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7 ways to camp and hike responsibly
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Yamaska National Park Parc national de la Yamaska
Driving time from Montreal
Where to cool off
Soak it up
Welcome to the Appalachian lowlands. Rivers, streams, lakes, marshes and ponds are a mainstay in this landscape – and during a steamy Quebec summer, you’ll be thankful they are. In Yamaska, most people spend time in and around Réservoir Choinière. Cool down with a dip in the lake, paddle around on a SUP or in a kayak, or play game of beach volleyball. Basically: don’t leave your swimsuit at home.
Enjoy your evening
After a day of floating and paddling, you’ll be grateful for the cozy campgrounds. It’s easy to pitch your tent somewhere private and peaceful because the campsites are spaced out and secluded. There are also certain spots that only cyclists or canoers have access to if you’re bike touring or canoe camping. You really can’t go wrong with a good old-fashioned tent or campervan, but if you’re looking for something different (and on the upper end of the comfort scale), you can choose from a Huttopia tent or a new nature cabin.
Pack light and rent what you need
New to camping? Or need a few extras? The on-site rental shops will lend you all the equipment you could ever want, and you can also check out your local MEC before leaving the city to rent a kayak, canoe or SUP to get out on the water. A bicycle is a good thing to bring along if you can; washrooms might be a bit of a walk from your campsite.
The best way to see this park is by getting out on the water. Head out onto Réservoir Choinière early in the morning; the sight of the mist rising off the water is pretty cool. Then paddle around the lake’s many tributaries, nooks and crannies. There are lots of tiny isolated islands to explore.
Swap your paddles for pedals
After a morning on the water, it’s time to tackle the terrain. Of course, these are the lowlands so there’s not much in the way of mountains or hiking trails, but biking lets you cover some ground quickly. Take your rented wheels for a spin around the 19km loop trail. The paths are covered with crusher dust, which lets you cruise along at a good clip as you go flying through the magnificent maple forests.