If you’re like us, you love to get out to enjoy the woods and surrounding scenery. It does the body—and the soul—a world of good! It just so happens that the Shawinigan area has plenty of nice trails to explore. Here are five of our favourite destinations for a great day in the great outdoors.
THIBODEAU-RICARD TRAIL− PARC DE LA RIVIÈRE SHAWINIGAN
This historic trail in Shawinigan River Park is ideal for hikers who like to learn while they walk. It runs past the remains of old dams and one of the first seismographs ever built in North America. Scenic cascades and falls also punctuate the route. The trail is relatively flat, making it an ideal choice for families. And dogs are welcome.
LAC SOLITAIRE TRAIL− MAURICIE NATIONAL PARK
This loop trail in the Saint-Jean-des-Piles sector of the park is great for exploring some of our region’s protected natural landscapes. To get started, rendezvous behind the Rivière-à-la-Pêche Service Centre. Note that this three-hour hike is quite challenging, with lots of ups and downs around the lake, and a good climb to the lookout. But the view of the St. Maurice River from the cliff top is well worth the effort—and perfect for recharging your batteries for the afternoon.
PARC DE L’ÎLE MELVILLE
Sometimes, happiness is right in front of your nose. Or in the case of Shawinigan, on beautiful Melville Island. Just two minutes from downtown, this 160-hectare forested oasis boast lots of trails, plus a host of other activities for the family to enjoy. What’s more, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
CHUTE DU DIABLE TRAIL– PARC RÉCRÉOFORESTIER
The pride of Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, Parc Récréo is a recreational area situated on public land and managed on a volunteer basis by regional partners. The Chute-du Diable trail is popular with hikers who really like to stretch their legs. At nearly 11 km in length (one-way), the route offers scenic views of Lac en Croix and the outlet of Lake Wapizagongue, among others. There’s even a lean-to at the halfway point for those who’d like to sleep to the sound of the falls. Magical!
GABELLE TRAIL − NOTRE-DAME-DU-MONT-CARMELL
Hiking the Gabelle Trail along the banks of the St. Maurice, you’ll be surprised to see such pristine surroundings so close to town. Take the wooden bridge leading to a long stairway, and you’ll soon find yourself surrounded by a sea of green, interspersed with delightful views of the river. Relax and enjoy as you commune with nature.
And there you have it! Here’s wishing you some great hiking with family and friends. In fact, why not share this article with people you know. After all, we all need ideas and inspiration now and then about places to experience the healing powers of nature.