Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, a unique place

Alain Demers

While exploring to discover nature and outdoor sports, Montréal resident Alain Demers has found that we have access to truly unique places that are still not well-known. Columnist for several media including Le Journal de Montréal and Vifa, he has written a dozen books. His most recent work, published by Éditions du Journal, is entitled Redécouvrir le Québec: 101 destinations.

This article was updated on July 5, 2022.

Just a few minutes from the Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Tunnel Bridge linking the metropolis to Longueuil, Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville compares favourably to the wild beauty of national parks.

 

 

There is plenty of space for a picnic, a bike ride or kayaking excursion, not to mention camping on an island. Though the parc is situated near the the city, with partial views of the Olympic stadium, deer can also be seen.  

Want an outdoor adventure but don't have the gear? There is everything you need at the rental centre: bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and more. Also for rent: fully equipped, comfortable tents.

 

Switch gears

The bike path stretches for about twenty kilometers. Departing from the island of Sainte-Marguerite, there is a path leading to three islands not accessible to cars.

Pedal on country roads, between fields and woods, along the St. Lawrence. Don't miss a stopover at the archaeological site to view an incredible reconstruction of an Iroquoian longhouse. Along the way, stop for a break at picnic tables are set up by the water.

 

Paddle on

There are many calm water channels to go paddleboarding or kayaking, which are much more peaceful away from the motorized boats in the Grande rivière.

There is so much wildlife to be seen from your boat, from ducks and herons to beaver huts. Explore the islands for an hour or two with a four-kilometre marked route.   

 

Like Anticosti…

By bike or on foot, deer are often seen in the clearings on the edge of the woods, along the main road. At times, it's like Anticosti Island, famous for the abundance of these animals.  

Their numbers compare to Anticosti, about 15 deer per square kilometer. They are most visible at dusk, as the deer go out into the fields to feed.

 

Camping Grosbois

Accessible only by bicycle, the campground is located on Grosbois Island. Borrow a trolley at the rental center, three kilometers away, to transport equipment and luggage.

Although it is a rustic campsite (without amenities), there is access to a toilet block and drinking water. Recently open to campers, the land is still wild with much to be discovered unlike the others located in the parks managed by Sépaq, which is more populated and well-known. No complaints here.

 

Good to know

Hiking and bicycle Trails: 21 km

Dogs: allowed on leash in certain areas

River shuttles (with bikes): from Montréal (Promenade Bellerive) to Île Charron, from Boucherville (municipal wharf) to Île Grosbois

www.navark.ca

Daily access rights (online booking required):  $9.25 per adult (taxes included), free for ages 17 and under

Camping: individual tents, equipped tents for rent and RV area

Splash park, playgrounds, picnic area

https://www.sepaq.com

 

 

Alain Demers

While exploring to discover nature and outdoor sports, Montréal resident Alain Demers has found that we have access to truly unique places that are still not well-known. Columnist for several media including Le Journal de Montréal and Vifa, he has written a dozen books. His most recent work, published by Éditions du Journal, is entitled Redécouvrir le Québec: 101 destinations.

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