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Ile Aux Perroquots Sunrise

A Lighthouse Stay in Quebec’s Mingan Archipelago

From a distance it looks like we're heading for Alcatraz Island - famous for some of its high profile criminals like Al Capone. But as our destination - Îles aux Perroquets gets closer - the semblance disappears and the magic of our destination becomes apparent. Seven of us are heading to the westernmost island in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve for a lighthouse stay. While we have less than a full 24 hours on the…

The Charlevoix Train: A Scenic Ride Along the St Lawrence River

The scenic Charlevoix region has long been served by trains from Quebec City - but with hiccups along the way where service has stopped, sometimes for years at a time. Today the Charlevoix Train is very much in existence offering seasonal train trips between Beauport and La Malbaie with numerous stops along the way. The Charlevoix Train follows the north shore of the St. Lawrence River for 125 kilometres with views of the river, cliffsides and parts…

Biking Le P’tit Train du Nord in the Laurentians

Le P’tit Train du Nord, a 200 kilometre multi-use trail in Quebec's Laurentian region checks off almost every box cyclists dream about. Cue the beautiful countryside, delicious local food, charming small towns and villages, excellent signage and relatively easy cycling - especially if you bike from north to south. Throw in the option of getting a shuttle to the start pointing point in Mount-Laurier and a daily luggage transfer and you've got one winner of…

Hut to Hut Hiking on the Charlevoix Traversé

A few years ago John and I included a winter visit to the scenic Charlevoix region located less than 100 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. On that trip we enjoyed a stunning drive, albeit a hair-raising one along Highway 381, through a dramatic landscape of lumpy mountains and frozen rivers that included Parc national des Grands-Jardins with its sub-Arctic taiga-like terrain. At that time I knew there were backcountry huts in the area used by…

The Secret of Pink Lake in Gatineau Park, Quebec

Pink Lake in Gatineau Park, located less than a half hour drive from downtown Ottawa, is not what you think it might be. First off, the only thing pink about it are the colourful visitors ambling around the lake on the Pink Lake Trail. The Pink part relates to the name of the family that settled nearby and "loaned" their name to the lake. Walking around Pink Lake  One can walk about 2.5 km around…

10 of the Best Winter Adventures in Quebec

If you were a giraffe and you lived in some parts of Quebec you would barely be able to see over a snowbank by the time March rolled along. The province of Quebec is truly one of the exceptional places to visit if you love everything about winter - fresh air, outdoor adventures like downhill and cross-country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, fat tire biking along with superb local food, lovely places to stay and Quebecers infectious…

How to do Winter in Quebec’s Mauricie Region

If you love winter then Quebec's vast Mauricie region is the place to go. The region is one of rolling hills and pristine forest, dotted with lakes in spectacular Canadian Shield country. Much of the landscape is accessible from a selection of lodges and resorts that are scattered across the area. They all offer an array of winter activities that make the season fun. None of them are more than a two to 2.5 hour…

A Winter Holiday at the Sacacomie Hotel in Quebec

Isn't it time for a made in Canada winter holiday? It seems my best and most romantic winter vacations in the last few years have taken place in Quebec (except for the time John and I slept on the floor in the dorm the night before the Canada Ski Marathon.) They know how to "do" winter in this province. Perhaps it's the influence of my husband who likes to be with "his brothers" the Quebecois as he grew…

The Secret to Having Fun in Winter: Visit La Mauricie National Park

If you live in the Montreal - Quebec City corridor then you've likely heard of and perhaps even visited La Mauricie National Park, located equidistant between the two cities. Albert van Dijk, Chief of Conservation Services in the park explains that "it's not as spectacular as other parks but it offers a great experience." If you compare La Mauricie to the rugged beauty of Canada's mountain parks that might be true but in my books it's a…

Why You’ll be Happy you Skied in the Canada Ski Marathon

If you love cross-country skiing, mark your calendars now for a weekend in mid-February. The annual Canada Ski Marathon takes place between Lachute and Gatineau, Quebec. It's an incredible weekend experience for both participants and the community I highly recommend. Last year John and I immersed ourselves in the weekend - sleeping dorm style at Papineauville High School, eating in cafeterias, cross-country skiing, refueling post event on the Saturday at Château Montebello (what a treat to…

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