Having Mont Tremblant within a stone’s throw of the city is mighty convenient for weekend camping excursions, but it also means that some outdoorsmen don’t see much else. Presenting three of our favourite spots – still accessible on one tank of gas.
Papineau-Labelle Wildlife Reserve
Distance: 190 km
Pitch your tent at one of five primitive campsites on the edge of the Lac Ernest and unleash your inner angler: The area’s 80-odd lakes are stocked with pike, bass, walleye and trout. Nearby Mount Devlin offers an easy nine-kilometre hike, panoramic views and the chance to see some birds of prey.
Tip: Upgrade to a charming solar-powered log cabin on the edge of Lac Ernest.
Umbagog Lake State Park, New Hampshire
Distance: 260 km
Rated by the Boston Globe as one of the top five kayaking spots in New England, Umbagog Lake is home to easy lakeside camping. Accessible only by boat, 34 remote campsites offer plenty of privacy. Spend your days searching 16 kilometres of shoreline for nesting osprey and bald eagles.
Tip: Arrive early; the base area can get very crowded.
La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve (Quebec)
Distance: 275 km
Nearly double the size of Algonquin Park, this flat-water canoeing haven is rarely busy. It has a few lazy portages around Class II rapids and plenty of west-facing beachfront tent sites. Loons and moose abound.
Tip: Fuel-up on poutine at Miss Patate on Hwy 117.