In the Sorel Islands with JiCi Lauzon

In the islands of Sorel with JiCi Lauzon

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“I discovered the Galapagos Islands and the Greek Islands before the Sorel Islands, says JiCi Lauzon to me, during a guided tour as captain with Randonnee nature, as we often tend to , he notes, to go to distant destinations rather than at home, in Quebec.”

From the start, in the 12-passenger boat, the comedian, musician and former G.O. captivates us with his knowledge of the places and his anecdotes. With this nature lover, we explore the Lac Saint-Pierre World Biosphere Reserve, the archipelago being known as the Sorel Islands. 

Lac Saint-Pierre, points out JiCi, includes 40% of the wetlands of the St. Lawrence. This is what makes it a natural territory of great value, favorable to birds, fish or amphibians. 

JiCi Lauzon, captain for Nature hike, departing from the Regard-sur-le-fleuve nautical park .

Guided tour

Departing from the Regard-sur-le-fleuve water park in Sorel-Tracy, we first set sail for Île de Grâce. It is learned that the families who once lived there were decimated by floods from a level of five meters. 

At the Chenal du Moine, a cable ferry is used, as in the time of the seigniorial regime, to transport cows to the communal pastures of the Ile du Moine. The route runs along Île aux Fantômes, just after Îlette-au-Pé where the chalet of the late Germaine Guèvremont, author of the novel Le Survenant is located. 

After taking the Chenal des Raisins, the boat takes us across the St. Lawrence. Offshore appears the famous sandbank, a stopover for many boaters and whose formation comes from the dredging of the seaway. Along Île Plate are lined up several chalets on stilts. 

The journey continued in the archipelago, along the wildlife refuge of Grande-Île, home to one of the largest colonies of great blue herons in North America, with approximately 600 nests. What is striking everywhere is the wild aspect of the islands, topped with willows, silver maples and majestic poplars. 

The interactive model to see at the Biophare, before boarding, to Locate you during the excursion.

The Gibelotte

After the boat trip, I went to the island of Embarras, to eat a dish of gibelotte at the restaurant Chez Marc Beauchemin, a dish simmered with vegetables and bullhead. Since the 1940s, the small building reminiscent of old summer chalets has withstood floods. It's rustic and friendly. Reservations are required.

NATURE HIKE

  • Reception at the Biophare: temporary exhibition with photos of nature, permanent exhibition Lac Saint-Pierre Observatory with interactive model  
  • Duration of the guided boat tour: 3 hours
  • Rates: $46 per adult, $26 per child (7 to 17)
  • Season: until early October
  • Reservation required
  • www.randonneenature.com
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    OTHER OUTING IDEAS

    Orford on an electric bike

    The municipality has set up in its village heart Vélopartage Orford, a station of 10 self-service electric bicycles. To rent one, you must first download the free mobile app. 

    • velopartageorford.ca/

    Picking hazelnuts

    Near Rawdon, the Walnut Garden is open for self-picking hazelnuts until there is no have more. The company also produces black walnut nuts. Boutique and picnic areas. 

    • aujardindesnoix.com/