Thursday, August 15, 2019

Parc National du Mont-Orford

              Magical Auras, Recreational Thrills and Meditative Moments  

Neither overwhelming nor daunting, Mont-Orford radiates a rejuvenating energy. Yet it is peaceful and beautiful. Its visual impression is utterly appealing. It has a sensory sublime feel to it – almost spiritual as it connects gently to any wandering soul questing for respite in a variety of ways.  

I’ve been coming to the park since I was a kid and it always blew me away. I now have the opportunity to work here and the park still surprises me every day! It has a spirit, and every one who walks in it is a part of it. To me, it is a safe place where I can meditate, get in touch with nature,”  
                          Maxime Gingras, park attendant

                                                           A park that inspires poetry

“From seeing baby turtles with their mom to feeling the strong wind on my face at the top of the mountain to seeing the sunrise on the lake with my kayak to hearing the owls and the loons mixing their songs into an unique melody".
                                                                                                                    Maxime Gingras

Mont-Orford beckons one and all into its warm welcoming embrace.
Its magical presence proves inspiring at first glance, as seen in Étang des Cerisier – just a step away from the Visitors Centre

                                   Lakes Alive!   

You can kayak, fish, paddle board and canoe on lacs Stukley (where I canoed) and Fraser. Join people in a Rabaska canoe where the park warden will reveal the mysteries of the pond. You might see a snapping turtle, spot carnivorous plants, loons even a river otter. These lakes have beaches and camping facilities. You can rent a hut, camp and stay overnight in a rustic shelter or cabin to enjoy some night-time star gazing. What a wonderful way to cocoon yourselves in nature!

The joy of kayaking

I wanted to be on Cerisier, a man-made tranquil body of water that holds mysteries of its own. This “pond” as Orford calls it, was originally created in 1950 to increase the sweet water salmon’s reproduction, but the project didn’t go through, Still, Cerisier is home to many species in the park. It's a favorite place for loons to makes their nest; boats aren't allowed on the pond and the little vegetated islands dotting Ceriser offer great spots for loons to make their                                                                                         predator-free nests.               

Maxime pointed out that the remnants of trees on this lovely pond vitally contribute to the sustenance of many animals, including frogs, insects, fish and turtles. Dragonflies and damsels lay thier eggs here as well.

Lovely waling paths with more ponds to view

Close to 60 kilometres make up the network of trails. I took the Boucles des Trois Étang 5.5 kilometre flat walking path.

 It is a lovely meandering walk that winds around, bringing into site at different times three ponds: l’Ours, Mileu and Martin – the latter with its science fiction – looking tree stumps.

 Lots of trees to admire along the way, and to my surprise, a sudden group of darling small white pines poked up out of no where alongside part of the path. If you want views from high up, you may want to look into hiking. Mont-Orford Massif rises 853 metres in elevation.

 two photos: Sepaq

Dog-friendly, I came across many happy dogs and their owners.

                                   Here is one of the miracles I enjoyed in this park. What a coincidence!

I won’t give away all the surprises of this park. Summer fall, spring and winter, you can’t go wrong stepping into this majestic wonder, one of Quebec’s quintessential bastions of gorgeous nature where people can experience a gamut of activities. It takes just under two hours by car the park from Montreal.

For information, check out the website:

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