A 6km loop trail in the Monts-Valin mountains, an intermediate-level, can be challenging for young kids. Not suitable for a baby stroller. In order to reach the trail’s starting point, you will go up the mountain by car. The trail goes inside very dense, rocky woods, then continues to a higher elevation with the main viewpoint at the “Pic-de-la-Hutte” – 900 meters elevation. A bit older kids will enjoy climbing over the rocks & tree roots, jumping over the water streams and enjoying nature. Our 6 and 4 years old managed to complete the trail with a smile.
Address: Discovery and Visitor Centre, 360 Rang Saint-Louis, Saint-Fulgence, G0V 1S0, QC
Drive: about 5h20 north-east from Montreal. 30 mins north-east from Saguenay city
Hiking period: June to October
Entrance fee: Stop at the visitor & disovery centre to pay Sepaq entry fees. There are showers and toilets at the centre. (Check rates and opening hours online).
Rental: kayak and canoe available (but not relevant for this walk).
Parking is included with the entry fee.
Sector to start the walk: Pic-de-la-Hutte/ Les Sommets
Total trail’s elevation gain: about 70 meters.
Tip: Ask the staff at the Discovery centre to provide you with a magnifing glass and a small booklet for some kids’ station on trail “Les Sommets” and trail “Pic-de-la-Hutte”. This is free of charge but the booklet needs to be returned to the centre.
Once you pay at the discovery centre, drive for about 8 minutes up the mountain on a dirt road, follow the signs to Pic-de-La-Hutte parking lot at 840m. Here is an idea of the different sectors and trails of the park:
The trail (“Les Sommets”) is a bit confusing as it is part of other trails (“Le Pic-de-la-Hutte” & “Le Pic-du-Grand-Corbeau”). I hope it will be easier for you to follow with these instructions. As this is a loop trail, you can start in either direction. We walked anti-clockwise. I added some marks over the Sepaq map to indicate how we hiked (black arrows – red and blue trails).
I would divide the trail into 4 parts: the first is the dense wood with one small viewpoint. The second includes the junction to “Pic du Grand Corbeau” and less dense wood, a bit going uphill with another small viewpoint, the third is the climb up to “Pic-de-la-Hutte” – the main viewpoint (blue line on the map) and the fourth, the walk on the wooden deck towards the parking and towards the Lac des Pionniers.
As soon as you leave the car you will see this small sign leading into a narrow path. We started here:
First part – The walk was inside a dense wood, with lots of roots and stones to jump over. Our kids needed a helping hand along the way. It was also very slippery at some parts (end of August).
Second part – At this junction (see image below), decide if you wish to a) add 2km-tour to view “Pic du Grand Corbeau”, b) walk down to the discovery centre, or c) continue towards “Pic De la Hutte” (like we chose to do).
Third part (blue trail on the map mentioned earlier) – climbing uphill to “Pic-de-la-Hutte” viewpoint, detouring from the main trail for an extra 0.5km, 1km return. Some parts on a wooden deck and some parts on gravel. We turned left at this junction.
Main viewpoint at 910m high, with a beautiful scenery of the park and the Saguenay region.Yay! I almost completed a 6km walk!
The fourth part is the way towards the parking, mainly flat on a wooden deck with some activities for kids (about 10 stations to learn and to quiz the kids about the area).
The sign below was the end of our trail, possible to start the walk “Les Sommets” from here (about 400 meters away from the car parking).