Explore the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Nature Destinations this summer
Visitors are invited to discover some of Quebec’s most beautiful places
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is inviting people to experience some of Quebec’s spectacular nature spots up close this summer.
The not-for profit, private land conservation organization encourages the public to discover some unique and stunning sites through NCC’s Nature Destinations program. Nature Destinations is a network of privately protected areas, showcasing some of Quebec’s and Canada’s important natural areas. NCC is the only conservation group in the country to offer access to a network of such conservation sites, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland.
From the tall peaks of the Green Mountains to the sandy shore of the Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec’s Nature Destinations offer opportunities for hiking, exploring and wildlife viewing. Many locations are close to urban centres, providing easy access to mountains, forests and fresh water.
This summer, NCC is showcasing five sites for folks to enjoy during the coming weeks and months:
- Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve (Laurentians): Located 60 kilometres from Montreal, this quiet forest offers 15 hiking trails, which range in difficulty. Enjoy the magnificent views of either the large beaver pond in Piedmont, the small Lac Paradis underneath the escarpment or the surroundings offered by the viewpoint at the top of the cliffs.
- Hochelaga Archipelago (St. Lawrence River): Is canoeing or kayaking your thing? Then grab your paddle, because just a few strokes from the east point of Montreal (Île Bonfoin) and the riverside towns of Repentigny (Île à l'Aigle, Île aux Cerfeuils) and Verchères (Île Beauregard) lie these four protected islands. They provide beautiful hikes showcasing coastal wetlands, wildflowers and breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River.
- Green Mountains Nature Reserve (Eastern Townships): This property can be found 100 kilometres from Sherbrooke. Nestled in the heart of an important tourist region in Quebec, the Green Mountains Nature Reserve offers hikers a vast 100-plus-kilometre trail system of all difficulties.
- Pointe Saint-Pierre (Gaspé Peninsula): Situated between the towns of Gaspé and Percé, Pointe Sainte-Pierre provides habitat for thousands of seabirds, with grey seals and multiple species of whales spotted along its coasts. Grab your binoculars and hike along one of the most beautiful areas on the Gaspé Peninsula.
- Jean-Paul-Riopelle Nature Reserve (Île aux Grues): Accessible by a 25-minute ferry trip from Montmagny, this island has beautiful coastal waters and an exceptional forest. The gentle trails wind through 300-year-old sugar maple trees. Since the property is located on the Eastern Flyway, the inland forest is the perfect place to see a wide variety of birds.
Through its Nature Destinations program, NCC hopes to get people outside so they can enjoy the health and ecological benefits of being active in nature. NCC also wants to provide an up-close look at its conservation efforts. Thanks to new infrastructure put in place, these nature sites are more user-friendly to access and people can do so without disturbing species or natural environments.
By visiting naturedestinations.ca, people can find details on numerous locations across Canada, including interactive maps, species to spot, trail information and easy-to-follow directions. By providing a structure for ecotourism activities, such as hiking, photography and birding, NCC’s Nature Destinations program protects the richness of Quebec’s natural areas.
NCC’s Nature Destinations program was funded through its partners, including Kruger Inc. and Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC has helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) coast to coast, including 111,197 acres (45,000 hectares) in Quebec.
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