The Border RouteA land rich in history and legend
The Border Route (Route des Frontières) winds from the shores of the St. Lawrence to the boundaries of New Brunswick and the U.S. state of Maine, crossing a surprisingly diverse natural landscape made up of farms and forest. The history of this part of the Bas-Saint-Laurent has been marked by the presence of the Malecite nation, the inauguration of the transcontinental railway in 1913 and bootlegging during prohibition in the 1920s and 1930s. The Route is also dotted with symbols of its strategic location: border crossing points, boundary markers and an international bridge, not to mention the natural border formed by the St. Francis River.
In search of Ponik
Start your tour in Saint–Alexandre-de-Kamouraska: hop over to the picturesque Musée Normantique and discover its many traditional artifacts. One of the region’s most famous legends is that of the Lac Pohénégamook Monster, a mysterious creature nicknamed Ponik, the true identity of which remains unknown! Pohénégamook is a popular resort area thanks to the many outdoor activities that can be enjoyed around its magnificent lake. At the Atelier Amboise, you’ll learn the secrets of cabinet-making. The small international bridge at the Parc de la Frontière has been used for over 100 years for travel between Canada and the United States.
Where borders meet
Between Pohénégamook and Rivière-Bleue, only a river separates the Route from the United States. The Route’s meeting point with the American and New Brunswick borders is Beau Lake in the village of Rivière-Bleue. The village features a craft centre located in an old railway station (the Vieille Gare)—definitely worth a stop. In Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long, plan a visit to the Glendyne quarry, the largest slate quarry in North America. The only covered bridge in the region, built in 1940, is tucked away in Saint-Jean-de-la-Lande. From the village, a new bike path goes around Lac Méruimticook, halfway to Packington. All along the Route, you’ll appreciate the stunning natural beauty of Témiscouata, dominated by forest, lakes and rivers!
The Border Route (Bas-Saint-Laurent) runs for 95 km (60 mi.) along Route 289 from Saint André to Saint-Jean-de-la-Lande, right near the New Brunswick border.