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The eight most spectacular via ferrata trails in Québec

29 septembre 2017

Photos (c) A. Pernelet, F. Junod

Via ferratas provide a challenging way to access the mountainous environment, with a minimum impact and the least visual pollution. The trails are carefully designed to make the cables and beams almost invisible.

For most people, a via ferrata is their first encounter with a rock-face. This is why a via ferrata activity in Québec starts on a short learning trail to ensure you are able to complete the activity safely. In Québec, safety is a top priority and non-negotiable. Therefore, the participants who do not pass the test are taken back to the starting point and refunded. In general you don’t need any specific experience or skill, but obviously a certain level of fitness and agility are required. There are circuits for beginners, intermediate and advanced. You’re accompanied by an experienced guide, safety equipment is provided and you travel in small groups. You’ll finish with a wonderful sense of achievement!

Parc national du Mont-Tremblant

With its six great rivers and 400 lakes and streams, the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant is a wilderness paradise. It is the largest and the oldest park in the Parcs Québec network. Its animal emblem is the eastern wolf, smaller and less abundant than the grey wolf.

With Mont Tremblant, its highest peak, at 931 m, the park is at the heart of the Laurentian mountains, the remains of a high mountain range formed over a billion years ago. Over hundreds of millions of years the rock-faces have been smoothed by erosion to a hard and compact finish. In the autumn, the maple-yellow birch colours the landscape with the contrasting dark patches of balsam fir announcing the proximity of boreal forests.

And it’s here that we find the magical via ferrata trail on the rock face of Mont Vache Noire, at the entrance of la Diable sector, made of beams, monkey bridges (ropes and bamboo), Nepalese bridges (wood and rope) and footbridges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux

At Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux, Rebecca Tremblay and her team feel more like family friends and, incidentally, families with children are most welcome. Set on the cliffs along the Saguenay fjord, the via ferrata is also open for night excursions on full moon nights. That takes some beating.

 

 

 

Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay : Baie Eternité

The via ferratas of Baie Éternité are set on 280 metres high cliffs with spectacular views over the ever-changing surface of the Saguenay Fjord, as it follows the moods of the tides.

“L’Odyssée,” the most spectacular via ferrata trail, includes an 85-metre long bridge suspended at a height of 130 metres, a spectacular way to discover the beauties of the park, home to the beluga and the peregrine falcon, which is the animal emblem of the park.

via ferrata parc national du fjord-du-saguenayvia ferrata parc national du fjord-du-saguenay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Les Palissades de Charlevoix

This via ferrata is also open in winter. Be prepared to be spoilt, as lodging includes cheese fondue and a good bottle of wine.

If you’re looking for something thrilling go no further: a 400-metre high cliff, a bridge suspended at 200 metres, an abseiling descent of 70 metres, and a double zip-line over a lake. What more could you possibly want?

 

Vallée Bras du Nord

Conveniently located between Montréal and Québec, this glacial valley is surrounded by high cliffs and is ideal for those who had never imagined the idea of walking in mid-air.

This short via ferrata has been designed with many exit points, making it ideal for elderly or even handicapped people who would never have dreamed of tackling a cliff. This trail is open when it rains, which can prove a new experience for some. Of course, in case of thunderstorm it is very quick and easy to evacuate.

Parc National des Grands-Jardins

Set near a fishing paradise on Mont du Lac des Cygnes, “La Montée” trail is 650 metres long, with a vertical drop of 83 metres, and takes five hours to complete.

 

Projet Vertical at Canyon Sainte-Anne

It was in 1967, looking at a painting at the Musée du Québec, that the McNicoll brothers had a vision for this remarkable site. They cleared the land in order to highlight its terrain, its history and its vegetation. Today, Hélène McNicoll is pursuing their mission by developing this extraordinary playground, making it accessible whilst preserving its natural beauty. This uninterrupted via ferrata crosses the falls and remains open in winter. Adventure at is best!

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Just a few minutes from the city of Québec, the main trail is set very close to the Montmorency Falls and is especially fun in the spring as the falls are swollen and water splashes over the climbers.