New ways to enjoy the outdoors
Nature is a playground—the biggest there is, in fact. There are so many ways to discover it, depending on your preferences. My idea of a successful outdoor experience involves great scenery, well-designed trails, a body of water, and of course, good company! Here are my latest discoveries.
When it comes to nature and beautiful landscapes, Kenauk Nature is an Outaouais landmark. The outfitter is a destination in itself. This 265-square-kilometre private reserve dotted with 65 lakes is the perfect spot for a wilderness fishing trip. Private cottages are available for rent and are powered entirely by solar energy and propane. Now that the water lilies are in full bloom, I suggest you take advantage of your water access for a kayak or canoe trip.
For hikers, Kenauk Nature maintains several trails ranging from easy to difficult. More experienced hikers will enjoy the Baldy trail, with its impressive elevation gain and stunning views.
The site offers a wide range of activities. For climbers, there’s a multi-wall, six-storey climbing tower. For something a little out of the ordinary, Kenauk Nature has nine clay pigeon shooting stations of varying difficulty. For the ultimate in relaxation, a floating sauna is available for rent at the cottages on Lake Papineau.
1000 Chemin Kenauk, Montebello, QC
Rates vary depending on the choice of accommodation, the dates chosen and the additional options.
Several of the accommodations are available all year round.
The PERO (Pôle d’excellence en récréotourisme en Outaouais) invites you to get off the beaten track and away from the city. Twelve hiking trails totalling nearly 100 kilometres have been developed and upgraded. Although the trails aren’t connected to each other, they allow you to explore different views and landscapes: numerous waterfalls, each more impressive than the last, 360-degree views from observation towers, covered bridges and more.
What’s special about this place is that it focuses on eco-friendly, non-motorized tourism. The trails are for hiking only, and there’s something for everyone! As well, dogs are allowed on the trails as long as they’re on a leash.
295 Du Lac des 31 Milles SR, Bouchette, QC
Book accommodation in the area if you want to try several hiking trails over several days.
Parc national de Plaisance
The Parc national de Plaisance, the only national park in the Outaouais, is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Rich in biodiversity, this protected area is home to over 250 species of birds, as well as many amphibians and turtles.
Five hiking trails allow visitors to discover the park’s unique ecosystem, which ranges from dense forests to wetlands. The routes include a boardwalk and a floating path that provide access to sectors that can be difficult to reach during spring floods. The walking trails are easy, and range from 1 to 21 kilometres. Most of them are also accessible by bicycle (bicycles can be rented on site).
The park offers several accommodation options: yurts, campsites, ready-to-camp tents and cabins, and is certified Bienvenue cyclistes! (“Welcome cyclists!”). It’s a great place to discover with family and friends. Many guided activities, such as a bayou tour, are offered for an additional fee.
The Parc national de Plaisance is part of the Chemins d’eau tourist route, which highlights the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
1001 Chemin de la Grande Presqu’île, Plaisance, QC
Child: Free | Adult: $9.25 – Equipment rental: $15.50–$20.75 per hour
The blooming of the wetlands is a magnificent sight in summer.
Geo-Explora Scootrek runs guided tours by electric fatbike and electric scooter. You can also rent an electric bike if you want to do a self-guided tour.
For the self-guided tour, participants are given an iPad so that they can solve the quiz questions along their route while discovering lesser-known local sights. This is a unique way to learn about Montebello and its fascinating history, with family or friends. The route varies according to the type of transport chosen.
The electric scooter rental includes safety equipment: a helmet, a first aid kit, and a harness for children. There’s a mandatory 30-minute pre-departure training session.
The rental office is located at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, 392 Notre-Dame Street, Montebello, QC
Free-roaming rental: $49–$79 | Guided adventure: $89–$99
To rent an e-scooter, you must have a valid driver’s licence (scooter, motorcycle or car) and be able to ride a bike.
Do you love nature and the outdoors? To keep the fun going, try a new adventure activity this summer!