Jacques​ – Cartier National Park – Les Cascades

The nicest Sepaq park in terms of scenery (out of the 9 we have visited so far), located in the Laurentian Mountains, 50km north from Quebec City.  This post is about our 4km loop winter walk “Les Cascades”, a relatively simple walk for families (difference in altitude about 40m). The walk is beside a stream (mostly frozen in the winter) and inside a forest, reaching a viewpoint of the Sautauriski mountain. The first part of the walk is along the Jacques Cartier River, starting at the Sepaq discovery and visitor centre (at km 10).

Parc régional de la Chute-à-Bull

This all-year trail is a super fun walk, about 1.9km return, part of the Parcs Regionaux MRC Matawinie. It is not suitable for very small kids as the trail during wintertime can be very slippery. There are about 90 stairs to reach the small waterfall. During our visit, it was mostly frozen and impressive to watch from close proximity. The trail is well maintained and has clear indications. Interpretive signs along the trail will explain the wood logging history of this region.

La Cidrerie Michel Jodoin – Hike and cider tasting

Beautiful Rougemont is known for its apple orchards. Cidrerie Michel Jodoin is located at the base of Mont Rougemont. This fourth generation family-owned apple orchard (since 1901) offers a nice boutique for their cider products, a guided tour of the cider house with tasting and a 3.6km hiking trail up the mountain (private property of the orchard). The trail is an intermediate level (round trip) to reach an elevation of about 220 meters. The scenery at the viewpoint is super nice. The trail is not suitable for young kids. Our 10 years old friend, completed the hike without a problem. For my kids (6 and 4) it was not easy. The trail is open all-year-round with a small entry fee.

Marguerite-D’Youville wildlife reserve

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. 

Orford National Park – Cherry Pond (Etang aux Cerises)

Mid-December, we were looking for a ski resort to teach the kids how to ski or a place to do snow shoeing but there was not enough snow even though most resorts were open. We called Mont-Orford centre and they recommended this trail for families with young kids. This is part of a cross-country ski trail which was open for hiking as the season did not start yet. The signs along the way indicate that this path is only for cross-county skiers but we assume it is open all year long.