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The scene of clashes that evolved into the 1759 Conquest that forever changed the Americas, the Plains of Abraham are recognized as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious urban parks. The park’s combination of recreation, culture, and history make it a favorite spot for large events like Carnaval de Québec and St. Jean de Baptiste Day celebrations.
Ever since the city’s founding, its citizens have visited the park to relax, play sports, and take in free summer shows at the Edwin-Bélanger bandstand. Commemorative plaques, heritage interpretation signs, and artillery guns are a testament to the park’s embattled past.
Enjoy sailing, windsurfing, and sea kayaking? Then you won’t want to miss Beauport Bay. It’s also a favorite spot for locals looking to relax and enjoy the sun and sand. Beauport Bay is located on the south extension of Boulevard Henri Bourassa, and is accessible via the Corridor du Littoral bike path.
Take the Ports Nationaux exit from Dufferin-Montmorency Highway
Spread out over 27 hectares, Domaine de Maizerets is laced with hiking trails that lead visitors through undisturbed and landscaped areas.
Domaine de Maizerets is a great place for family get-togethers, nature fans, and science buffs.
Its arboretum, which contains some 15,000 trees, shrubs, and perennials, is truly a living museum. It’s also home to a butterfly house designed to encourage close encounters between visitors and insects.
2000, boulevard Montmorency
Located to the north of Lac Saint-Charles, Marais du Nord (“the northern marshes”) is home to 160 species of birds and is a bird and nature lovers’ paradise. For stunning vistas of Lac Saint-Charles and Rivière des Hurons (to name but a few) and to explore the park’s furthest reaches, check out its 8 km of hiking trails.
The marshes can also be visited by large, birch-bark canoes called “rabascaws” (reservations
required). Open year-round, Marais du Nord is a must-visit for anyone
looking for a unique outdoor experience.
1100, chemin de la Grande-Ligne, Stoneham
Perched upon the Cap-Rouge promontory, Parc Cartier-Roberval offers unparalleled views of the St. Lawrence River and its surroundings. The park’s wildlife, woods, and 200 year-old trees are well worth the trip! What’s more, archeological digs started in 2006 reveal that Jacques Cartier and Jean-François de La Rocque de Roberval had two forts built here to prepare for colonization in the St. Lawrence valley: one on top of the cape and the other on the land now occupied by Cap-Rouge Church. Parc Cartier-Roberval is truly a provincial treasure.
At 120 hectares (nearly 300 acres) Parc Chauveau is Québec City’s biggest park. Located in the Des Rivières borough, it is bisected by the St. Charles River, whose clear waters have carved out a spectacular steep-banked valley over time. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy plenty of wildlife, a verdant environment, and great opportunities for walking, picnicking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
The park can be accessed from:
Parking is available at both locations.
At 83 m high, or 30 meters higher than the famous Niagara Falls, Montmorency Falls are the namesake for the park where they are located. The park’s onsite facilities (a gondola, panoramic stairway, lookouts, hiking trails, and audio information stations) provide visitors with a variety of opportunities to enjoy their surroundings, including spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and Île d'Orléans. In winter, the falls provide challenging terrain for ice climbing enthusiasts.
What makes these 28 m high falls unique is their exceptional location: they’re nestled in a 42 m deep canyon, and sluice into a river rich in plant life and millennia-old fossils.
A hiking trail and five lookouts are the perfect place to explore the park’s
flora, fauna, and geological formations.
14, rue Saint-Amand
Created in 1992, Parc de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier is one of the only public
wooded areas on the St. Lawrence River, stretching out along its banks for
over 3.7 km. One of the park’s hiking trails connects to the Cap-Rouge aquatic park. The site boasts a narrow marine terrace, strand, and sea cliff
offering panoramic views of the river. There’s also sugar maple–red oak
transition forest prized for the impressive size of its trees, as well as
three red oak–sugar maple stands designated as exceptional forest ecosystems
due to their rarity.
Information: 418 641-6300.
Bordering the Sillery bluffs, Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge is one of Québec’s most unique parks. Its layout is influenced by the city’s French and English regimes and by many members of royalty. A number of buildings still reflect this rich past. Half of the park is covered in maple forest, and is home to more than 3 km of trails bordered by gorgeous flowers, berry bushes, and trees, and offering beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River.
1215, Grande Allée Ouest
This 30 km hiking trail connects downtown Québec City with Lac Saint-Charles, offering stunning scenery to all who visit.
Hikers will enjoy the path’s beautiful surroundings, which are the result of major efforts to renaturalize the area. They can also move about freely over the water thanks to a network of bridges and boardwalks.
Visitors will encounter urban areas, forest, numerous parks, many plant varieties, diverse birds species, historical sites, Wendake (a Huron village), lookouts offering beautiful views of the marshes, waterfalls, canyons, bluffs, meanders, and much more!
Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles
Parc Nautique is the ideal place for sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports. It opens up onto Cap-Rouge bay, making it possible to discover the flora and fauna of the St. Lawrence and Cap-Rouge rivers. Paddle boat, canoe, sailing, kayaking, and motor excursions can be booked onsite. Sailing and kayaking lessons are also available.
4155, chemin de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier
Téléphone : 418 641-6148
The garden started out as a living laboratory for students and researchers from Université Laval’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (among others). Today, the garden is also open to the public, a welcome development providing visitors with an urban oasis. Taking in the landscape, learning about plants and how they are grown, and getting in touch with nature are just a few reasons to visit the Roger-Van den Hende Botanical Garden, which is open from early May to late October.
2480, boulevard Hochelaga
Pavillon Envirotron, local 1227
Téléphone : 418 656-3742
The creation of Saint-Roch Garden by the city in 1992 was the first step towards revitalizing the neighborhood that is its namesake. Planting the garden was part of a modern approach to urban planning created to draw inhabitants back into the city center and combat the negative effects of urban sprawl. Three busts by Québec artists Alfred Pellan, René Richard, and Horatio Walker add a touch of charm to this verdant oasis.
On rue de la Couronne (between boulevard Charest Est and côte-d'Abraham)
A visit to Villa Bagatelle is a journey back in time to the 19th century, when wealthy Québec V.I.P.s were making their homes on the cliff at Sillery and installing magnificent English-style gardens. The choice of rare plants and undergrowth highlight the potential of indigenous plants. Various thematic exhibits will captivate visitors. Villa Bagatelle: a happy blend of nature and culture, an exciting learning experience!
1563, chemin Saint-Louis
For more information on tourist attractions in Québec
City and its surrounding areas, visit the Québec City Tourism website.
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