A countryside tour of the Petite Nation!
Do you crave fresh air? The peace and quiet of nature? Magical moments in beautiful landscapes? Set the GPS for a countryside road trip in the Petite-Nation!
Some of the best memories are made of simple things. A car, some interesting roads to explore, and local treasures to discover: you’re all set for a great weekend! Get ready for a countryside tour of the Petite Nation.
Road trip essentials!
Any self-respecting road trip requires a playlist with the perfect mix of nostalgia, classic hits and summer favourites. As the first few bars of the soundtrack fill the car, you know your trip is about to start! Having lived in the Petite-Nation almost all my life, I’m eager to rediscover my home region and its highlights through this little expedition. To make the best of the trip and admire the Petite Nation countryside, we take Route 148, which goes through the region’s charming villages and follows the Ottawa River.
After about 40 kilometres, we reach the first stop on our itinerary: Plaisance Falls! With walking trails leading to lookout points over the falls, it’s the perfect spot to stretch your legs and appreciate the powerful beauty of nature. It’s also an ideal place for a picnic to the sound of rushing water! For history buffs like me, it’s very interesting to learn about the now-defunct village of North Nation Mills, which was built beside the falls in the 1800s.
Back on the road, driving through vast green spaces, we decide to head to Plaisance National Park for an adventure amid the local fauna and flora. Nature lovers, welcome to paradise! Once at the park, you can practise almost all water activities (including rabaska canoeing), go cycling and camping, and meet more than 250 animal species. My child’s heart is thrilled at the prospect of strolling along the Zizanie-des-Marais, a long floating walkway through swamps teeming with life!
Zizanie-des-Marais at Plaisance National Park.
Historic flavours and settings!
We get back on the road to discover the surrounding area in the Petite-Nation. With 24 municipalities linked by roads such as the 321, 323, 317, 309, 315 and 307, there’s no shortage of options. We decide to let the road be our guide—it’s definitely the best way to explore and discover unexpected treasures.
All these adventures give us an appetite, and it’s time for a visit to the Bistro Montebello. The pretty village of Montebello is not only the site of the world’s largest log cabin, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, it was the village chosen by Louis-Joseph-Papineau, seigneur of the Petite-Nation and politician, to build his manor house in 1846. One thing for sure, you don’t have to be as savvy as Papineau to realize that Bistro Montebello’s pizza is one of the best in the area! Foodie alert: the weekend table d’hôte lists creative dishes featuring local products!
Fairmont Le Château Montebello is the world’s largest log cabin!
After a leisurely stroll through Montebello with frequent stops in the local boutiques, it’s time for a rest. The Manoir Chamberland opens its (heritage) doors to us! This former church rectory has been transformed into an inn that combines the charm of the days of Louis-Joseph Papineau with modern luxuries and conveniences. With eight guestrooms tastefully decorated with a clear eye for detail, it’s a lovely place to rest and relax. Ideal for a romantic getaway!
After a restorative night in a room with a Downton Abbey vibe, it’s time to head home. If your schedule allows, visit Parc Oméga, a real must in Montebello. Here you can observe more than 15 species of Canadian wildlife in their natural habitat, some even roaming free.
Visit Parc Oméga, a real must in Montebello.
Before you leave, there’s one last stop on your tour route: the 75th meridian sundial! It’s built precisely on the 75th meridian line, which is used to determine Eastern Standard Time. And it’s located in Papineauville!
Heads filled with country landscapes, stomachs with local delicacies and hearts with delight, you can officially begin the road trip back!
Looking for a cultural, gourmet, sport or wilderness getaway? Hit the road and let yourself be inspired by the five tour routes in the Petite Nation, designed to introduce you to the territory and its key attractions!