. There are two dams in Yamaska park. Barrage (dam) Choinière is nearby the trail and if you wish to see it, there are signs along the trail explaining how to reach it, as it is a small detour from the 2.5km.
Once we finished the loop trail, it was very warm and the kids headed for the water jets located nearby the beach.
Many visitors were doing BBQs and water sports. At this visit, we did not rent any water gear. We just enjoyed playing soccer and resting near the beach. Next time we will definitely try the water activities and also the Grand Tour, the 19km biking path all around the reservoir. Do not expect clear crystal water in the reservoir, the water brownish colour is due to the type of stony sand in the area.