Thursday, August 24, 2017


This is one of my favourite parks. It has everything flowing in its favour. Back in 2005, I first discovered the park, and was mesmerized by it size and the myriad of living natural phenomena jumping out before our eyes. Forty-two kilometres in length, it’s a watery bastion for 245 different bird species, animals and fauna with exotic-looking plants that have you believing you’re traveling up the Amazon. An exciting confluence of turns creates surprising vistas that inspire you. It’s an endless watery labyrinth of bountiful beauty that overtakes the small hum of cars in the far distance.


Carte Odysséee VC

Less than a half hour from Montreal, you would never suspect that this gem is actually bordering an urban area. Its jungle-like feel and wide open views to sky and water has its own kind of challenge.


Can you find 1000 islands poking out of this vast river?  You may need to take that plane you see.
Truth is, you won't find 1000 islands
because this number is a classic example of exaggeration. In fact, there are only 101 islands. But don’t be disappointed; seven islands can be explored. Dock the canoe or kayak on the easy-to access landings and explore the sweet trails laden with nature. You’ll walk back in time, see ruins that once were the foundation of homes built by the rich in between 1935 and 1945. 


Celine Dion had a house here, and it still stands with a new owner now living in it.
Each island has its own unique flavour as each is canopied in tree-life: black maples, black willows and Thuya Occidental to name a few trees.  



 One distinct water plant called Lizard Tails was coming into bloom. Long-stems rose out of the water, leaning over it to reveal slender white flowers hanging like forlorn little lanterns bending downwards. This is a rare aquatic plant.


I was accompanied by Fabienne Dupont-Lauzon, in the Communications Department of the park. Paddling in our sturdy canoe, we headed for Kennedy Island. 

Along the way, we passed a delightful family of ducks and a few Canada Geese busy preening themselves along the shore of an island. 

Docking at Kennedy Island, Fabienne pointed out the many games on plaques where you combine letters and words with pictures to name a fish, animals and birds. 

It was so much fun trying to arrive at the winning word. What a great educational way to engage children as parents play along with them.

                              Fabienne and I then paddled to Îles des fraises.

      Here, the rich Sandler family once lived and we saw remnants of their dwelling. 

A broken down chimney now housing the rare Chimney Swift bird was built up to ensure protection of this bird.



 Know that wherever you tread, you are walking on ground once inhabited by the Amerindians – the First Nations People where land and water formed their daily home.

I loved this secretive cozy  island separated from Kennedy Island by an enchanting passage of such shallow water; only kayaks can pass through.

Today, four biologists are involved with preservation of all animals, land corrosion, tagging and more. 

                          Can you spot those painted turtles sunning on the log?

Woodpeckers leave their mark on trees; and a tornado in 2013 left its own legacy as we marveled at the 'tree art sculptures" created by it.

            There's a mystery to discover on each island.
Could this tree be trying
   to tell us something?


Three interesting routes allow you to view islands of note. Know that artifacts and the story about this park will come to life within a brand new museum that will open to the public next year. 

The new building will house a permanent exposition, titled
Incroyable, mais vrai!” Themes include occupation of the territory, fishing history and so much more, Artifacts from the past, and plant and animal specimens will be on display. Surprising anecdotes and games involving touch screens will make learning about this grand park a lot of fun.

A BIG THANKS TO FABIENNE –  a fun guide whose paddling prowess embodies the power of this wonderful park.

Rabaska fun, camps, cruises, ice fishing, and so many exciting innovative activities to enjoy!


The website is:


No comments:

Post a Comment