20 June 2023
Eight-day summer itinerary from Mauricie to Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
Day 1: Trois-Rivières – Shawinigan
Start your day with a stroll through Vieux-Trois-Rivières and its harbour park. Continue your adventure with a visit to Boréalis – Centre d’histoire de l’industrie papetière, a former industrial site transformed into an interactive paper industry museum. Take part in a handmade paper workshop and relax on the Confluents terrace, with its breathtaking view of the river.
Continue your exploration with the Musée POP, a museum featuring interactive exhibits on Québec popular culture. Round off your visit with a tour of the old prison, which was built in 1822 and is listed as a historic monument (note: the entrance door is only 76 cm wide).
Finish the day on Rue des Forges, which is pedestrianized on Friday and Saturday evenings in summer. From June 29 to July 9, 2023, take part in the legendary FestiVoix music festival.
Day 2: Shawinigan and surroundings
Spend your morning at La Cité de l’Énergie, a museum complex dedicated to Shawinigan’s history and heritage, which plunges you into the heart of its industrial past. Then discover the Shawinigan-2 generating station, which is still in operation with original equipment dating back to 1910, a jewel in the crown of Québec’s hydroelectric heritage.
If you’re more of a nature lover, head to La Mauricie National Park. To discover the park’s breathtaking scenery, take the Promenade route, a scenic 64 km drive that will take a good two hours. The accessible lookouts, Le Vide-Bouteille and Le Passage, provide spectacular views of Lac Wapizagonke, one of Québec’s most beautiful lakes. The Lac Édouard beach is the perfect spot for picnics and swimming in the free floating chair available on site.
For history buffs, the Village du bûcheron is a replica of an old-time Québec lumber camp, with over 20 buildings. Guided tours take the form of shows hosted by musical and storytelling guides. If you prefer to explore the village on your own, an audioguide is available. On Thursdays and Saturdays, enjoy an intimate, festive evening of entertainment.
Day 3: Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
To get to Lac-Saint-Jean, take Route 155, a magnificent scenic route along the Rivière Saint-Maurice, once used by log drivers to transport timber.
Before continuing on to Saint-Félicien, take a short detour to visit the Parc le Trou de la Fée, a wilderness attraction. The canyon and trail are not accessible to people with reduced mobility, but the site offers a beautiful immersive exhibition, a terrace overlooking the river and a virtual reality tour of the cave.
A little further on, the Village historique de Val-Jalbert village is a must-see in the region. Step back in time at this listed historic and heritage site. Most of the tour is barrier-free, and wheelchair-accessible shuttles are available for guided tours. In the summer, costumed characters interact with visitors and bring the 1920s back to life.
Are you a cheese lover? A stop at the Musée de la vieille Fromagerie Perron will whet your appetite and introduce you to the history and ancestral cheddar cheese manufacturing techniques of this factory founded in 1895.
Day 4: Saint-Félicien
Young and old alike will fall under the spell of the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien. In a vast 485-hectare area, observe 400 native and exotic animal in semi-captivity, belonging to nearly 100 species originating from the boreal and cold zones. On foot, then aboard the adapted train, enjoy the zoo at your own pace.
Day 5: Saint-Félicien – Saguenay
Head for Saguenay, at the gateway to the fjord. Stop at Délices du Lac-Saint-Jean – Économusée de la confiturière: bleuets sauvages, an economuseum dedicated to wild blueberries located in Albanel, about 40 km from Saint-Félicien. Find out all about the emblematic blueberry and its benefits, and familiarize yourself with the craft of jam making, while tasting tasty products.
Continue your gourmet adventure with the Chocolaterie des Pères Trappistes de Mistassini Inc. – Économusée de la Chocolaterie des Pères chocolate economuseum in Dolbeau-Mistassini, about 20 km from Albanel. Learn more about the history of the chocolate factory and the Trappist monks’ skills.
If you’re a history and culture buff, visit the Musée Louis-Hémonin Péribonka, a museum that transports you into the world of Louis Hémon’s masterpiece, Maria Chapdelaine. Or visit La Pulperie de Chicoutimi regional museum, located a stone’s throw from downtown, which highlights the important role played by this site in the development of the city and the region in the 20th century.
Day 6: La Baie – Saguenay
Discover the fascinating world of mineralogy at Verrerie Touverre – Economusée de la taille de pierres fines fine stone cutting economuseum, with its impressive collection of stones, minerals and fossils. Take part in a hands-on activity where you polish your own stone and leave with your own creation.
Experience the Rivière-à-Mars, a salmon river 15 minutes from town. The fishway and interpretation panels will introduce you to the world of Atlantic salmon and sea trout. Some fishing holes have been arranged to be accessible.
Don’t miss the 36th edition of La Fabuleuse Histoire d’un Royaume at the Théâtre du Palais municipal of La Baie from July 12 to August 19, 2023. Back after a two-year absence, this historical fresco, which began in 1988, tells the story of the birth and evolution of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Day 7: Saguenay – Wendake
Return to Wendake via Route 175 for the last leg of your trip.
We suggest you visit Huron Traditional Site ONHOÜA CHETEK8Ean authentic reconstructed village featuring a longhouse, a smokehouse and meat dryer, a sweat lodge and a giant tepee. Please note that this is a guided tour, so book in advance. Allow two hours for the visit, more if you take part in activities.
Also visit the Huron-Wendat Museum, a national Wendat institution inaugurated in 2008, dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of the Wendat people. Opt for a guided discovery tour, unless you prefer an audioguide and interpretive panels along the trails.
Enjoy the magnificent terrace on the banks of the Rivière Akiawenrahk at the Restaurant La Traite and enjoy an excellent meal inspired by native culinary traditions and terroir. Join us for Native Myths and Legends, an evening of storytelling around one of the three fires in the longhouse.
From June 30 to July 2, 2023, attend the Wendake International Pow Wow and experience First Nations culture, rituals and traditions (festival not rated by Kéroul).
Day 8: Wendake – End of trip
Before leaving the reserve, take the opportunity to make a few final purchases. We suggest the Indian Craftsmen of Quebec boutique as well as Raquettes et Artisanat Gros-Louis, a company specializing in Indigenous crafts.
Have a safe trip home!
Hotel OUI GO! – Trois-Rivières
Comfort Inn & Suites Shawinigan – Shawinigan
Hotel Energie Shawinigan – Shawinigan
Le Baluchon Éco-Villégiature – Saint-Paulin
Hôtel de la Boréalie – Saint-Félicien
Chalet Dorémi – Saint-Félicien (min. two nights off-season, one week in season)
Auberge du Presbytère Saint-Alexis – La Baie
Delta Hotels Saguenay Conference Centre – Jonquière
La Saguenéenne Hotel and Convention Centre – Chicoutimi
Chalets Baie Cascouia – Larouche
Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations – Wendake
Article written in collaboration with Nathalie Deschênes