Laurentides: an aerial trail in the forest and a 12-storey tower to observe nature

Laurentides: an aerial trail in the forest and a 12-storey tower to observe nature

MISE À DAY

In Mont-Blanc, in the Laurentians, it is now possible to walk in the forest at the height of the trees and end your visit at the top of a 40 m high observation tower, where the view of the region is breathtaking.

This experience is possible at the Sentier des cimes, which opened its doors to visitors a few weeks ago on the site of the former fish farm in Saint-Faustin–Lac-Carré, the old name of the village of Mont-Blanc. 

The aerial trail stretches for more than a kilometer through the forest, rising gently with a maximum gradient of 6%, to the top of a tower the height of a building. of 12 floors. Everything is made entirely of wood and metal. 

At the start of the hike, visitors must cross the footbridge that connects the reception building to an elevator located inside a tower, smaller than the main tower, which allows them to climb up to the height of the path. air. From there, they can begin their walk to the great tower and its summit. Throughout the route, those interested can at leisure admire the landscape and linger at the learning stations on fauna and flora. Games have also been planned for the youngest. Once at the top of the big tower, the immensity of the region is offered to hikers, over 360 degrees. The famous Mont Tremblant to the west can notably be seen from the top of the structure. 

“People leave satisfied with their experience and often promise to come back or to get their annual card,” says the director of communications, marketing and human resources of the Sentier des cimes, Kathy Poulin, adding that “eventually, in a second phase, we hope to develop a park for children and even add other services”.

Currently, the Sentier des cimes offers visitors a bar-terrace, a restaurant, a picnic area and souvenir shop on the site of the former fish farm.

The circuit is the result of a partnership between the MRC des Laurentides and the German company Erlebnis Akademie AG (EAK), which has already carried out a dozen similar projects in Europe. The aim was to give a second life to the old fish farm closed in 1992, a place that had already received thousands of visitors over the years. 

Made of stone, the reception building of the old fish farm has been restored, but it has kept its heritage character. “People who knew the old fish farm in Saint-Faustin–Lac-Carré tell us that nothing has really changed. That's kind of the goal of this major project: to preserve what has been achieved, while showcasing our beautiful region,” says Kathy Poulin. 

Since its opening at the end of July, the Sentier des cimes mainly welcomed a regional clientele. “We also work a lot to attract groups, schools and clients from outside,” explains Ms. Poulin. Open 365 days a year, the Sentier des cimes hopes to welcome 180,000 visitors by the end of 2022. 

Some data:

Length total of the Sentier des cimes: 1350 m 

Height of the tower: 40 m 

Diameter of the tower: 20 m 

Shape of the tower : nonagon 

Number of rotations from the bottom to the top: 11 

Length of the catwalk (around the tower): 720 m 

Maximum slope: 6% 

Summit elevation: 362 m