The Ouareau Forest Regional Park is a one-hour drive North of Montreal. The park covers more than 150 km² of territory and includes five different sectors: the Massif, the Grande-Jetée, the Grand Valley, the Suspended Bridge, and the Contreforts. With its 120 km of trails, the park offers wild lakes, climbing walls, the Ouareau river rapids and multiple camping sites for hikers.
We have visited the Suspended Bridge sector and walked the Murmures trail that follows the Ouraeau river. The entrance is 6 CA$, including parking at the beginning of the trail. If you go right, you will reach the suspended bridge, while if you go left you will take the Murmures trail.
The first lesson we learnt about being out in the forest is that during the rainy months (May and June) you need a good insect repellent. Expect bugs. A lot of them. The other thing we were not prepared to see was snakes. In all Quebec, DeKay’s brown-snake can be found in many wild areas and is a protected species. Kids play with them as its completely harmless, but if snakes are not your thing, be prepared for some thrills. In the grassy area leading to the Murmures Trail and all along the trail itself we saw many of them crossing our way and hiding under the rocks. Other unexpected encounters were with tiny spiders and frogs.
All over Canada, you will find that suspended bridges are common. Nevertheless, they are spectacular and breathtaking. This one was no exception, offering an incredible 360-degree view over the river and the forest.
The Murmures Trail is a flat trail that follows the Ouraeau river. It is all but boring: in its 5 km it offers several enchanting outlets to the calm waters of the river and its rounded, smooth rocks.
As walking builds an appetite, on our way back to Montreal we stopped in Saint Donat – a cute and popular mountain village – to have lunch. Many people come to Saint Donat for the summer, as the area is rich of lakes, rivers and camping sites. It is indeed a vibrant village, full of life and restaurants. We recommend stopping by as it is a charming place. If you’re in for pizza, give a try to Restaurant aux 3 Copains: portions are generous and prices reasonable.