The Summit Drive
A feast for the eyes
Dominated by peaks ranging from 800 m (2,700 ft.) to nearly 1,200 m (4,000 ft.), the Summit Drive beckons you to discover the highest points in southern Québec. A sumptuous natural environment, its wooded hills and valleys punctuated by superb lakes and imposing granite crests, the region abounds with breathtaking panoramas and is one of the Eastern Townships’ best-kept secrets.
The route starts at the foot of mounts Mégantic, Saint-Joseph (both accessible by car) and Victoria, located at the edges of Parc national du Mont-Mégantic. Outdoor enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who flock to the park: it also attracts amateur astronomers, thanks to its observatory and its unique location amidst the country’s only International Dark-Sky Reserve. The Sentiers frontaliers (border trails) network leads hikers to Mont Gosford (1,186 m/3,890 ft.), the pinnacle of southern Québec. Piopolis and Lac-Mégantic are two communities on idyllic Lac Mégantic, a popular holiday destination renowned for water sports.
Nestled in the mountainside, the Maison du granit (granite house) in Lac-Drolet reveals the secrets of stonecutting. In nearby Saint-Sébastien, the Morne observation tower (820 m/2,690 ft.) offers up a spectacular view of the area. The route meets up with the southern shoreline of vast Lac Saint-François (50 km2/20 sq. mi.), which falls within the confines of Parc national de Frontenac, a paradise for campers, canoeists, swimmers and hikers. The route ends in Stratford with a stop in the Pavillon de la faune (a museum with an impressive collection of stuffed and mounted North American wildlife) and a boat trip around beautiful Lac Aylmer.
Extending for 157 km (98 mi.), the Summit Drive links La Patrie, 60 km (37 mi.) east of Sherbrooke, with Stratford near Parc national de Frontenac.