La Jacques-Cartier region takes pride in being the biggest playground just minutes north of Québec City. And rightly so! Spanning both banks of the lovely river from which it got its name, this majestic region is an undeniable draw for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. While the area is best known for all its river-related activities, it has many other hidden gems worth uncovering.

Go with the flow along the Jacques-Cartier River

Photo credit: Nouvelle Vague

Whether it’s by paddleboarding, canoeing, or rafting, the Jacques-Cartier River and the many other marshes and bodies of water that dot the region can be enjoyed all summer long. In early summer, when the water flow is at its strongest, rafting is definitely the most unique and fun way to experience the Rivière Jacques-Cartier. That’s why Expéditions Nouvelle-Vague and Excursions Jacques-Cartier offer safe excursions to make the most of it, and in good company!

Hike around the region’s unique landscape

Photo credit: Anne-Marie Desmarais

La Jacques-Cartier’s natural beauty is undeniable, and hiking is an accessible and immersive way to admire it. So strap on your hiking boots and head off to climb the region’s most beautiful landscapes, from rock shelters to mountain peaks. Let yourself be swept away by the area’s beauty as you travel at your own pace along the trails of the Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, Station Duchesnay, Mont Wright, Montagne à Deux Têtes, and many more.

Bike through the mountains or along the Route Verte

Photo credit: Audrey Dionne

Whether you prefer stone dust or rocky trails, there’s no shortage of options for exploring La Jacques-Cartier on two wheels. The Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf cycling path, on a former railroad right-of-way, appeals to enthusiasts of all kinds, while mountain bikers can find the thrill they’re looking for at Empire 47, Sentiers du Moulin, or Centre Castor. And at the end of the day, make a stop at one of the nearby refreshment stands, food trucks, or ice cream shops.

Enjoy some family fun at Village Vacances Valcartier

Photo credit: Village Vacances Valcartier

Village Vacances Valcartier is known for its outdoor water park, which is fun for the whole family, but there’s much more to do on site. You’ll see, planning an entire family vacation will become a breeze. Head to the Bora Parc (an indoor water park) and the relaxation centre, or maybe give the joys of camping or ready-to-camp a try. There’s even a fabulous hotel on site with everything you could ask for!

Try the high ropes course overlooking a lake

Photo credit: Simon Clark

Just 30 minutes from Québec City, Arbraska Duchesnay is an exceptional high ropes course with breathtaking views of Lac Saint-Joseph. There are options for participants of all ages and skill levels. Children ages 7–11 can take to the skies on a course specially designed for them, while teens and adults can push their limits and take on one of five courses based on how daring they are! A breathtaking and original way to see the area! 

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Photo credit: TQ - Jean-François Hamelin