Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, Boucherville, QC, Canada
Driving time from Montreal
How to get there
One thing that makes Parc national des îles-de-Boucherville nice is that you can arrive by car or transit. If you’re driving, take the 132 E and follow the signs for Exit 1 toward Île Charron/Îles de Boucherville. If you’re taking transit, first get to the Terminus Longueuil. From there, take the RTL bus 81 to the federal wharf on Rue Marie de Victorin. Make sure to check the schedule of the Navark Ferry for the final leg of your trip.
What to bring
If you’re planning on spending a day on the water, you’ll need paddleboarding essentials like swimming gear, a dry bag to stash your stuff, and some snacks and beverages. You’ll also want to bring a camera that’s in a waterproof case (the park is known for its wildlife sightings). Don’t own a paddleboard? You can rent one from MEC or from the park, along with a PFD. If you forget anything, rental facilities are on site to supply you with life jackets, paddleboards, paddles and anything else you might need.
Waterways are open from May to October. There are 8km of marked waterways for you to explore, which take on average three hours to complete. It’ll be a day well spent on a paddleboard: take time to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and watch for wildlife as you dip your paddle and work your way along the route.
If you’re new to paddleboarding, then you’ll want to stick to quieter areas. You’ll likely start out on the Grande Rivière Channel, where the ferries will be bringing adventurers back and forth. If you’d like to spend some time in a quieter area, check out the La Passe Channel, where you might be able to spot birds that call the island home, like songbirds, herons, loons or maybe even a peregrine falcon.
Extend your trip
If you’d like to spend a bit more time honing your paddleboarding skills, consider bringing your camping gear. There are over 50 tenting campsites for you to choose from on Ile Grosbois as well as 15 RV campsites. The park sells its own firewood, which you can burn in designated fire pits for a night of s’mores under the night sky. Whether you’re there for the day or on an overnight trip, know that the park is big on its commitment to ecological conservation (so the Leave No Trace tips will be good to know).