Arbraska Laflèche: Challenge Yourself in Nature!
Each year, I try to check off some exhilarating activities from my “Once-in-a-Lifetime” bucket list. At Arbraska Laflèche, I checked off a lot of boxes! It’s pure adrenaline-fuelled fun, from the ziplines at the Laflèche Cave to the aerial game trek. Let’s head to this amazing destination in the middle of nature.
Ziptour: fly up in the sky
After being greeted by Frédérick a.k.a. Ti-Loup, I was ready to push my limits in the middle of the forest. The first activity of the day was the Ziptour, a series of 8 ziplines right in the forest canopy, one of which overlooked the magnificent turquoise Lac Armida. I thought that the views alone were worth two short minutes of trembling in the treetops, but another challenge awaited me at the top! Under the guide’s watchful eye, you place the carabiners on the harness and zipline pulley yourself before taking off. It’s a real test of dexterity and self-confidence, but after the ziplining 101 course in the practice area, I felt safe and confident.
After hearing Ti-Loup’s howl (Awooo!), it was time for my first zipline—and we were off! With cables spanning 152 to 260 metres, Ti-Loup’s rallying cry echoed off each landing platform. Each zipline offered a different experience in speed, length and changes in nature from one place to the next. It was so thrilling and enjoyable to watch the scenery fly by! I’d do it all again tomorrow morning, no hesitation.
Minimum height: 5 feet and over | Time: 1 hour 30 min
Laflèche Cave: discoveries in the dark
After so many thrills, I wondered what the rest of the day could possibly have in store for me. Heading off along the forest’s magnificent nature trails, I was still amazed when I spotted the largest visited cave on the Canadian Shield. Oh, yes! A massive cave filled with narrow passages, stalagmites, stalactites and a hundred or so sleeping bats. Kitted out in helmets and headlamps, we started the guided tour, and our guide took the time to tell us the history of this stunning space. It is thought to be the result of limestone breaking down from sedimentary rocks due to glacier melts from over 12,000 years ago.
We journeyed even further into the depths of the earth. Once no sunlight could filter through the cave, the next part of the tour began: the blackout experience. On “GO,” we all turned off our headlamps. My brain tried to imagine my hand in front of my face a million times, but it was impossible to see anything! Did you know that, while we were fumbling around, the bats knew exactly where we were thanks to echolocation? It’s a technique that allows bats to quickly locate everything around them through the echoes of emitted ultrasounds. I was firmly out of my comfort zone in the pitch black, and I was amazed by nature’s intelligence. It was a mind-blowing experience and an absolute must!
Equipment: helmet and headlamp | Temperature: 4 °C | Minimum age: 5 years old | Time: 1 hour
Aerial trek: challenges in the treetops
Emerging back into the light of day, we continued our journey at the treetop aerial game trek. Between the suspension bridge, net walkway, swinging ladders and a bunch of other obstacles, I was quickly brought back to my childhood. I took great pleasure in moving the logs as my friend was about to cross them after me. But I have to admit, it wasn’t half as fun when she took her revenge—oops! The course really tested my abilities several times. I was struck with the feeling of being halfway between a professional circus performer and a 5-year-old child. If you think you’re light on your feet, this is the place to prove it. For an even bigger challenge, you can choose to go through the course in the middle of the night—it’s a great way to see the stars.
For the fearless little ones, Arbraska Laflèche recently renovated the children’s park. The colourful structures and many adventures will help them burn off their boundless energy. Both the adult and children’s courses are well worth a visit!
Regular treetop trek: minimum 5 feet, time 3 hours 30 min | Children’s treetop trek: 5 years old and up, time 2 hours | The night trek is offered for a limited time
Via Ferrata: seeing Abraska Laflèche from another angle
To finish off the day with a bang, we tried our hand at Via Ferrata. By climbing the rock face with the help of a harness and carabiners, we had an exclusive view of the turquoise lake and all its biodiversity. It’s a great place to practice this sport as well as being an activity that’s perfect for everyone—even the kids. It was a wonderful way to appreciate the lush natural surroundings of Abraska Laflèche before we left.
After your family outing, treat yourself to a delicious ice cream in the Outaouais!