David Suzuki
Out-There Logo
La Mauricie National Park
 
Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec
  Lake Wapizagonke  

La Mauricie National Park The park protects an area of five hundred and thirty six square kilometres of Quebec's Laurentians. The Laurentian mountains are one of the world's oldest mountain ranges. These mountains, once taller than the Rockies, have been worn down by the forces of erosion over time. The highest peak, Mont Raoul Blanchard (located in the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve east of the park) stands at 1,166m (3,825ft). The range stretches from the Ontario border to well passed Quebec city making up the St. Lawrence River's north shore. The parks mountains are typical of the range today. Heavily forested the area is broken up by a large number of lakes and rivers. The park is surrounded by the the Saint Maurice River in the north and the east and the Mattawin in the northwest. The heart of the park are its two main lakes, Lac Wapizagonke in the west and Lac-Édouard in the centre.

 
 
 

The parks mix of heavy forest, lakes, mountains and rivers provides for wonderful outdoor opportunities. There are two front country campgrounds, one of which has walk-in sites. Lac Wapizagonke and Édouard have wilderness campsites along their shores, allowing for easy overnight canoe camping. Some of these sites can also be reached along the trail network. A number of other lakes which are accessible through portages, also have lake side campsites. Cyclists can follow the winding park road or if they have a hybrid or mountain bike take advantage of designated trails.

 
 
  Waterfall   Winter camping is allowed in the park both on front country sites and backcountry sites. Skiers and snowshoers can carry their own gear into the interior and camp at designated sites. If that's a little to rough for you, take advantage of the parks two lodges, Webanaki and Andrew. Warming huts and a waxing hut are accessible along the trail network, which consists of both traditional and skating trails.  
 

Camping

Front Country Camping - The Park has three front country campgrounds. Mistagance is located just inside the Saint-Mathieu entrance. Mistagance has 108 sites, with shared flush toilets and showers. You'll also find an amphitheater and a playground for the kids. Swimming is available about a kilometre away at Lake Wapizagonke. Rivière-à-la-Pêche campground is located near the Saint-Jean-des-Piles entrance, where you'll find 254 sites, 62 of which have electricity. The campground has toilets and showers as well as kitchen shelters and a playground. There's also a snack bar and a site for boat rentals. The Wapizagonke campground is locate at the north end of Lake Wapizagonke, closest to the Saint-Mathieu entrance of the park. There are 219 campsites, flush toilets, showers, kitchen shelters, an amphitheater as well as a trailer dump at the campground entrance. Twenty nine of the sites are walk-in only. You'll also find a convenience store and boat rentals within walking distance. Beaches surround the camping area. Click here to make reservations.

 
  Lake Wapizagonke Canoes   Backcountry Camping There are 200 backcountry campsites along the parks lakes. You must camp at the designated sites. Canoeists can reach many of the sites along Lake Wapizagonke and Lake Édouard without having to portage. Trails lead to many of the sites as well. Most other sites require one or more carries. The park also has primitive sites along the 75km Laurentian Trail.  
 

Winter Camping

If you have the skills and equipment, winter camping is available in the Rivière-à-la-Pêche campground and in the interior at the designated campsites. The campground has a kitchen shelter with a wood stove as well as pit toilets. You must register with the park for either option. Do not travel over lakes or creeks and keep in mind that temperatures can drop below -30 C.

Cabins, Yurts and Lodges

The remnants of a bygone era, the Wabenaki and Andrew lodges originally accommodated wealthy Americans, including Joseph and Rose Kennedy, the parents of the former president of the United States. The lodges can be reached by hiking, mountain biking, canoeing (significant portages are involved) in the summer. In the winter access is by cross country skiing or snow shoeing.

Wabenaki - Sleeps 26 (2 dormitories), kitchen, lounge, fireplace, bathrooms, showers, heat and electricity.

Andrew - Sleeps 16 (4 rooms with 4 beds), lounge, fireplace, bathrooms, showers, heat and electricity.

You must bring your own gear, food, sleeping bag and toiletries. Reservations are required (book early). Contact the park for details.

 

Mountain Biking and Road Cycling

The park has an 30km circuit for mountain bikers. It provides a leisurely ride through the parks forests and along its lakes and streams. You can access the circuit at either at Lac-Édouard or the Rivière-à-la-Pêche campground. The route takes advantage of trails number 3,7,8 and 9. The trail provides access to the Wabenaki and Andrew Lodges on Lac-a-la-Peche in the south of the park. The trail also passes several of the backcountry lake side campsites.

Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec

Hiking

Les Deux-Criques Trail - 17km, Loop, Difficult This is a tough day long hike which you should start early since it takes seven or eight hours to complete. There are a number of overlooks that provide a great view of the park and at the far end of the trail you'll be greeted by the Ruisseau du Fou waterfall. There a several steep sections as well as two creeks crossings The trail head is located just beside the Riviere-de-la-Peche campgrounds in the eastern section of the park. Part of the trail makes up the final leg of the 75km Laurentians backpacking trail.

Du Vieux-Brulis Trail - 13km, Loop, Difficult The trail is easily accessed and takes you quickly into the backcountry, where you'll find several lookouts to enjoy. The trailhead is located at the Passage Lookout parking area, along the parks main road just above Lac Wapizagonke. Part of the trail makes up the first leg of the 75km Laurentians backpacking trail.

Mekinac - 11km, Loop, Moderate/Difficult The trail shares a part of it's route with Les Deux-Criques. From the trailhead the the trail follows along the shoreline of the Saint-Mauricie River then climbs inland and connects to Les Deux-Criques where you'll start the journey back. Along route you find a nice viewpoint to take in a part of the park. The trailhead is located just off the main road just before you reach the Riviere-de-la-Peche campground from the east entrance.

Les Cascades Trail - 2.1km, Loop, Easy The trail take you through a variety of landscapes following a stream, passing a marsh, winding its way through stands of maple. The trail takes about forty five minutes to complete. You can find the entrance at the Shewenegan picnic area. The trail connects to the more difficult Les Falaise.

Lac-Gabet Trail - 3km return, Moderate The trail takes you through a maple stand, then on to Gabet Lake where you'll find a blind. Take advantage of the blind to observe some of the areas wildlife. The trail head is at the Lac-Gabet parking lot.

Lac-etienne Trail - 1.5km, Loop, Easy A self guided interpretive trail that passes through wetlands and forest. You find observatories and interpretive panels along the pathway. There is a telescope located along the Lake's shore, which will help you to spot wildlife. Follow the markers for the #9 trail at Lac-Édouard to get started.

Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec

Snowshoeing

There are two designated trails for snowshoers in the park with a total of eighteen kilometres of trail. If you have the skills and equipment you can also break your own trail. Consult with the park for more information

 

Sea Kayaking

While not well known as a kayaking park, people do take advantage of the larger lakes to do some paddling. With campsites along the shores of both Wapizagonke and Édouard the option is there for overnight outings.

Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec

Cross Country Skiing

The park has eighty kilometres of cross country ski trails ranging from easy flat jeep track to wonderfully hilly sections for those with the expertise. There are both traditional trails as well as skating trails. The centre at Rivière-à-la-Pêche has a waxing room and is the kick off point for much of the parks winter activities. The trails branch out from here into the Lac-Édouard area and of course provide access to the parks two lodges, Wabenaki and Andrew. You'll find several warming huts on route. Winter camping is available at designated sites along the trails as well as at the campground at Rivière-à-la-Pêche. You must register with the park for winter camping. Do not travel over lakes or creeks and keep in mind that temperatures can drop below -30 C. If you plan to camp out in the winter make sure you have the skills and equipment.

 

Backpacking

Laurentian Trail - 75km, Linear, Difficult This is the jewel of the park. The trail stretches from the parks' west to the east, running through the wild northern section and touching on the northern most boundary formed by the Mattawin River. The terrain is varied and rolling with many climbs (which also provide for some wonderful lookouts) and descents along route. Moving through a mixed forest of maple, pine and fir the trail also has some stream crossings, to make things even more interesting. There are nine backcountry camping areas spaced between seven and nine kilometres apart. Plan your trip carefully to ensure you can cover each days planned distance. The hike takes from five to seven days depending on your speed of travel. The trailhead is located at the Passage Lookout parking area, along the parks main road (Du Vieux-Brulis Trail) just above Lac Wapizagonke. At the trails end it connects with the Deux-Criques Trail which will take you to your terminus at the Rivière-à-la-Pêche service Centre. It's 30km back to the trailhead from here so make sure you've set up a shuttle.

Reservations are mandatory and have a cost attached to them. Backcountry reservations (and front country, if applicable) should be made as early as possible, as the route is becoming more and more popular. Avoid the peak seasons at the end of July, the month of August as well as long weekends in the summer. Note: 1) The park requires you to complete the whole trail so make sure you have the stamina, skills and fitness to do the entire length. This is a wilderness area and there are no exit points along route. 2) You must bring along a portable cook stove since campfires are not permitted along the trail.

 

Canoeing

The park has a wonderful mix of possibilities for the canoeist. If you want a simple paddle without any portages, there are accessible sites on Lac-Édouard and Lac Wapizagonke. On Wapizagonke you can launch from the Wapizagonke or Mistagance campgrounds and choose from over a dozen locations on the lake at a variety of distances from your put-in. This allows for an overnight or a couple of days camping. Lac-Édouard has half a dozen sites to choose from on a smaller lake (the better if it's a bit windy) with shorter distances to paddle.

Both lakes connect into extended routes which will take you into the parks backcountry. There are enough lakes and portages to keep you busy for a week or two. You should definitely plan your trip carefully, since the park has many longer portages and many that have a good elevation change thrown in as well. If you can, choose a circuit where most of the carries are down hill. Almost all the routes are made up of interconnected lakes, with the exception of a route in the remote north of the park, which includes the Mattawin River. Canoes can be rented on Lac-Édouard and at both campsites on Wapizagonke. Pick up the canoe map and consult with the park regarding the possible routes, permits and fees. Note: It is forbidden to land on the parks islands.

Nature

The park has abundant wildlife which can best be observed along the parks trails or canoe routes. Canada's national symbol, the beaver can often be spotted in the park. Black bear and moose are two of the large mammals you'll find here. The park is located in the Laurentian mountain range and has an abundance of sugar maple, making it a wonderful place to visit in the fall as the leaves change colours.

 

From Wikipedia
     
Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec
 
Interactive Map of La Mauricie National Park

View Larger Map
 
Flying Over La Mauricie
 
 

Resources

  La Mauricie National Park Sign  

Getting There

La Mauricie is located almost half way between Montreal and Quebec City. From Montreal take the 40 east towards Quebec then head north on the 55 just west of Trois Riviere. From Quebec head west on the 40 and pick up the 55 just passed Trois Riviere. From the 55 take exit 217 for the Saint-Mathieu entrance or exit 226 for the Jean-des-Piles. The park is 200km from Montreal and 190km from Quebec City.

 
 

Resources

Park Weather - From the Weather Network
Camping Reservations
- Front Country Camping

Surrounding Regions

Out-There's Quebec
Quebec Tourism - Official Site

 

Related Links

 

Links of Interest

Canadian Geographic
Conde Nast Traveler

Islands Magazine
National Geographic
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
Outside Magazine
Sunset Magazine
Travel and Leisure Magazine
Wavelength Magazine

 

Regions Nearby

Out-There's Laurentians
Out-There's Montreal
Out-There's Lanaudiere

 

Out-There's Destinations

Out-There - www.out-there.com - Home
Out-There's Quebec

 


La Mauricie National Park

702 5th Street
Shawinigan, Quebec
G9N 6T9

Parks Canada

All web site contents copyright © 1995-2010 by White Cat Ventures Ltd.
Click here if you have arrived at this page without
Out-There Logo Small
the navigation bar on the left