LAURENTIANS: Wide open spaces and holiday paradise

The Laurentians offer a surprising variety of recreational acti-vities. One could argue that the region is Montreal's backyard with its mountains, lakes and forest so close to the city. The region is definitively well equipped for tourism. 

People who love frolicking in the water will enjoy the regions 2 water parks and 15 public beaches. The beach in Oka even has a sector reserved for nudists, which is well liked by gay customers. The sporty types will also be satisfied. Mont-Tremblant National Park, the largest in Quebec with its 940 square miles, welcomes those who love hiking, climbing, canoeing and kayaking.

The most adventurous will find their kicks with Eau Vive, an extreme rafting activity where you can go down the Rivière Rouge rapids. Bicycle touring remains the best way to see the countryside. Cyclist will want to follow the 125 miles long P'tit train du Nord bike trail, which is build upon an ancient railway from the early 20th century. This trail, the longest of its kind in Canada, allows people to discover the natural beauty of the Laurentians and is equipped with many service stops, some being ancient train stations.


In the Laurentians, there are also a number of theme parks that are sure to attract animal lovers. In charming St-Eustache, The Exotarium showcases a menagerie of cold-blooded animals such as reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Also in St-Eustache, the Nid'Otruche is an ostrich farm and a discovery center where visitors can learn all about ostriches, including how tasty they are; indeed, meals featuring ostrich meat are offered there!

In Saint-Placide, it's parrots who steal the show ate the Perroquets en Folie avian park. And for those who love alpacas, the lovable camelids from South America who produce quality soft wool, there's not one, but two theme parks devoted to them, one in St-Joseph-du-Lac, another in Brownsburg-Chatham. Culture wise, the Laurentians have some cultural events worth seeing. The Tremblant International Blues Festival is the place to see blues artists from around the world. The Festival des arts de St-Sauveur presents music, dance and ballet shows.


Consult or dowload the 17th édition of Quebec Rainbow Guide (Guide arc-en-ciel)