GET REAL­LY OUT THERE

Guide Arc-en-ciel - - Suivez Le Guide Arc- En- Ciel -

land­scapes to ex­plore, whe­ther you live like a lo­cal for a few weeks or sim­ply en­joy an in­vi­go­ra­ting day out. Three of Parks Ca­na­da’s gems are lo­ca­ted in Que­bec. Head to Fo­rillon Na­tio­nal Park, La Mauricie Na­tio­nal Park or Min­gan Ar­chi­la­go Na­tio­nal Park Re­serve to create las­ting me­mo­ries, and dis­co­ver some of Qué­bec’s most si­gni­fi­cant na­tu­ral won­ders. Ex­plore 27 na­tio­nal parks and camp on site, rent a ca­bin or en­joy eco-lodging. Ex­traor­di­na­ry ex­pe­riences await at Qué­bec’s na­tio­nal parks! To­ge­ther, these im­mense pro­tec­ted spaces boast an as­toun­ding diversity of na­tu­ral sites, re­crea­tio­nal pos­si­bi­li­ties and sce­ne­ry. Most are un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the So­cié­té des éta­blis­se­ments de plein air du Qué­bec (Sé­paq). Fo­rillon, La Mauricie and the Min­gan Ar­chi­pe­la­go Na­tio­nal Park Re­serve are run by Parks Ca­na­da, while the Saguenay–St. La­wrence Ma­rine Park is ma­na­ged joint­ly by the two or­ga­ni­za­tions. In sum­mer, Qué­bec’s 24 na­tio­nal parks of­fer a wealth of in­cre­dible sights, whe­ther you’re on foot, in a ca­noe or in a kayak. All of this pro­tec­ted land pre­sents an op­por­tu­ni­ty to get in touch with nature and make sur­pri­sing dis­co­ve­ries. Qué­bec’s na­tio­nal parks wel­come all nature lo­vers, with abun­dant and di­verse fau­na, and some 200 trails where hi­kers can seek out brea­th­ta­king views. Prac­tise wa­ter sports on the parks’ im­mense lakes, sur­roun­ded by idyl­lic sce­ne­ry. Here, nature be­comes not on­ly a source of ins­pi­ra­tion and re­ple­nish­ment, but al­so a huge play­ground. At dusk, head back to your camp­site, rea­dy-to-camp tent, cot­tage or yurt to re­lax next to the camp­fire and re­gain your strength for the next ad­ven­ture-filled day. Don’t bo­ther trying to resist the spell of your sur­roun­dings; you are in fact in a win­ter won­der­land. Keep your eyes pee­led: you might spot the tracks of a num­ber of elu­sive ani­mals, such as moose and foxes. Come night­fall, you may even hear the hoo­ting of a bar­red owl. And where can you spend a co­zy night in the cold sea­son? Try a cot­tage, a yurt, a shel­ter or even a four-star inn—the op­tions abound!

WILDLIFE WATCHING

ou’ve just dip­ped your paddle in the ri­ver when you hear a splash a few metres away—a whale breaks the wa­ter’s sur­face to greet you as a sea­bird dives for fish in the dis­tance. Or you find your­self on the trail of a gentle deer in a fo­rest, or a cute squir­rel in a ci­ty park. Whe­ther by land or by wa­ter, a vi­sit to Qué­bec will sur­ely in­clude en­chan­ting en­coun­ters with some of its near­ly 650 ani­mal spe­cies. Spot a moose as you wan­der a bo­real fo­rest, or a blue he­ron while strol­ling along an urban ca­nal. Be awed by the sight of thou­sands of snow geese, or take a boat tour of the St. La­wrence to see the whales—our wildlife can be en­joyed in pro­vin­cial parks and nature re­serves, or ob­ser­ved in the wild.

LAC BUIES

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