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The Équiterre team’s top seven picks for summer vacations in Quebec

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Ah, summer’s here! And you don’t need to travel to the other side of the world to discover hidden gems and have an amazing experience. Here are some of the Équiterre team’s favourite places in Quebec to escape with family, friends or alone.

Time to get outside!

Île aux Lièvres (Hare Island): A magnificent spot in the heart of the St. Lawrence
Ever dreamed of camping in the middle of the St. Lawrence? If you enjoy hiking, wilderness camping, small cabins, inns, bird watching, eating good food and relaxing, you’ll love this 13 km long island off Rivière-du-Loup. The only way to reach it is by taking a boat from the Rivière du Loup marina—crossing times are dependent on the tides! If you plan on going wilderness camping, travel as light as possible—you’ll have to carry your kit some of the way (depending on your campsite).
Lyne and Isabelle

Kabania: An unforgettable adventure in the trees
Designed for nature lovers, this stylish Zen-like site offers overnight stays in small cabanitas (treehouses) equipped with kitchens and outdoor showers. You’ll find everything you need to switch off and relax: cushions, hammocks, swings and pretty lanterns in the common building. You can even float gently down the river on a tube. The play areas, designed with children AND parents in mind, have horseshoe games and firecircles close by, and there are beautiful trails for forest walks. Life is relaxed at Kabania, which attracts people with similar interests and values. I highly recommend it to family groups looking to chill out and have fun.

Stand-up paddling down the Red River in the Laurentian Mountains
Stand-up paddling is a completely different experience compared to kayaking. The 12-km excursion, which starts at Kayak Café in Labelle, takes you along the picturesque shores of the Red River. The water in this winding river is clear and shallow, and the gentle current will nudge you along toward your destination. You can take a little lunch with you and stop off at one of the many sandy beaches. Rental is available at Kayak Café, which also offers ready-to-camp accommodation—an original, eco-friendly concept available all year round—in the form of cabanas and shepherd’s wagons (wagon de berger) on a 22-acre site near the river surrounded by the natural world. You’ll be at one with nature!

Maison Andrew in Mauricie National Park: Sleep, explore, play, share and relax
Here’s your chance to stay in a magnificent fishing cabin (once occupied by wealthy Americans) that has been converted into a lodge and is now run by a non-profit organization. The exceptional site offers plenty of activities: hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and relaxing. You’re free to create your own soft or sports adventure experience.

Pointe-Taillon National Park at Lac-St-Jean: Kilometres of sandy beach
Enjoy swimming and taking it easy? You’ll love Lac-St-Jean’s exceptionally warm fresh waters—wonderfully relaxing. Kayaking, canoeing and pedalo enthusiasts will love them too. The park offers 75 rustic tent sites, which are accessible by bike or on foot. The 45-km cycling network joins the magnificent Véloroute des Bleuets cycling circuit. All the ingredients for an awesome day, which can end with a campfire on the shore.

Le Cabouron trail in Kamouraska: A well-kept secret
This trail, which offers magnificent views, is part of the monadnocks circuit and winds over Les Cabourons mountain through a boreal forest. On the rocky area at the summit you’ll find a forest of grey pines aged about 75 years old and a lookout with a panoramic view of the mudflats, the St. Lawrence and the Charlevoix mountains. The trail starts opposite the Saint-Germain cemetery and offers one to three hours of hiking.

Have a staycation: Be a tourist in your own city
Sometimes we try to get away from the most touristy spots in our own city. But if visitors marvel at its wonders, we’d probably to do the same if we took the trouble and time to look. There are various ways to go about it: buy a guide and discover the suggested tourist routes, tour the festivals or download some of the countless free audio tour apps, then put your headphones on and start walking. That’s what I’ll be doing this summer!
Parcourir Québec, Balado discovery,St. Matthew's cemetery, Circuit-Québec

And you? Got a favourite summer vacation spot in Quebec? Please share.