Lac Taureau (Taurus Lake) is a large reservoir at the heart of the region of Lanaudière, constituting its own regional park. The park ids just off the huge Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve, and the Mauricie National Park. The reservoir is named after a river rapid that was flooded in 1931 by the damming of the Matawin River by Shawinigan Water and Power. The noise of the flooding sounded like the bellowing of a bull. Today, the lake has 139 kilometres of sandy banks and beaches and 45 islands, with plenty of camping sites along its bays. Being quite a remote area, that’s the perfect place to spend some days in the nature and recharge your batteries. As it often happens during the period of our birthdays, we decided to spend the Indian summer there, to bike along its trails and make our first experiences with kayaking.
Fall is a beautiful season in the Canadian mountains. Road 131, the only road that can get you to the lake from Montreal, offers some incredible views of the foliage. We took the road on a rainy, grey day, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the ride and the scattered splashes of colours in the leaves. After Sainte-Emilie-de-l-‘Energie, you are immersed in the forest and road just plows North, with very little human presence. Past Saint-Zenon, Saint-Michel-des-Saints is the last civilization post to the wilderness of Lac Taureau regional park.
For our staying, we chose the Auberge du Lac Taureau, a large waterfront establishment that gives you access to rooms, apartment, camping sites, private trails, and all you need to explore the lake by foot or by water. The place is rustic and offers the chalet experience on an enlarged scale. Even if we got there on a rainy, bleak day, we were fascinated by the size of the place and by its many details – the chandeliers, the fireplaces, the outdoor braziers (and, of course, the indoors spa and pool).
During the first days of our staying, the weather wasn’t that forgiving with us. It rained on and off, but we could still get out to the trails with our bikes to explore the area. Even with the clouds and dark skies, the lake and the trails were very enjoyable, and offered beautiful panoramas. Besides the beauty of the woods at Fall, with their colours and scents, we recommend visiting the Amerindian site, from where you can see a full sized tepee and campfire. The sandy beaches also offer beautiful relaxation spots and views. At the end of our explorations, we would just go back to the Auberge Taureau and enjoy the scent of the burning logs in the fireplace, the spa and the pool.
Eventually, we’ve also got some sunny days, and everything transformed. The intensity of colours was astonishing. It was the occasion to explore the area by pedal boat and kayak! We’ve had lot of fun (and exercise), and we also have enjoyed the small marina, with its boats and views over the lake.
Our short vacation was surely appreciated and we recommend this site. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, the chefs at the restaurant will accommodate your requirements without difficulty, but do not expect much choice at the bar if you go for a quick meal. If you’re lucky with the weather, there’s really a lot to explore and visit to fill your days!