DescriptionNorth of Trois-Rivières, halfway between Montréal and Québec and accessible from Hwy. 55, La Mauricie National Park (Parc national de la Mauricie) is an unspoiled area in the Laurentian Mountains that occupies 536 square kilometres (206 sq. mi.) in the St. Maurice Valley. The park overlies bedrock dating from the Precambrian era, which began about 980 million years ago.
During the last ice age, glaciers scored the land and left rolling hills. Terraces along the St. Maurice River once formed the beaches of the postglacial Champlain Sea. Two main valleys are marked by chains of narrow lakes.
Of the more than 193 bird species that have been observed, 116 nest in the park. Mammals include moose, black bears, wolves and red foxes. Picnicking, camping, canoeing, swimming and fishing are popular pastimes in summer; winter brings cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter camping.
Note: The Saint-Jean-des-Piles entrance, Hwy. 55 exit 226, will be inaccessible in summer 2018 due to construction. The Saint-Mathieu entrance, off Hwy. 55 exit 217 via Sain-Mathieu-du-Par, will remain open.
Park open mid-May to mid-Oct. and late Dec.-Mar. 31. Hours vary; phone ahead. Admission is $6.78; $5.83 (ages 65+); free (ages 0-17). Prices may vary, and an extra fee may be charged for individual activities. For more information contact the Park Superintendent, La Mauricie National Park, 702 5th St., P.O. Box 160, Main Station, Shawinigan, QC, Canada G9N 6T9; phone (819) 538-3232 or (888) 773-8888, or (877) 737-3783 for camping reservations.
GEM DescriptionThis scenic park's chains of narrow lakes, pristine forests, trails and plentiful wildlife offer year-round recreational opportunities.