Enjoy a good family road trip by going to Lac-Saint-Jean from Mauricie by route 155, from Quebec City by taking the junction to route 169 in Hebertville, from Chibougamau by route 167 or from Saguenay by route 170. You are leaving from Montreal and looking for a bucolic experience? Why not put aside the car for the weekend and come by train? You will arrive directly at the Lac-Bouchette train station. Do not hesitate to consult the access to the region to plan your stay.
DAY 1: IT ALL STARTS AT LAC-BOUCHETTE
As soon as you arrive in the middle of the day, plan a stop at the Ermitage Saint-Antoine de Lac-Bouchette to, among other things, attend the immersive multimedia experience Origine. This impressive state-of-the-art projection is a reflection on the respect of nature and the environment. This is an attraction not to be missed!
Throughout the afternoon, hikers will enjoy the walking trails, while cultural enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the rich history of this sanctuary. Located near the municipal beach, it is also possible to rent kayaks, paddle boards and pedal boats to fully enjoy Lake Ouiatchouan.
For dinner, the restaurant Le Campanile offers a tasty table overlooking the lake. You will find typical dishes such as the famous tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean as well as fresh products from the bakery La Mie de Saint-Antoine. The meal begins with a good beer from a regional microbrewery.
To relax in the evening, whether you like camping, cottages or hotels, the Ermitage has everything to please you. Several packages are available for those who are looking for all-inclusive packages.
DAY 2: A CULTURAL IMMERSION
Fill up on information
The next morning, head for the Chambord tourist information office located at the corner of routes 155 and 169. We stop there to get advice on the unusual places to discover in the area. To find out more about where to buy local products and to find the best trio of the region: gourgaine soup, tourtière and blueberry pie. Armed with information, you are now ready to leave for the adventure.
After about thirty minutes on Highway 169 heading west, you will arrive at Mashteuiatsh, the only Ilnu community in Lac-Saint-Jean. Take the time to learn more about their history and experience their culture.
Tip from the guide: Follow the new interactive terminals accompanied by the Historical Discovery Podcast to learn more about their history. And take the opportunity to say hello to Philippe (#suivezlephil)!
Continue your discoveries at the Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh. The visit lasts an average of 3 hours and includes a permanent exhibition and three temporary exhibitions. In the permanent exhibition, you will be invited to follow Kukum (grandmother) and Mushum (grandfather) to learn more about the way of life of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh through the seasons. The Nutshimitsh (In the Forest) outdoor trail is also an experience to be had during your visit to the museum. To add to the fun, you can take part in an archaeological excavation activity that will please both children and adults.
To end your visit in style before dinner, why not take the time to explore the museum's artisanal boutique? Aboriginal literature, handicrafts made by community artists and local products to satisfy the most demanding gourmets.
On your bikes
For the more athletic among you, take a section of the Véloroute des Bleuets à proximité et admirez le majestueux lac Saint-Jean. Pour les épicuriens, le Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean est un véritable paradis. Profitez de l’après-midi pour faire le plein, de la ferme à la table, entre les bières artisanales, les fromages des plus goûteux, le fameux chocolat aux bleuets et les saveurs boréales qui nous distinguent tant.
Finally, put down your luggage in one of the accommodations located in the community or in a nearby town. Discover them here.
DAY 3: DISCOVERING THE BOREALIE
After an enriching day of wonder the day before, resume your journey towards a must-see activity: a visit to the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien.
As soon as you arrive at the zoo, plan to watch the multi-sensory film that will immerse you in the boreal forest and is a perfect introduction to the day. Afterwards, discover the animals and the different sectors of the animal park. Don't forget to take a tour of the nature trail where the animals roam freely in their natural habitat while you are on the train. Fun for the whole family! Psitt... As soon as you arrive you may spot a new rare species... the life-size Phil (#suivezlephil).
Tip from the guide: a full day goes by so quickly at the zoo. For your dinner, there is a restaurant on site.
Finally, we move northeast to enjoy a good night's sleep in one of the accommodations offered in Dolbeau-Mistassini. Between inns, lodges, motels, chalets and campgrounds, the choice is vast. Discover them here.
For those who plan to be in the area for a few days, this route is ideal. However, if you have a little more time, you can continue your tour of the lake by going to the Parc de la Caverne Trou de la fée in Desbiens or to the Village historique de Val-Jalbert, in Chambord. These are two must-see attractions in Saguenay-Lac-Sain-Jean!
The itinerary is on its way out, but the region still has a ton of activities to offer you. Want to continue your adventures in the region? Check out the other itineraries to discover a multitude of summer activities that will make you want to stay even longer on vacation in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.