The Farmlands RouteDelightful and delicious
Discover the Laurentides' rural character: fertile grasslands, flavoursome products, charming country homes and history everywhere you look. Along the way a fabulous panorama will unfold, setting before you the Ottawa River, the majestic Lac des Deux Montagnes and the bucolic Oka hills.
Old Saint-Eustache is home to a superb attraction, the Légaré mill, which valiantly milled flour for two and a half centuries. If heritage architecture piques your interest, you'll be delighted by other municipalities: Sainte-Scholastique and Saint-Benoît (Mirabel), Lachute and Saint-André-d’Argenteuil, where you'll find the Argenteuil Regional Museum, housed in a former military barracks. The Carillon Canal National Historic Site, with the highest lock in Québec, is the perfect spot for a family picnic. Another site that's steeped in history is the Calvary at Oka, where a row of 18th-century oratories and chapels overlooks the hillside.
Delicious terroir delights
Follow the Farmlands Route (Chemin du Terroir) and discover an itinerary peppered with savoury tasting opportunities. Looking to quench your thirst? Go for a locally produced wine or cider, or try a glass of mead. Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? The maple goods or tasty apples at Saint-Joseph-du-Lac will do the trick. Include a wedge of cheese on your menu and—why not—the scent of lavender on your outing. Take the kids to pick fresh fruit and vegetables or visit farms where exotic animals are raised... and your day is complete!
The focal point of the route is—quite naturally—the Parc national d’Oka, whose woods climb the sides of Oka's hills, along the shores of Lac des Deux Montagnes. The park is a big draw among swimming enthusiasts, campers, hikers and cyclists, and hosts a wide variety of activities and events throughout the year. To fully appreciate the lake's beauty and serenity, treat yourself to a ferry crossing between Hudson and Oka. Another peaceful spot that promises fun for the entire family is the Parc régional éducatif Bois de Belle-Rivière, in Mirabel.
The Farmlands Route is a 226-km (140-mi.) loop through the countryside lying to the southwest of the Laurentides region, bordered by Lac des Deux Montagnes and the Du Nord and Ottawa rivers. You can access it directly via highways 15, 50 and 640 or, from April to November, via the Hudson–Oka ferry (be sure to check their schedules).