Kayaks ready at Mekoos, which offers guided hunting and fishing

This story by Ann N. Yungmeyer features photos taken by Georgie Jet (unless otherwise credited), who traveled with Ann to Quebec’s Laurentian region.

As home to Mont Tremblant, Québec’s Laurentian Mountains are well-known for their winter sports, thanks to Ski Magazine naming the mountain the number-one ski resort in eastern North America for many consecutive years. But the vast forested terrain, sprinkled with more than 9,000 lakes and rivers, is equally attractive during the summer and fall seasons for fishing, boating, hiking, and camping.

The unspoiled landscapes of the Laurentian region offer the chance to enjoy nature in all its splendor, and I was pleased to join friends last August for a few days of wilderness adventure. Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing were on our agenda, along with glamping (glamorous camping), a first-time experience for me.

Glamping in Mont-Tremblant National Park

Upon arrival, our group of six headed north from Montreal toward beautiful Mont-Tremblant National Park. We drove in rented vehicles about two hours to Saint-Saveur Valley, a village-style development with boutique shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and night skiing during winter. After buying our provisions for camping, we continued driving another hour to the park, where we had reserved a ready-to-camp site with Huttopia tents.

A convenient set-up, the tent came with electricity, a small fridge, a hot plate, and platform beds with foam mattresses that made cooking and sleeping easy. It was only the nighttime trek to the outhouse on a dark wooded path that was lacking in “glam.” For visitors wanting more in creature comforts, the park also offers cabins and yurts for rent.

Guide Camille from Parcs Canada

The following morning we stopped at the Visitors Center at Lac Monroe to learn about the variety of offerings in Mont-Tremblant National Park, founded in 1895. Three distinct sectors of the park offer activities from ranger-led programs and fireside chats to multimedia presentations (although most are in French). Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and bikes can be rented, and guided kayak and canoe excursions are offered with opportunities to spot wildlife and hear the sweet call of a loon.

We booked a canoe tour with an English-speaking park naturalist on the river Diablé (meaning “devil” in French). Our guide, Camille, navigated downstream through a winding section called the Meanders, pointing out unusual geologic formations along the riverbanks and wildlife habitat frequented by beavers, black bears, and various birds. We saw hikers cross a swinging bridge over the water but otherwise had the river to ourselves. Throughout our morning paddle, Camille’s expertise and passion for the natural environment were evident, as was her cheerful joie de vivre, shared by many we met in Quebec.

Canoeing in the Diablé River in Mont-Tremblant National Park (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)

Activities in the park are family-friendly, including two beach areas with swimming. Biking is popular on a new 14-kilometer bike lane along the paved park entrance, and hikers can enjoy panoramic views from observation decks over Lac Monroe’s glacial valley and the Mont Tremblant massif. Marked trails lead to several impressive waterfalls, including the famous Chute du Diable and Chute aux Rats, accessible by bike or hiking.

Cabins at Mekoos

Our next adventure took us to Mekoos, a lakefront lodge named for the First Nation Algonquin expression meaning, “brook trout heaven,” where area lakes are home to native speckled trout, walleye and northern pike. Two fishing guides drove us on a rough dirt road through the woods to a private lake where we put in four small johnboats and set out to catch lunch. Our group of mostly novice fishermen and -women learned enough technique to master the motorboats and net plenty of pan-size brookies for our shore cookout—a campfire culinary feast prepared by the guides.

Enjoying lunch on the lake

In an unusual heat wave for Canada, a blazing sun beat down on us while our freshly caught trout sizzled in an iron skillet over a smoky campfire. I cooled my feet in the clear lake water as we watched the shore lunch preparation with the enthusiastic guides, who spoke good English, bantering back and forth in French as they tended the campfire. Having fished many times on Florida’s Gulf Coast, I had eaten my catch at a shore cookout in similar fashion before. But this was Quebecois-style; there were no baked beans and slaw at this fish fry, as our fishermen chefs prepared a sumptuous spread of trout, pike, fried potatoes, and leafy greens. With a nod to French favorites, the feast included a baguette, wine, and chocolates for dessert.

Local craft beer at Mekoos

Mekoos’ accommodations feature a log lodge and lakefront cabins in rustic-comfort style, and throughout the extensive property, wildlife can often be spotted including moose, deer, and black bear. We kayaked along miles of unspoiled shoreline and swam in the refreshing green water while savoring the solitude of the environment and a memorable getaway trip. The Laurentian region, we found, is a peaceful destination for outdoor activities with friends, and a place in which it’s easy to feel like you have nature’s playground all to yourself.

A day at the office for Georgie Jet (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)

If you go
Canada’s French-speaking province is easily accessible for many US travelers, particularly East Coast-dwellers, who without even changing time zones can enjoy outdoor recreation as well as the vibrant French-Canadian culture, language and cuisine. The Laurentian (Laurentides) region is one of 21 tourist regions in Quebec offering year-round recreation. From Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport, take a rental car with a good map to supplement GPS.

For more on travel to the Laurentianr region, visit laurentians.com. For more on travel to Québec, visit quebecoriginal.com.

In a Mekoos lodge
A day at the office for Georgie Jet (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)
On a lake at Mekoos
Quebéc blueberries
Laurentian local craft beer
Local craft beer at Mekoos
Wildlife in Mont-Tremblant National Park
Deer in Mont-Tremblant National Park
"Le outhouse"
Crepes for breakfast at Mekoos
Friendly dog at Mekoos
Guide Camille from Parcs Canada
Mekoos guide Alin, an expert fisherman
One of 135 lakes at Mekoos
Where are we?
One of 135 lakes at Mekoos
Frolicking and fishing at Mekoos
Trout caught on lake at Mekoos
Enjoying the lake at Mekoos
Mekoos guides preparing lunch
Blueberries at Mont-Tremblant National Park
Fish fry at Mekoos
Toad in the woods
Kayaks ready at Mekoos
Enjoying lunch on the lake
Cabins at Mekoos
Glamping in Mont-Tremblant National Park
Ann Yungmeyer at Mekoos
Natural beauty at Mont Tremblant
Georgie Jet on the lake
Previous visitor at Mekoos
French living at Mekoos
Family-style breakfast at Mekoos
Trout exuberance! (Magalie) (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)
Host at Mekoos bar
Mekoos bar
Canoeing in the Diablé River in Mont-Tremblant National Park (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)
Canoeing in the Diablé River in Mont-Tremblant National Park (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)
Room in a Mekoos lodge
Canoeing in the Diablé River in Mont-Tremblant National Park (Credit: Ann Yungmeyer)
Ann Yungmeyer

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

0 Comments On "Wilderness Adventures in the Laurentians of Québec, Canada"

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *