The Mountain RoadDiscovering magnificent mountains
With its spectacular mountain scenery carved by a meteorite, Charlevoix boasts an amazing natural environment. The Mountain Road will put you smack in the middle of the elevated landforms of the Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve. As you travel this tourist route, you’ll discover the region’s hinterland, feast your eyes on some of the highest peaks in the Laurentian Shield and simply enjoy this alternative to the region’s main axial highway (highway 138).
From one natural wonder to another
The two extremities of the Mountain Road both lead to national parks. In Saint Urbain, you’ll find yourself at the entry to the Parc national des Grands-Jardins, whose mountains are characterized by the presence of Nordic vegetation (taiga and tundra) and where herds of caribou make their home. This park is also the departure point for La Traversée de Charlevoix, which offers those who enjoy long-distance hiking, cycling or Nordic skiing a 100 km (60 mi.) trail, extending to Mont Grand Fonds. Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs, a popular lakeside resort spot, offers access to the Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, where, among other things, you’ll be able to board a tour boat and explore the Rivière Malbaie, which winds its way through the highest rock walls in Eastern Canada.
Adventure for everyone!
The Mountain Road also proposes a foray into the municipality of Notre Dame des Monts. A visit to the Centre d’interprétation du patrimoine, a heritage interpretation centre, will give you a good look at and better understanding of the rich features of the region’s mountainous relief. This village is also home to artisans’ workshops and farm tourism establishments. All along the route, in any season, nature lovers will find the ideal setting for pursuing a wide variety of activities: hiking, canoeing, cycling (a section of the route is accessible to bicycles as well as motor vehicles), fishing, camping, horseback riding, dogsledding, snowmobiling and wildlife observation to name just a few!
The 151-km (94-mi.) Mountain Road links the Parc national des Grands-Jardins to the Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie by way of Saint-Urbain (at the junction of highways 138 and 381), Notre-Dame-des-Monts and Saint Aimé des-Lacs (3 km / 1.86 mi. from the intersection of highway 138).