Lakes to your right, lakes to your left, lakes up ahead. La Mauricie National Park is a COC favourite for autumn views with sprawling woods and open water. It has over 150 lakes, three different park entrances, and a dozen great hiking trails to keep you busy.
COC's first La Mauricie trip will be on September 26th, 2021! Tickets will go on sale a week before the event. To tide you over, check out our guide to La Mauricie National Park. Whether you want to come with us or visit on your own, it's got a top spot as one of the best hiking areas near Montreal.
P.S: All the pictures below are from our La Mauricie photo gallery from past trips. If you want to see more of the park, check it out!
How Do I Get There?
Like all of our hikes, if you want to visit La Mauricie with COC, your transportation is covered in your ticket (as long as you're on time for departure). The park is just over two hours from Montreal. Keep in mind that park admissions is $7.90 per adult per day, or you can get a seasonal pass for $40.06.
Since the park is so big, La Mauricie actually has three different entrances: Saint-Jean-des-Piles, Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, and Saint-Gérard. They're relatively close to each other, so don't stress about choosing which one to go to. With a COC trip, we usually go to the Saint-Jean-des-Piles entrance, which gives us access to a bunch of different hikes.
If you don't have your own car and you're not able to come with COC, there are other options to get there. La Navette Nature is a charter company that books buses that leave from Berri-UQAM and take you straight to the trailhead. The tickets are around $60, quite a bit more steep than going on your own. They're not operating right now because of the pandemic, so you might have to wait a while to access this option.
What Do I Bring?
Fall weather can be finicky, so make sure you dress for it. Bring light layers that you can pull on or off depending on how warm it is where you are on the trail. Open areas in the sun can be a lot hotter than those shady forest treks, so plan for both. Temperatures can also be different if you end up hiking to a higher altitude.
In general, always bring water, a couple of snacks, and sunscreen (even if it's not that sunny, because it's embarrassing to look like a tomato when you don't want to). If you're planning on a longer hike, bring two water bottles if you can. You should also bring a camera to preserve those fall colours if you come on our September hike!
We have a more comprehensive hiking guide coming soon, which you should check out if you want more info on what to bring to the trail.
What Can I Do There?
Obviously, there are quite a few hikes at La Mauricie that you can do any time of year. Depending on the trail you choose, there are a few waterfalls along the way where you can dip your toes in or splash some water on your face. Almost every trail has multiple lookouts too, so you can take breaks there and take in the views.
There are also quite a few other activities at the park, including boat rentals, swimming, and fishing. Picnics are also encouraged, so pack a sandwich and your favourite flavour of Arizona iced tea (raspberry is the only answer) and take a seat after a long day of hiking.
Best Mauricie Hikes
Depending on which park entrance you visit, you could end up doing different hikes. From Saint-Jean-des-Piles, where we usually go, there are quite a few trails and landmarks to visit. There are a couple of short, easy hikes that you can start with, but these ones are the best if you want a good combo of views and some exercise.
This trail is on the easy side of moderate, and the loop is only about 10 kilometres. There are lots of wooden bridges and paths to walk on so you don't get your feet too dirty (but let's be real, we're here to #GetDirty).
Lac-du-Pimbina is about 13 kilometres and includes a bunch of different lookouts along the way. There are lots of elevation changes, so be ready to huff and puff your way up steeper bits every once in a while. If you're lucky, you might spot some wildlife like turtles and frogs by the lakeside.
If you want a challenge, Deux-Criques is well worth it. It's a 17-kilometre loop that will take around seven hours to finish, depending on your fitness level. Although Deux-Criques is hard, it has the best views and checkpoints. Make sure you visit Ruisseau du Fou falls for the photo op!
If you want to come to La Mauricie with us, save the date for September 26th! Tickets will go on sale on our ticket page the week before. Keep up with our Facebook and Instagram to get all the latest news. See you there! 🍂