7 walking destinations near you
According to the French children’s song, “Un kilomètre à pied, ça use, ça use!” (“Walking a kilometre wears out your shoes”). Your footwear may end up showing a bit of wear and tear, but walking is actually a very good form of exercise! And for Le Groupe Maurice residents, walking is definitely one of their favourite pastimes, whether it’s a quick stroll around the neighbourhood or a higher-energy hike in the forest. The choices are endless!
In Quebec, we’re fortunate to have access to so many magnificent parks and nature areas where we can get a nice breath of fresh air. This summer, why not get a little closer to nature or discover some our urban green spots? Put on your walking shoes as we set off to discover seven corners of paradise, just a stone’s throw from Le Groupe Maurice’s residences!
1 - Mauricie National Park (Parc National de la Mauricie)
Mauricie National Park is best known for its many lakes. In fact, there are over 150 of them! In other words, there’s something for everyone. If you’d prefer to indulge in a little fishing rather than hitting the trails, that’s no problem at all! Simply find a spot at the water’s edge and the rest of us will head off for a hike amid some breathtaking scenery. Afterwards, we’ll all meet up for a bite to eat. You deserve it!
Every year in this beautiful setting, Le Groupe Maurice residents, sponsored by Les Jardins du Campanile residence in Shawinigan, take part in the Défis du Parc. In recent years, this sports-oriented event has featured a new test of physical fitness: the Walking Challenge (Défi de Marche), in partnership with Le Groupe Maurice. The 2019 edition brought together over 200 seniors. Even Luc Maurice was there to cheer the participants on!
Why not join them next year? We look forward to seeing you at the 2021 edition!
2 - Mont Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal)
Boasting 10 km of hiking trails, Mont Royal Park is one of Montreal’s best-known symbols—the perfect spot for all city dwellers to enjoy some fresh air. Every day of the year, it is visited by sports lovers, families and tourists … not to mention Groupe Maurice residents! If you’re feeling daring, we encourage to you climb right to the top, where you can take in the spectacular city views from the lookout (belvédère). Alternatively, the 800-metre-long cliff trail (sentier de l'escarpement) will take you right up to Mont Royal Cross, which is styled on the wooden cross erected by Paul Chomedey back in 1643. Beautiful scenery is guaranteed! Residents of Le Groupe Maurice’s ORA facility know that for a fact: they enjoy the view from their panoramic lounge each and every day of the year!
If Mont Royal Park is not your cup of tea, the city has at least 19 more parks and green spaces to explore. We’re particularly fond of taking a leafy and peaceful stroll through the Botanical Garden (Jardin botanique), just a hop, skip and a jump from Le Groupe Maurice’s Elogia residence. As a bonus, this facility also offers sweeping views of Montreal’s emblematic Olympic Stadium and fireworks displays at the Old Port.
For South Shore residents, Boucherville Islands National Park (Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville) is a very popular destination for residents of Le Groupe Maurice’s Caleo facility.
3 - Mount St. Hilaire (Mont Saint-Hilaire)
Located just 1 km from Le Quartier Mont-St-Hilaire residence, nature lovers will be delighted by Mount St. Hilaire and the surrounding forest, which is recognized by UNESCO as Canada’s first biosphere reserve. It is home to over 600 plant species and 25 km of trails for hikers of all skill levels.
Mount St. Hilaire is also known for its many resident bird species. Numerous bird-watching outings are available, so be sure to bring your binoculars!
4 - Orléans Island (Île d’Orléans)
Do you know anywhere as peaceful and bucolic as beautiful Orléans Island? Known as the birthplace of French North America, this enchanting spot will delight you with its immaculately preserved heritage sites and wild-growing vines. For an enjoyable (and money-saving) experience, try the “you pick” option at local fruit and vegetable farms, especially during harvest season.
After a few hours of walking around (or fruit picking, as the case may be), it’s time to relax a little! A wine tasting with local offerings is a “must”—but don’t overindulge because you still have to walk back! Also be sure to check out the other local produce: worthy of special mention is artisanal cheese Le Paillasson de l’Isle d’Orléans, which claims to be North America’s oldest.
If you’d prefer to take in some breathtaking views, be sure to check out the Village of Sainte-Pétronille, where a magnificent lookout offers glimpses of impressive Montmorency Waterfall (Chute Montmorency) and Quebec City off in the distance.
5 - Oka National Park (Parc national d’Oka)
One of Quebec’s key historic and natural heritage sites, Oka National Parc is renowned for its splendid views of the Adirondack Mountains and Two Mountains Lake (Lac des Deux Montagnes).
Residents of Le Groupe Maurice’s Félix facility in Vaudreuil-Dorion are particularly spoiled for choice seeing as they are only 45 minutes away from Oka National Parc, where they enjoy hiking with friends or spending the day at the beach with their grand-children. Why not join them? Put on your bathing suit, fill up your picnic hamper (don’t forget the cheese… you know which one 😉) and enjoy the sunshine. When it comes to walking, a stroll on the sand is a great way to get some exercise too!
6 - Lac des Nations Boardwalk (Promenade du lac des Nations)
The thing we like most about Lac des Nations Boardwalk is the perfect blend of town and country. Not to mention the fact that the area is so beautiful with its lakeside boutiques and unique landscaping, along with stunning views of Mount Orford!
The 3.5 km route around Lac des Nations is the setting for numerous outdoor activities, including summer photo exhibitions and fireworks displays. After you’ve finished your walk, grab something to eat or drink at Gare de Sherbrooke with its specialty offerings and seasonal public market. Now there’s a great motivation for you!
7 - Boucher Forest Loop Trail and Gatineau Park (Boucle de la Forêt Boucher/Parc de la Gatineau)
Located in Gatineau’s Aylmer district, not far from Groupe Maurice’s L’Initial residence, Boucher Forest is the largest wooded area in western Gatineau. If you’re a fan of peace and quiet, the Boucher Forest Loop Trail is just the place for you. Only 5 km long and little used, the trail is the perfect place to lose yourself in nature. Figuratively speaking, of course!
A little further away to the north is amazing Gatineau Park. We recommend the one-hour hike around Pink Lake, known for its crystal-clear waters!
Alternatively, we’re also fond of taking a shopping stroll around By Market. It’s not exactly a hike in the woods, but you know what they say: different strokes for different folks! 😉
What about yourself? Do you like walking? Do you have any favourite destinations or hikes to share?