Ottawa Magazine

Fun in the Sun

A beach destinatio­n and a thrilling ride through the trees offer new ways to get away


Camp Fortune Mountain Coaster

A new high-adrenalin attraction opened at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec, last summer. The Mountain Coaster launched in June, offering a novel way to get your downhill kicks when there’s no snow on the slopes.

Alongside the expansive mountain bike trails, clip-and-climb facility, and ziplines already in place as part of Camp Fortune’s summer offerings, the Mountain Coaster offers a one-kilometre thrill quite unlike any other.

The structure was designed and manufactur­ed in Austria specifical­ly for Camp Fortune. “It was designed to work with existing terrain and blend with our hills, using the natural dips and valleys, creating minimal environmen­tal impact,” says Erin Boucher, assistant director for the resort. The coaster took six weeks to build, cost about $800,000, and created 45 new jobs.

In 2021, nearly 20,000 visitors took the scenic chairlift ride, then climbed into the coaster’s small plastic buggy, which is attached to rails. The buggy winds its way downhill, twisting and turning through the trees, about a metre off the ground. A handbrake allows riders to control the speed, which can reach up to 40 km/h. (The trip takes at least a minute and half, depending on how much you use that brake!) With the wind in your hair and G-forces in play, it’s a thrill for anyone from the age of three to 80.

Pont Blanc Beach

The expansive beach at Pont Blanc in the Pontiac region of Quebec is making the best out of the 2019 floodwater­s, which brought in a huge amount of sand to the shores of the Coulonge River. Now, you can while away a couple of days enjoying picnics at the tables under the silver maples, sleep in the sunshine on the sandy beach, float on the water for a lazy river tour, or take part in many of the activities on offer.

For the 2022 season, outdoor equipment rentals include canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, bikes, and SUP boards. Nearby, there’s space for volleyball, spike ball, and other field sports, as well as an axe throwing centre.

“The idea started two years ago to bring back some local Pontiac culture into the community in a fun way,” says Guillaume Lavoie-Harvey of the municipali­ty of Pontiac. “The goal was to create world axe throwing standard facilities, to eventually hold lumberjack competitio­ns and local tournament­s.” The first tournament and grand opening will be held July 4, 2022.

Camping, glamping, and temporary RV sites are also close by.

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