A DAYTRIP FROM MONTRÉAL...from primeval forests to quaint villages
Here's a sample chapter from the latest title in our Daytrips series of travel guides. Now available, Daytrips Québec describes 48 one-day adventures that can be taken from Montréal or Québec City, including walking tours within those cities. Although author Karen Desrosiers now lives in nearby New Hampshire, she is a direct descendant of one of the first settlers of Québec, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the U.S.A., and Europe.
Mont-Tremblant and Lac Tremblant
The villages and parklands of Mont-Tremblant offer all of the best that is available in Québec — from internationally renowned skiing to gourmet dining, from pretty villages to breathtaking waterfalls, from deep glacier lakes to dense pristine forests.
Spend a day in the wilds, hiking, swimming, and canoeing in the Mont-Tremblant Park. When you've had your fill of nature and you're ready to rrelax, retreat to one of the area's world-class villages.
By Car, Parc du Mont-Tremblant is about 140 km (87 miles) from Montréal. Take Rte. 15 north from Montréal to the junction of Rte. 117, follow Rte. 117 to Rte. 327 in Saint-Jovite.
Turn right onto Rte. 327 and follow it north to Lac Tremblant. Turn right on Chemin Duplessis following signs for Lac Supérieur. At the intersection of the road from Saint-Faustin, turn left, following signs for the park.
Leave the park through the Saint-Faustin entrance. Go for nearly 3 miles, and then turn right, following signs for Lac Tremblant, returning along Chemin Duplessis.
Return along Rte. 327 to Saint-Jovite. Turn left onto Rte. 117 and continue to Rte. 15. Take Rte. 15 back to Montréal.
In the summer, vivitors may want to bring along swimsuits and towels to take advantage of one of the lake's beaches. Shoes suitable for hiking are also recommended for some of the trails within the park.
Tourism information about the villages and resorts of Tremblant can be found on the Internet at Tremblant.com
The Bureau Touristique Saint-Jovite, 305 Chemin Brébeuf, Saint-Jovite, proudly expresses their goal "to satisfy our tourists and make them want to come back." T: (819) 425-3300. Open summer daily 9-7, winter daily 9-5.
FOOD AND DRINK:
Grand Manitou (at the summit of Mont-Tremblant) Have a snack or coffee in this cafeteria with a heart-stopping view. T: (819) 681-3000, $
Microbrasserie Saint-Arnould (435 Rue Paquette, Saint-Jovite) Microbrew beer, authentic regional cuisine, specializing in beer-flavored dishes. T: (819) 425-1262. $$
La Grappe à Vin (Vieux-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant) Featuring gourmet European and Asiatic dishes. T: (819) 681-4727. $$ and $$$
Crêperie Catherine (Vieux-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant) This crêpe house has one feature that's hard to come by in Québec — it's a non-smoking restaurant. T: (819) 681-4888. $$
Numbers in parentheses correspond to numbers on the map.
CLICK ON MAP FOR A LARGE PRINTABLE IMAGE.
PARC du MONT-TREMBLANT (1), Chemin du Lac Supérieur, Lac Supérieur, T: (819) 688-2281 or 1-800-665-6527. Open year-round. Admission $3.50 for adults, $5 for family of 1 adult with children, $7 for family of 2 adults with children. Equipment rental is available.
There are several legends surrounding the naming of this mountain — "Trembling Mountain." An Amerindian legend tells of the nature god who made the mountain tremble when man came. Another legend tells of the Algonquin naming the mountain "Manitonga Soutana" (Mountain of Spirits) because of the shaking caused by the many streams of water flowing down its sides.
This expanse of wilderness, stretching over more than 900 square miles of the Laurentides, is peppered with numerous lakes and scored by several rivers. A haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, the park is home to moose, black bear, beaver, and wolves — the park's mascot. Visitors are treated to a wonderland for swimming, canoeing, hiking, and mountain biking during the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter.
Shortly after entering the park, Lac Monroe (2) appears on the left. This large, clear lake has a wide beach and aquatic activities. Across the street from the lake, a hiking trail leads to Lac Femmes and Lac Lauzon.
Road 1 follows the edge of Lac Monroe for a bit, offering beautiful views of the lake. The river winds along besides the Rivière du Diable, which snakes across the rugged terrain in tight twists and turns. The rocky river, sometimes swift, sometimes lazy, crosses the path of the road in several places.
Stop for a short hike, about a half-hour round trip, following the trail to the Devil's Falls (3). The path leads through the forest to a plank walkway and observation deck, overlooking the dark waters, which make a vertical drop to a deep pool before turning at a right angle and cascading farther down the hill.
The drive through the park offers many stunning views of forests, meadows, rivers, and lakes. The road criss-crosses with the river and is occasionally flanked by lakes on either side.
Leave the park through the same gate. Return along Chemin Duplessis, following the signs for Lac Tremblant.
On the shore of Lac Tremblant, the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort (4) comes into view like a fairytale village. The brightly-colored buildings, nestled at the foot of the ski slopes, invite visitors to get lost in the magical atmosphere. Note the quaint Roman Catholic church, with a bright red roof, sitting quietly at the edge of the resort.
The resort climbs up the slope of the mountain base, in full and inviting layers, packed with retaurants, activities, and shopping. A free gondola whisks visitors between the lower and higher levels of the resort, affording exciting views of the pools and mini-golf.
In the warmer months, the resort's pedestrian zones are alive with entertainment and artists. Strollong musicians, parades, concerts, and circus shows are a delight for everyone.
A panoramic gondola carries visitors and thrill-seekers up the slopes of Mont-Tremblant for a breath-taking view of the valley, resorts, and villages. An observation tower offers a 360° view of the area. Other activities at the summit include a labyrinth, outdoor adventure course, climbing wall, hiking, and wildlife observation. T: (819) 681-3000. Running late May to mid-June, Sat.-Sun 10:30-4:30; mid-June to mid-Sept., daily 10:30-5; mid-Sept. to mid-Oct., daily 9:30-5. Admission starts at $13.65 for adults, $10.65 for children 6-17, children 5 and under are free.
Lac Tremblant (5), stretching out beside the forest like a long, narrow finger, is lined with impressive homes. Famous for its clean water and tasty fish, the lake also provides several beaches and a number of water sports. Guided scenic cruises, Quai Fédéral, of the lake provide glimpses of these luxurious estates, the neighboring forest, and Mont-Tremblant. T: (819) 425-1045. Cruises depart July to mid-Oct., Tues.-Thurs. 11-7:30, Fri.-Mon. 11-4. Duration 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cost $15 for adults, $6 for children 15 and under, children 5 and under are free.
Near the quai, note the Décharge-du-Lac, a tributary of the Diable River that twists away from the lake in a series of waterfalls and whirlpools.
Follow the road to the right, around the end of Lac Tremblant, into the Ville de Mont-Tremblant, which was formed in November 2000 by the merging of several municipalities.
Mont Tremblant Village (6) rests on the shore of Lac Tremblant and Lac Mercier. The picturesque mountain village is well known for its scenic main street and fine dining. Artist studios, galleries, and boutiques will delight art lovers and shoppers.
Regional artisans display their unique, fun and fancy wares at Métiers d'Art en Nord, 1982 Chemin Principal. T: (819) 681-7474. Open year-round, Sun.-Mon. and Wed.-Fri. 10-5:30, Sat. 10-6, closed on Tues.
Mont-Tremblant Activities, 2001 Chemin Principal, arranges a wide variety of activities for outdoors and sports buffs. In the winter the friendly crew schedules trips for dogsledding, snowmobiling, and ice climbing. In the summer months, ask them about whitewater rafting, A.T.V. tours, and canoeing.
For a thrilling adventure, try an airborne tour with Aviation Wheelair, 399 Chemin Principal. Get a bird's-eye view of the area by seaplane. T: (819) 425-5662. Tours run year-round, daily 9-8 by reservation. Guided tour lasts 20 minutes. Rates $52.50 per person, $157.50 for families with two adults and up to three children.
After a full day of outdoor activity, pamper yourself at Le Scandinave Swedish-style spa, 555 Montée Ryan. The spa features a Finnish sauna, steam baths, waterfall and river bathing, and Swedish massage. T: (819) 425-5524. Open year-round, daily 12-9 by reservation. Admission to baths $38. Massages start at $97.50.
Take Route 327 out of Mont-Tremblant Village. Note Lac Ouimet as you pass. Continue on Route 327 to the junction of Route 117 in Saint-Jovite (7). This charming little resort town has been incorporated into the Mont-Tremblant Village municipality.
LES JARDINS de MIREILLE (8), 495 Route 327 South, T: (819) 425-2544. Open June-Oct. 9-5. Admission $7 for adults and children 12 and older, children under 12 are free.
This stunning flower garden will delight visitors with the panoramic views, paths for strolling, and places to relax on the six-acre property. The aquatic garden features splendid waterfalls.
Copyright © 2006 Karen Desrosiers. This chapter from Daytrips Québec was slightly modified for web use, and has had color added.
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