Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

New boardwalks for outdoor enthusiasts and for nature at the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve

February 22, 2023
Piedmont, Québec.


With the help of partners and volunteers, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has repaired over 285 metres of boardwalk at the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve in Piedmont and Prévost, Quebec. The upgraded trails are now ready to welcome skiers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts back to the area, while protecting the surrounding ecosystems.

By directing foot traffic to designated paths and trails, these wooden boardwalks will help reduce soil erosion, protect habitat for delicate plants, and minimize disturbing wildlife.

The improvements not only protect natural areas, they also allow visitors to safely explore the nature reserve. The boardwalks provide access to an impressive lookout over Lac Paradis and the Piedmont, Prévost and Saint-Hippolyte escarpments, where over 80 per cent of Quebec’s raptor species can be observed. Several are threatened in Quebec, such as golden eagle, bald eagle and peregrine falcon. 

Just 60 kilometres from Montreal, the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve covers nearly 500 hectares. An emblematic natural environment in the Laurentians, the reserve is a perfect example of how conservation and public access go hand-in-hand.


“Thanks to our partners and volunteers, we’ve been able to combine conservation and public access to the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve, to the delight of all. Connecting people with nature is a cornerstone of NCC’s mission, so we’re thrilled to invite the public to visit the reserve, admire its natural beauty and enjoy the outdoors.” — Caroline Marcotte, Western Quebec Project Manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“While the funds granted to NCC through the PPMN are mainly dedicated to supporting the acquisition and protection of natural areas, they are also used to fund stewardship activities, such as the boardwalk upgrades in the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve. This work will allow everyone to enjoy the reserve without affecting its natural environments. A big thank you to all of the partners involved!” — Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

“This is a very special project that will allow greater access to outdoor activities while protecting plants and wildlife in this beautiful spot. The Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve is a gem. I invite as many people as possible to visit and enjoy its magnificent landscapes.” — Isabelle Charest, Minister Responsible for Sports, Recreation and the Outdoors


The boardwalk upgrades were made possible by financial support from the Quebec government, through NCC’s Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN), for which the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) has granted funding of $53 million over four years, and through the Ministère de l’Éducation’s program to support the upgrading and maintenance of trails and outdoor activity sites (PSSPA).

NCC also thanks the municipality of Piedmont, the city of Prévost and Les Amis de la réserve Alfred-Kelly for their help, as well as the volunteers who contributed to this project.


  • The Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve, with its 16 kilometres of marked trails, is open year-round for hiking, as well as for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
  • Ice climbing is permitted until the end of February when falcon pairs begin choosing nesting sites.
  • The trails can be accessed from Prévost train station via a pedestrian path that runs parallel with the P’tit Train du Nord linear park. Three other access points are also available in Piedmont: at the end of Chemin du Roitelet, from Place des Hauteurs or from Chemin de la Rivière.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. We seek solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, we work with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, we have brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares, including nearly 50,000 hectares in Quebec. With nature, we build a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the MELCCFP to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Quebec's network of protected areas located on private land.

The Programme de soutien à la mise à niveau et à l’amélioration des sentiers et des sites de pratique d’activités de plein air (PSSPA) of the Ministère de l’Éducation aims to encourage the public to adopt a physically active lifestyle and practice outdoor activity using functional and safe facilities. With a budget of over $10 million, a third call for projects launched in September 2020 funded 150 projects, which will result in more accessible, safe and quality facilities. Projects under the PSSPA showcase the richness of Quebec's territory and allow outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy it safely. Within the framework of this program, a maximum financial aid equivalent to $45,646.37 was granted for the project to improve the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve.

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Anne Guay
Communications and Marketing Officer
Nature Conservancy of Canada
1 877-876-5444 x6223

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