The improbable Yamaska ​​National Park

Had it not been for the construction of the Savage Mills dam on the North Yamaska, in the 1970s, to create the Choinière reservoir, Yamaska ​​National Park would not exist.

The improbable Yamaska ​​National Park

Had it not been for the construction of the Savage Mills dam on the North Yamaska, in the 1970s, to create the Choinière reservoir, Yamaska ​​National Park would not exist.

With the aim of ensuring the water supply of the city of Granby, the development required a construction site of such magnitude that the dam was then nicknamed the Petit Manic 3. What was not planned, is that the reservoir and the forest that surrounds it then form a national park, something done since 1983.

Even if this national park near Granby was not intended to be one, it remains surprising that it is not better known. And yet... We pedal under the trees. We walk sometimes in a pine forest sometimes in a maple grove. We paddle at our own pace on the vast Choinière reservoir, the heart of the park.

The bike tour

There are several ways to explore this territory in the Appalachian lowlands, starting with taking the Le Grand-Tour trail by bike. As its name suggests, the circuit goes around the Choinière reservoir, following the banks and then crossing fields and woods. Distance: 19 kilometers.

There are several stops here and there. The route is connected to a vast cycle network including the La Campagnarde track.

Loop trails

One of the attractions of the park are its loop trails accessible to the majority of walkers. The shortest, La Rivière, is even passable with a pushchair with large wheels. The short walk in a pine forest ends on the North Yamaska ​​River, near the dam. Duration: one hour.

If you have a trail to take with young children, this is the one. Other trails, each rated "easy" by Sépaq, are geared more towards adult walkers or perhaps older kids accustomed to hiking.

This is the case, among others, of the La Forestière trail, going from deciduous trees to conifers. Duration: two hours.

On the water

Another undeniable attraction of the park: the ease of access to the Choinière reservoir, thanks to a wide variety of small boats for rent.

Quiet ride in a pedal boat, exploration in a kayak or trying out a paddle board. There really is something for everyone.

★ www.sepaq.com

Archipel AmélioIn Saint-Jérôme, we have just opened an immersive adventure park, recreating a fantastic universe in the forest. Adventure courses, intrigues with goblins, gnomes or magicians, there are all kinds of games for the family.► www.amelio.tv/archipel/

An electric bike tourLa Route de Champlain offers electric bike rentals at the Ronald Beauregard Outdoor Center in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. For ages 14 and up. Price: $33 for three hours. ► www.alorichelieu.ca

COVID-19: Before you travel, please consult the health instructions in effect at www.quebec.ca/coronavirus


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