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Posts Tagged ‘day out montreal’

Knowlton is the largest village in the town of Lac Brome in the Eastern Townships. It’s very much a tourist destination with pretty Victorian villas and various cafés and restaurants. Situated on the edge of Lac Brome, Knowlton is a wonderful destination for a weekend away from Montréal or even for a Sunday lunch out. The village was founded by loyalist settlers that left the US after its declaration of independence from the crown.

There are a lot of nice shops to mooch around, although quite a few less than Magog. Knowlton is very much a village. The Knowlton Station shop is worth a look, they make great sandwiches and cake so worth popping in for afternoon tea too.

Knowlton has also a small museum which is worth a look with articles from the wars and the settlement of the area.

One of the nicer restaurants to eat in is “Le Relais” a old staging inn that is still operating as both an inn and a restaurant. If you’d like to eat here at the weekend it’s imperative to reserve in advance on + 1 450-242-2232.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the area that is reasonably priced, it’s worthwhile looking at Le Cyprès motel. Its small but clean rooms are around $100 + tax which includes a good continental breakfast. Reservations on: 1.866.243.0363

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Cherry Lake in Mont Orford national park

Cherry Lake in Mont Orford national park

Mont Orford is the highest peak and the largest national park in the Eastern Townships. It’s run by the Sépaq so has all the standard facilites including parking, a visitor centre, camp sites and trails.

 

In addition to the national park, the mountain also has an area reserved for alpine skiing, and when there is no snow, gondola rides in the cable car.

The national park has several walking trails of different difficulty, although there is not a vast choice compared to other parks. I have the feeling that this park really comes to life during the winter when there are several cross-country skiing and racket trails.

At this moment in time, the change in the colour of leaves is absolutely spectacular throughout the park and in the surrounding area.

Just outside the Sépaq park is the Ski Centre Orford which is set up for skiing on Mont Orford, but during the summer offers hiking trails up to the summet of the mountain. The easy trail is about 4km long. There is also the gondola cable car which will take you up to the top for the modest fee of $6.50 plus tax.

The nearest town is Orford, but Magog is near by too and has many more hotels, restaurants and shops so makes a good base for exploring the mountain and indeed the rest of the Eastern Townships.

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Philippe Quesnel   © Sépaq

Walk in Mont Saint Bruno Park - Credit: Philippe Quesnel © Sépaq

Only 40km from Montréal, Mont-Saint-Bruno park is a wooded delight. It’s managed by Parks Québec and thus is part of the Sépaq network.

 

The park consists of a lot of forest, some grassland, five ponds/lakes and some historical buildings. We took the kids on a 3.5km walk through the forest which was really nice. It was very flat so was pretty easy going, although the paths are earth so it takes some effort to push a stroller. We heard the sounds of birds you usually don’t get to hear in Montréal. The trees are generally quite young, so again it’s a different kind of atmosphere from most of the Sépaq parks. For the kids, the big reward at the end is the nice new playground which is handily surrounded by picnic tables so you can have lunch or afternoon tea while the kids play.

It’s also possible to pick your own apples from the orchard, visit a historic mill and of course have some food at the park’s restaurant. At the time of writing, the restaurant had moved to its winter menu and was only serving chicken soup and banana cake so think to bring a picnic. During the winter time there are lots of cross-country skiing trails and even a ski-school to get you started or improve your technique.

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Ah the sun is shinning, it’s 30° outside, what is one supposed to do? Hit the beach – and in Montréal this means go to a beach on a lake. A very popular destination is just over the US border at Plattsburgh. So we (and seemingly the rest of Québec) headed down to Plattsburgh.

There are a lot of beaches in the Plattsburgh area, the best known is the city beach, but so late in the year it was closed. Most of the other beaches close after the Labor day holiday. We were recommended to go to Pointe au Roche and it was a great choice. 

Pointe au Roche is managed by New York state parks and is a domain comprising of a beach, trails and watersports access. This time we stuck to the beach. It’s about 50 metres long, on one side is the huge Champlain lake (named after Samuel de Champlain) and the other side is a large grassed area with many picnic tables and a shower and toilet block. Just behind this is the large car park. It’s really convenient, clean, the water was very warm and the air was warm too despite a few clouds. Above all it was a beautiful and calm location to pass the day. If youhave children it’s a super beach for them to wade on, build sand castles or even take some clay from the lake bed and be creative!

Here are some other beaches in the Plattsburgh area:

 

Adventure abounds in this six million acre park known for its majestic peaks, countless lakes and outdoor activities.
 
Discover this jewel on Lake Champlain with swimming, windsurfing, fishing, hiking trails and wildlife preserve.
 
Explore the western shore of Lake Champlain on this state park’s large natural sand beach.
 
Enjoy a wilderness atmosphere along with swimming, fishing, playing fields and nature trail.
 
Visit the largest fresh water beach in the United States.
 
This beautiful park offers swimming, hiking and biking trails, a nature center and mooring sites.

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