Quebec's fall is famous throughout the world for its vibrant colors. Now is the time to enjoy it to the fullest, especially as a family with your grandchildren, and create unforgettable memories. Don't be afraid of the word hiking. You will find that there are hiking trails for all levels, some of which are also accessible to people with reduced mobility. Moreover, it is the cherry on the sundae, walks in the forest are a real benefit for the overall health!
Hiking trails to discover across Quebec
Quebec is full of unparalleled forests and hiking in these green paradise is a delight for the senses. Apart from the shimmering colors of the trees in Fall, the feeling of walking on a thick carpet of leaves and the sound of them crunching under our feet is a pleasure that brings us back to childhood. Who hasn't plunged into a pile of dead leaves, right? So, if you want to take a trip to the forest with your grandchildren, here are 5 ideas for walks across Quebec.
The Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises
Rendez-vous in Magog, in the Eastern Townships, to discover the Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises. The departure of the hike is a stone's throw from downtown Magog, near Pointe Merry, and reaches Orford. Its trails cover 1.5 km² and are accessible to all, including people with reduced mobility and strollers. Several stations allow you to sit down and observe the landscape or take a picnic break.
Do you like wildlife? You will be delighted to walk through a temple of biodiversity. Marshes, swamps, woodlands, and peat bogs are all there for you to see, providing habitat for hundreds of birds, mammals, and amphibians. Keep an eye out for a beaver along the way. It is sure to delight your grandchildren.
The Forêt Drummond Park
We’re now headed to Centre-du-Québec in Drummondville. Located near Highway 20, halfway between Quebec City and Montreal, its 20 km² of trails open to walkers in all seasons will charm you. The Forêt Drummond Park is the result of a plantation by Southern Canada Power, the former owner of the site, for the manufacture of electric poles and the protection of the banks of the Saint-François River against erosion. Still today, half of its territory is composed of various species of conifers.
You will enjoy the magic of the place, between the serenity of the forest bordered by the river and the roaring of the latter at the Spicer rapids. The Route Verte, located on the west side of the river, which allows you to admire the rapids, is for beginners. On the east side, the Silver Maple Loop is a network of easy trails of about 5.6 km, a good part of which also follows the Saint-François River.
As a bonus, you may have the chance to see woodpeckers, chickadees, American eagles, or white-tailed deer, the latter being regular on the site.
Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area
Located in St-Joachim, only 50 km from Quebec City, Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, situated between the river, marshes, and mountains, is a unique and protected place. It is the territory of the great snow geese. They gather there by the thousands during their spring and fall migration. The Reserve will subjugate you.
The fauna and flora are impressive. The Reserve is indeed the privileged habitat of more than 180 species of birds, 300 species of mammals, and 700 species of plants! The hiking trails are of all levels and will satisfy the contemplative as well as the more sportive ones.
Mont Saint-Bruno National Park
Close to Montreal, Mont Saint-Bruno National Park is the ideal place for hikers of all levels. Various trails are available to walkers but don't hesitate to take the flat path Le Seigneurial for a 7 km hike. You will walk around Lac Seigneurial and, why not, take a break at the tea room located in the Vieux-Moulin heritage building. Something to delight both young and old.
Did you know that the name Kékéko comes from the Algonquin word "Kêkêk" which means "hawk"? Welcome to Abitibi, more precisely to Rouyn-Noranda! The Kékéko Hills, a true forest paradise, offers its visitors 15 trails for no less than 43 km. Paths for all levels are available in all seasons. During your walks, you will discover the richness of the hills and their numerous varieties of mushrooms and plants, some of which are unique.
Among the easy trails, marked in green, you will find L'Orignal, which runs along a rocky shoreline for a little over 1 km and has a relatively low difference in height. The Panoramique Despériers is a 2.2 km walk that takes you around Lac Despériers to breathtaking panoramic views. Finally, on the Le Trappeur trail, you will encounter peat bogs, beaver lakes typical of the boreal forest, as well as unique rock formations.
The health benefits of hiking
Of course, hiking allows you to get some fresh air, get away from the daily routine, and contemplate the majestic landscapes, but it is also a healthy activity.
Hiking is beneficial to your physical health. An endurance activity, and above all a gentle one, hiking helps strengthen the joints, which will support muscles. There are no possible traumas here, contrary to what could happen when you run, for instance. Moreover, like any physical activity, hiking strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension.
For this, there is no need to force yourself to walk quickly. It is just as effective to walk slowly in the forest to benefit from all the advantages that hiking offers us. Regularly practicing this beautiful activity strengthens our bodies homogeneously and globally.
Hiking is also a vector of good mental health. Indeed, what could be more relaxing than walking in the forest and experiencing harmony with nature? After a long walk of this type, you will undoubtedly feel much more relaxed.
To disconnect from your everyday life and share marvelous moments with your loved ones, choose hiking. It is the ideal sports activity. Gentle, without competition, it will awaken all your senses in addition to providing many health benefits. All regions of Quebec are rich in sites to discover, so it's time to put on your shoes and explore them!