At Chalets Zenya, we’re passionate about the great outdoors. In fact, introducing you to extraordinary gems and exceptional activities across Quebec is a big part of our mission. What follows are various suggestions offering you privileged access to the most spectacular places nature in these parts has to offer. Many of the activities are as exotic as they are stimulating, so take a moment to discover 3 unique hikes in the beautiful region of the Laurentians.
Located near Montreal, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, the Laurentians cover more than 22,000 square kilometres. It’s big, but definitely made for relaxing. Each season offers real adventure in this vast territory which is home to diverse ecosystems, immense forests and peaceful, magnificent lakes.
There are limitless trails for tourists to explore, but we’ve selected three of our favourites just for you: the Route des Belles-Histoires, the Chemin du Terroir and Mont Larose. Each trail offers some really special stops and activities that will certainly delight you:
1. The exceptional trail along the Terroir des Laurentides
This protected and well-marked trail offers you more than 226 km of backroads and byways with hundreds of sweet spots to discover along the way. Among these treasures is the Côte des Saints artisanal distillery where barley is grown to produce pure and controlled alcohol. You can even take a guided tour with tastings on Saturdays and Sundays (reservation required). At Jardins Michel Corbeil, budding horticulturalists can get a close-up view of various perennial and native plants representative of the region’s biodiversity. Cheese lovers need to stop at Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde to savour the region’s tastiest local cheeses, including Rassembleu, Fou du Roy and Ménestrel.
If you’re passionate about agrotourism (visiting local vineyards, discovering ecomuseums, etc.) or culture, this region is brimming with both. From romantic sojourns and family vacays, to educational activities and even gourmet getaways, there really is something for everyone here. It’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular destinations for guests at Chalets Zenya. In fact, at Lac Fiddler, just a few kilometres from our chalets, there are a ton of activities not to be missed. Whether you’re here in the summer or winter, fall or spring, everything changes every moment, so one visit will not be enough to see it all. But one thing is certain: it will be all it takes to fall in love forever.
2. The Route called “Les Belles-Histoires”
In French, Belles Histoires means “beautiful stories”. And as its name suggests, this official tourist route of Quebec is full of wonderful historical anecdotes to enjoy with loved ones. History buffs, in particular, will be delighted to explore over 284 km from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier.
A great place to begin your journey is the Saint-Jérôme station. Built in 1897, this incredible stone building is sure to amaze, both in terms of its architectural presence and historical value. During the summer season, it hosts a completely original exhibition staged by the Société d’histoire de la Rivière-du-Nord that you don’t want to miss. Next stop is the Shawbridge train station in Prévost, where several cultural events are held, including the Prévost Arts Symposium. A little further along your path, you’ll find the Laurentian Ski Museum in the valley of Saint-Sauveur where you can enjoy a permanent exhibition entitled: “Vivre en hiver, avec l’hiver et de l’hiver” (Living in winter, with winter and winter). The exhibit illustrates the journey of the first settlers in this region and is just one of many examples of the beautiful stories this excursion holds. So don’t wait any longer, a trip to the past awaits.
3. The Mont Larose trail
If you’re looking for more athletic hikes, then the magnificent Mont Larose trail is for you. The best part is it’s only 40 minutes from Chalets Zenya in the Laurentians. This intermediate-level hike is just under 14 kilometres long and can be done in half a day at a moderate pace. Just remember to bring 2 or 3 litres of water per person because there are few, if any, water supply points. Surrounded by nature, you can expect several climbs and descents, with incredible views of Lac à la Truite, Lac des Pins, and the splendid Rivière Rouge.
Best part? The journey up Mont Larose is free and open all summer and fall.
Whether you are keen to discover roads dotted with succulent gourmet activities, are eager to dive into the history, or all about being at one with nature, the Laurentians have a thousand and one surprises waiting for you.