Vallée Bras-du-Nord, Grande Ligne, St-Raymond, QC, Canada
Driving time from Quebec City
Pick a campground
There are three options for camping in the park. If you’re looking for family time on a sandy beach, pick one of 50 campsites at the Etsanha campground that you can get to by car and canoe. If you want to feel like you’re a million miles away from civilization, opt for one of 12 secluded sites at the Vallée campground, which you can only get to by canoe. Or, if you’re looking for quick access to outdoor adventure, check out the Shannahan campground — it’s on the doorstep of Vallée Bras-du-Nord’s hiking and cycling trails.
Keep in mind that these much-loved campgrounds can book up, so claim your spot well ahead of time. The park also has a yurt village, cabins and rustic shelters if the weather looks dicey (along with some fancier cottages).
Heads up: there’s no cell service anywhere in the park except at the visitor centre, and there’s also no running water. Make sure that you bring along a hydration system to filter your water during your stay.
Hit the trails
Whether you’re heading out on foot or hitting the dirt on two wheels, the Vallée Bras-du-Nord trails are a must. The park has made a real name for itself in recent years, and much of that reputation is thanks to the Neilson Trail. The trail is currently being expanded and the views it offers are akin to those of Yosemite. When you’re riding, you’ll be torn between keeping up your speed to enjoy the flow and slowing down to enjoy the views – almost every section follows a brook, river or cascading waterfall.
If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed to do while you’re camping, there are plenty of beginner friendly hiking trails like the Sentier du Castor – a gentle 6.9km route with a minimal 30m climb. Set out with your pack, your hiking boots and your must-haves to work up an appetite before you’re back at camp.
The Vallée Bras-du-Nord River is welcoming, even to newbie canoers or kayakers. If you’re staying at the Vallée campground, it’s a nice 9km paddle to get there. Even if you’ve opted for one of the other two campgrounds, set some time aside to check out Delaney Falls. You’ll find calm waters and sandy beaches that feel like the ultimate escape from the city. Just park your canoe on the shore about 3km into the ride and it’s an easy 10-minute walk to the falls from there. No canoe? No problem. Look into gear rentals that come with all the safety stuff you need.