Halfway between Québec and Montréal, Mauricie National Park is an ecotourist destination frequented by thousands of tourists each year. Nevertheless, very few visitors go into the ‘back country’ of the park, accessible by a little-known trail: the lakes. The lake trail is the gateway to canoe-camping.
When we think of Mauricie Park, we think of swimming, hiking, camping, and for some, canoeing. Why not gather all these activities together so as to explore the park in its depths. Canoe-camping allows the visitor to be truly in touch with nature.
By traveling to areas not normally touristed, visitors increase their chances of spotting wildlife. Sleeping in the canoe-campsites, the adventurer finds him or herself on the edge of a lake in the belly of the forest. Sunrise and sunset are moments of high activity for the forest’s inhabitants, giving the camper front row seats to watch the many happenings, including the beaver collecting branches for his lodge or the kingfisher methodically seeking out his supper.
In addition, canoe-camping is advantageous for the visitor who loves to fish. By renting one of the 150 canoe-camping lots the visitor receives a fishing license. Yet another way to benefit directly from what nature has to offer.
The cost of a canoe outing is not as expensive as one may think. To rent a site for one night costs $15. The park has canoes for rental if the visitor doesn’t bring his or her own.
It is important to anticipate the challenges of this type of tourism. The explorer must be sure to select an appropriate route, foresee necessary portage points, transportation of materials and weather conditions and understand the effects of paddling all day. Yet, with a good base plan, this excursion is cure to be memorable and fulfilling.