Monts-Valin National Park (Sentier des Sommets)

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

Region: Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

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.

Sepaq – Parc National Monts-Valin English

Sepaq Visitor Guide Brochure (English)

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:

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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.

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As soon as you leave the car you will see this small sign leading into a narrow path. We started here:

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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).

IMG_5404IMG_5394IMG_5407First viewpoint:IMG_5395IMG_5419

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).

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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.

IMG_5430IMG_5431IMG_5436Main viewpoint at 910m high, with a beautiful scenery of the park and the Saguenay region.IMG_5437IMG_5440Yay! I almost completed a 6km walk!IMG_5445IMG_5447

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).

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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).

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