Hiking in La Mauricie National Park, Quebec

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The hiking in La Mauricie National Park in Quebec took me aback.

First it was way more beautiful than I expected. And the hikes that were labeled moderate, turned out to be on the tough side of moderate. I think because I live near the Rocky Mountains, I figure nothing can be quite as hard in comparison. I was proved wrong on this trip and again hiking to the summit of Le Mont Albert in Gaspé National Park.

"Impossibly blue water and such vibrant greens were the hallmark of this hike in La Maurice National Park"

Impossibly blue water and such vibrant greens were the hallmark of this hike

I had headed into La Mauricie for the purpose of kayaking Lake Wapizagonke - which I did – but I definitely got sidetracked for about four hours. I had been given a brochure of the park and pulled over to check out where the kayak launch site was located. But first I glanced at some descriptions of hiking trails. They looked intriguing and basically I got sidetracked. One trail in particular caught my attention – trail #15, otherwise known as the Lac du Pimbina trail. There was a suggested time of 5½ hours to hike it but I figured I could easily knock off the 13.1 kilometers in four hours or less.

"The hiking was rugged enough that there were ropes in place"

The hiking was rugged enough that there were ropes in place

What I hadn’t bargained for was how rugged much of the trail turned out to be. There was loads of up and down, and on one occasion ropes were in place and much needed for a steep descent.

"Pretty Solitaire Lake in La Maurice National Park, Quebec"

Pretty Lac Solitaire

"Lac aux Chevaux looked very pristine"

Lac aux Chevaux looked very pristine

The Lac du Pembina trail winds its way through woods and past five lakes in total – each one more seemingly more beautiful than the next one. There were four lookouts along the trail and the views down the lakes were outstanding. You’ll find lookouts at Lac Solitaire, Lac Benoit, Lac aux Chevaux and Lac du Pimbina.

"Fantastic view down Lake Benoit"

Fantastic view down Lake Benoit

"La Maurice National Park hiking"

One of what felt like the few flat sections of trail

"Pimbina Lake - the fourth one on the hike"

Pimbina Lake – the fourth one I encountered on the hike

"Quite a pretty stream"

Hiking alongside Bouchard Creek

"Beautiful lake views"

Beautiful lake views

By the time I got to Lac du Pimbina I was ready for a swim. The waters are an ideal temperature for swimming by the time mid-July rolls around – and there were a few people taking advantage of the lake. For a beautiful summer day, I was surprised that I saw very few people on the hike until I was just a kilometer or two from the end.

"The view down Bouchard Lake"

The view down Lac-Bouchard

I ended up taking a solid four hours to hike the trail – with stops only to take pictures and cool off my feet. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the kayaking, I am very glad I took the time to see another side of La Maurice National Park.

Have you ever visited La Mauricie?

Leigh McAdam

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