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The Colours and Flavours of Spring in Authentic Quebec

January 8, 2024

The Colours and Flavours of Spring in Authentic Quebec © Damien Lair
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Some see spring as the most elusive of seasons, caught between a winter that lingers and nature’s resounding awakening. In Authentic Quebec, spring is undoubtedly a call to awaken the senses, to have fun in an indoor-outdoor mode and to get back into shape. A festive aroma wafts from the sugar shacks in Lanaudière and Mauricie, a taste for adventure electrifies the outfitters, and it’s a perfect time for everyone to discover or rediscover the charms of Authentic Quebec outside the more touristy seasons.

The Colours and Flavours of Spring in Authentic Quebec

The Best Ways to Experience the Forefront of Spring In Lanaudière's Outfitters © Jimmy Vigneux

The Best Ways to Experience the Forefront of Spring In Lanaudière's Outfitters

Lanaudière, the region of Authentic Quebec closest to Montreal, stretches from the St. Lawrence River to the great boreal expanses. It is in the heart of these vast northern territories, where landscapes, forests and wildlife take center stage, that you will find Lanaudière’s fishing and hunting lodges. Gone are the days when these former private clubs were known only to hunters and fishermen. Today, families flock to these outfitters for an authentic welcome, the cozy ambiance of log cabins and an ever-expanding list of outdoor activities for all seasons (water sports, hiking, snowmobiling, quad biking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, mountain biking, and much more). In this region, no fewer than eighteen of these woodland innkeepers make up the Lanaudière Outfitters Association. Each offers a chance to immerse yourself in extraordinary territories, like the Pourvoirie du Milieu outfitter in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, which spans 140 km² with nearly 70 lakes for fishing and 19 cottages welcoming guests. Some of these fishing and hunting lodges are especially renowned for their family-friendly atmosphere, accommodations, wellness facilities and exquisite dining. Take, for instance, The Outfitter Au Pays de Réal Massé near Saint-Zénon, often praised for its delicious cuisine and the comfort of its suites and chalets. Similarly, the prestigious Kanamouche Lodge in Saint-Michel-des-Saints retains the charm of its rich history dating back to the 1950s and its famous visitors like the Kennedy family and Marilyn Monroe, to name just a few. Others stand out for the uniqueness of their natural territory and range of activities. At Sainte-Émélie-de-L’Énergie, Auberge La Barrière is the only outfitter in Quebec offering golden rainbow trout fishing. It is also the only one in the region to provide, in addition to cottage or rustic camp accommodations, houseboats for up to 4 people for those who wish to stay right on the water! An original way to immerse yourself in the springtime nature of Authentic Quebec.


What About the Outfitters of Mauricie? © Pourvoirie du Lac Oscar

What About the Outfitters of Mauricie?

The high country of Mauricie, our picturesque neighbour, is nothing short of generous when it comes to wide open spaces, with hundreds of lakes and rivers, and forests as far as the eye can see. There are numerous places specially designed to commune with this abundant nature during a getaway: The Mauricie Outfitters Association is made up of some thirty outfitters! In Upper-Mauricie, some of these outfitters are truly historical institutions, like the Seigneurie du Triton (see our favourites below), which dates back to the late 19th century and has hosted such figures as Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. In addition to relying on a solid tradition of hospitality and outdoor adventure, Mauricie’s outfitters serve as exceptional base camps for exploring the most magnificent natural areas of Authentic Quebec. Spreading to the east of the Saint-Maurice River, in the Mattawin area, the Club Hosanna outfitter, for instance, grants access to 110 km² of wooded lands punctuated by around thirty fish-filled lakes and crisscrossed by 25 km of hiking and biking trails. Springtime in the boreal territories offers some winter essentials such as snowmobiling or snowshoeing, while actively gearing us up for the return of the warmer days, complete with their aquatic joys, among others. This is why the menu of activities offered by Mauritian outfitters can easily turn heads in any season and for the whole family. You can always look forward to returning to a warm nest at the end of a day’s fishing or adventure, complete with regional flavours and often the luxury of a spa. We also love the original nature accommodations developed by Mauricie’s outfitters. Eight of them, for example, offer overnight stays aboard houseboats, an exclusive feature of Authentic Quebec!

Our Favourite Outfitters in Authentic Quebec © Domaine Bazinet

Our Favourite Outfitters in Authentic Quebec

La Seigneurie du Triton boasts a magnificent, unspoiled natural setting and legendary hospitality that goes back over 100 years. Accessible only by boat, this historic Authentic Quebec outfitter invites us to stay throughout the seasons in a tranquil haven spanning over 45 km², where the pristine environment of the Upper Mauricie region is pampered. Twelve lakes and a majestic river are a delight for anglers looking for great catches. Beyond fishing and hunting, Triton’s playground is a treat for canoeing, rabaska, kayaking, paddle board enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike (exploration of the boreal forest, peat bogs, beaver habitats, black bear watching, mushroom picking, forest survival workshops…). Guests of La Seigneurie du Triton also enjoy an unrivalled welcome in the outfitter’s prestigious inns, including the Club House, which in its day welcomed Churchill, Roosevelt and Rockfeller, as well as in the cozy chalets available for rental. Great class in the great outdoors!

The Pourvoirie du lac Oscar outfitter has been a Farrar family domain for nearly four decades. Nestled by the lakeside, 18 white pine chalets offer a superb plunge into the expansive nature of Upper-Mauricie. In addition to outdoor activities, the outfitter offers a “Meditation, Conscious Breathing and Qi Gong” package for even greater connection to yourself and the environment.

The Domaine Bazinet outfitter is one of Lanaudière’s great outdoor headquarters. Its warm mountain inn, chalets, camping sites, restaurant-bar and a full slate of activities make it a favourite among families, as well as a haven for trout fishers.

Domaine du Lac Saint-Pierre, in Mauricie, presents its guests with a one-on-one experience with a true inland sea, Lake Saint-Pierre. You can fish, walk, paddle, pedal and reconnect with nature at this outfitter, which also offers water safaris in the heart of the bayou, an ecosystem of unique biodiversity

A Dive Into Nature in the Matawinie Regional Parks © Jimmy Vigneux

A Dive Into Nature in the Matawinie Regional Parks

An immense natural territory at the gates of Montreal, Matawinie covers nearly two-thirds of the Lanaudière region. The region’s landforms, lakes, rivers and forests are an irresistible call to adventure and ecotourism, and four regional parks offer the best way to do just that: the Chute-à-Bull Regional Park in Saint-Côme, the Sept-Chutes Regional Park in Saint-Zénon, the Lac Taureau Regional Park in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, and the Ouareau Forest Regional Park, which alone covers 150 km² and features 120 km of hiking trails. These vast sanctuaries of protected nature are the stage for a multitude of gentle or more spirited adventures throughout the year, including climbing, canyoning, mountain biking and aquatic activities that one can enjoy from spring onwards. In the Matawinie regional parks, hiking remains a must for exploring the mountainous territory and unearthing superb viewpoints, including waterfalls, especially as the Matawinie is crossed from east to west by a section of the National Trail, over 170 km in length. With its many kilometers of fine sandy beaches and dozens of islands, the Lac Taureau regional park is an ideal destination for a taste of summer dolce vita. Themed cruises aboard a river boat now offer a new way to discover this majestic 95 km² body of water and observe its typical boreal forest wildlife and flora. The whole family is invited to enjoy the great outdoors in the Matawinie parks, including children, who will have fun on the adventure trail of the Ouareau Forest Regional Park. Forest refuges and camping sites are also available for an extended immersion in the greenery within these four magnificent regional parks.

Exceptional Resorts for Spring Vacationing © Damien Lair

Exceptional Resorts for Spring Vacationing

The Auberge du Lac Taureau is “the” grand boreal resort of the Lanaudière region, one of the most famous log inns in Authentic Quebec. Grand because the establishment offers no fewer than 177 units, from inn rooms to cottages, condos, and even Coolbox accommodations. Also grand for the services dedicated to the well-being of its guests, its dining venues, including the excellent Le Cerf Rouge restaurant, its pool and baths area, and its range of treatments and massages. The diversity of activities at the Auberge du Lac Taureau is equally impressive, with about twenty options between the lake, beach and forest. In the spring, when the lake thaws, mountain biking and fat biking, which can be done on trails as well as on the sand, are in the spotlight, as are fishing, quad biking and hiking on 23 km of marked trails.

The Sacacomie Hotel is an icon of natural vacationing in Mauricie. It captivates with the charm of its impressive wooden architecture as much as the raw beauty of the surrounding scenery, between Lac Sacacomie (with its 42 km shoreline!) and the omnipresent, majestic forest. Spread over more than 500 km², it’s clear why this estate is a playground with endless potential, whether through the forest hiking trails (65 km), on its private beach, or on the lake with a host of watercraft available. At Sacacomie, your physical effort will be justly rewarded: by the intimacy of the rooms, which exude the reassuring charm of wood, and at the restaurant, where the menu spotlights the best in local agriculture. The Geos Spa Sacacomie also contributes to the magic of the stay, without losing sight of the lake.

BESIDE Habitat is an innovative project that aims to have us inhabit nature while actively protecting it. Here in Rawdon, Lanaudière, one becomes literally a guest of the forest sojourning in magnificent cottages of minimalist design, as well as in pods. In spring, you’ll have a front-row seat to nature’s awakening on a territory featuring two lakes, beautiful reliefs and kilometers of trails.

Nature Nature is the new sensation in Mauricie for sleeping and recharging your batteries in Mother Nature’s arms. Nestled on the mountainside, feet in the Saint-Maurice River, the Nature Nature site is truly enchanting. Original accommodations such as micro-refuges are scattered about, as well as chalets and cabins for two. The program includes walks, forest baths, meditation or nautical activities on the river.

More Pleasures and Discoveries to Make in Authentic Quebec © Damien Lair

More Pleasures and Discoveries to Make in Authentic Quebec

At the Chez Dany Sugar Shack, you’re in the right place to immerse yourself in the colours, flavours and festive atmosphere of the sugaring-off season. Even though the ever-popular Dany keeps this magic alive all year round in his Trois-Rivières sugar shack, there’s nothing like spring, when the maple syrup has just been harvested, to delight in the best Quebec specialties to the sound of traditional music.

The Cité de l’énergie is an absolute must-see when visiting Shawinigan, Mauricie. This vast museum complex takes us to the heart of the city’s industrial saga and explores the theme of energy in both a scientific and entertaining way. Visit the exhibits, take part in activities, go on a Hydro-Québec observation tour or enjoy a night-time show: a family day out that’s bursting with energy!

The Grand Dérangement Distillery offers spirits enthusiasts a unique experience in many respects. First, discover the only Économusée® in Authentic Quebec, where the secrets of the craftsmen’s trade are revealed. Also, taste the products from the very first certified organic distillery in Quebec, whose name pays tribute to the Acadian culture that thrives in this corner of Lanaudière.

La Source Bains Nordiques stands as a true temple of well-being and rejuvenation, a timeless place that blends seamlessly into the mountainous, forested landscape of Lanaudière. The Nordic bathing experience can be enjoyed all year round, in a setting that changes with the seasons. You will also love the therapeutic massages available and the bistro, which promotes healthy, local produce.


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