Springtime weather finally seems to be springing (well, almost) and now is the time to begin planning excursions for the warm months ahead. If you're up for a bit of a journey, consider making the trip to Quebec's own Parc national d'Aiguebelle in the region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Though a lengthy seven hours away from downtown Montreal, the park has some hidden gems that are worth the journey, including a Japanese bridge, "floating walkway," beaver dens, and, most excitingly, a high suspension bridge above a cliff-lined lake.

The Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) calls the park "a true natural jewel of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region."

"Parc national d'Aiguebelle is home to a variety of geological [phenomena] with evocative names: giant's kettle, pillow lava."

"A 22-metre-high suspended walkway offers a thrilling crossing over a gigantic fault. From this vantage point you can admire scenery that has been deeply marked by the work of billions of years."

The bridge is part of the three-kilometre La Traverse trail, but its proximity to other trails makes it easy to extend the trip and maybe even spot some beavers along the way.

Begin with the one-kilometre La Castorière loop around a pond with "a high concentration of beaver habitat[s]" before connecting to the adjacent four-kilometre La Salamandre trail "through the boreal forest and sections of windfall."

La Salamandre then connects to La Traverse, which terminates at the parking and picnic area, for an approximate total of eight kilometres of hiking.

This map on the Sépaq Discovery Guide clearly shows all the possible routes.

The three trails range in difficulty from easy to intermediate. Dogs are welcome along each route if owners respect the rules and keep them on a leash.

Photos posted online show the "breathtaking views" that Sépaq promises in its guide.

More information on the Parc national d'Aiguebelle is available on the Sépaq website.

Specific details about hiking trails and the rules for dog owners are visible on the 2019 Discovery Guide here.

Suspension Bridge At Parc National d'Aiguebelle

Address: 12373 Rte d'Aiguebelle, Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec (park service centre)

Why You Need To Go: For some pretty spectacular views and maybe even an encounter with a beaver or two.

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We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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