Éco-Odyssée, a one-of-a-kind aquatic adventure

Published on July 25 2019

Stretching over 6 km of marshland, the water maze at Éco-Odyssée offers an aquatic adventure that’s unique in the Outaouais. Founded in 2007 by businessman Michel Leclair, this ecotourism attraction in the municipality of La Pêche comprises several nature scavenger hunt routes for visitors to explore by canoe or paddle boat.

A business inspired by beavers

Owner Michel Leclair, a former Gatineau Park wildlife officer, is also the go-to guy in the Outaouais when it comes to beavers and water level control. He was inspired by that industrious animal to dig the canals of the labyrinth while preserving the natural habitat of the beavers and other animals that live in the marsh.

“The marsh is a familiar environment, but it’s not very accessible,” says Michel. Éco-Odyssée opens the door to an environment we rarely get to visit.

Éco-Odyssée: all in the family

Michel’s son Olivier Rocheleau-Leclair is now the general manager of Éco-Odyssée, and also manages its affiliated accommodation project, the Bellevue.

“The Bellevue fills a need in accommodation in the region, and complements the nature experience of Éco-Odyssée,” says Olivier.

With three bedrooms and an apartment, the Bellevue invites guests to wake up in a natural setting and enjoy a stay with family or friends.

For Olivier, taking over the business also means conducting all his activities in harmony with the environment.

Why the Outaouais?

For the young businessman, ecotourism is synonymous with local travel.

“There’s lots to discover in this region: lots of lakes, lots of rivers, lots of places to go canoe camping. The Outaouais has a rich biodiversity to discover.”

For his father Michel, the Outaouais is also the ideal region for nature lovers. That’s why he chose to establish his business here.

Hopes for the future

Speaking of ideals, when asked about his vision of the future of Éco-Odyssée, Michel says he would like to leave a mark in time as well as on the regional landscape.

“The water maze is good for 100 years. Even after I’m long gone, the maze will still be here,” notes Michel.

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