Visiting Mont Sainte-Anne, Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Quebec: 800 metres of mountain, and forest and snow in abundance
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Lose yourself in nature
Mont Sainte-Anne — all 800 metres (2625 feet) of it at its highest point — is a mountain forming part of the Laurentides / Laurentian range. It is not the highest of the range — Mont Raoul-Blanchard, at 1181 metres (3874.6 feet) is the highest peak — but Mont Sainte-Anne is among the best known to visitors.
Many species of bird can be seen in the area, including geese; and every October locally as le Festival de l'Oie des neiges / Snow Goose Festival is observed (1).
Between the resort — at Chute Jean-Larose / Jean-Larose Waterfall — and the parish church at Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, a mountain trail known as "Le Mestashibo" runs for 12.5 kilometres (7.8 miles); this trail is part of Le Sentier National au Québec / the Quebec National Trail (itself part of the Sentier Transcanadien / Trans Canada Trail), and includes two suspended bridges across the Sainte-Anne river (2). The trail should tale about 3 to 5 hours to walk (in each direction), depending on seasonal conditions.
The area around the nearby village of Saint Ferréol-les-Neiges was already being settled by Europeans in the 1730s. The municipality, which dates from the mid-19th century, retains a strongly rural character, and local bylaws maintain building style guidelines in order that new real estate might blend into the rural character of the area (3).
Local products, including smoked meat, are sold at more than one outlet in the area (4).
The entrance to a well-appointed golf course is situated at 1700, Boulevard des Neiges (5).
When my wife and I stayed at Mont Sainte-Anne, we were intrigued at the confidence of the squirrels who approached in a seemingly fearless way.
Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges (6) is situated in the Capitale-Nationale / National Capital region (7) of Québec / Quebec.
(N.B.: Mont-Sainte-Anne is well known as a ski resort — dating from 1966, although ski slopes had already begun to be built in the 1940s—, but readers wishing for information about the services of the fine Mont-Sainte-Anne resort should direct their enquiries to its management.)
March 1, 2016
(1) See also (in French) : http://cotedebeaupre.com/fr/evenements/1/festival-de-loie-des-neiges.html
(2) See also (in French) : http://www.mestachibo.com/ ; (in English) : http://www.mestachibo.com/index_en.htm
(3) See also (in French : http://saintferreollesneiges.qc.ca/indexFr.asp?numero=125
(4) See also (in French): http://saintferreollesneiges.qc.ca/indexFr.asp?numero=71
(5) See also (in French): http://saintferreollesneiges.qc.ca/indexFr.asp?numero=69
(6) Interestingly, in 1969, Saint-Feréol became Saint-Feréol-les-Neiges. In 1978, Saint-Feréol-les-Neiges changed its spelling to Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges. (The purist would say: ignore these subtleties at your peril!)
(7) Not to be confused with la Région de la capitale nationale / National Capital Region, around Ottawa and Gatineau. Visitors to Canada should remember that, officially, the word 'nation'/'national' can refer both to Canada, and to Québec / Quebec and to les Premières nations / First Nations.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia.
Also worth seeing
At Sainte-Anne de Beaupré (distance: 13.9 kilmetres), the lines of the Basilica dominate the town.
Réserve nationale de faune du Cap-Tourmente / Cap-Tourmente National Wildlife Area (distance: 18.2 kilometres), a major bird-watching reserve, where many species including snow geese (see also above) may be spotted.
In la Ville de Québec / Quebec City (distance: 48.1 kilometres), among the abounding visitor attractions are the Château Frontenac; the funicular railroad; the place Royale and the Petit-Champlain district; la Citadelle / the Citadel; l'Hôtel du Parlement / Parliament Building; Les Remparts / the Ramparts and city gates; la Maison patrimoniale Louis-S.-St.-Laurent / Louis S. St.-Laurent Heritage House; on the outskirts of the city are la Chute Montmorency / Montmorency Falls; l'Île d'Orléans / Orléans Island.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Québec / Quebec (Aéroport international Jean-Lesage de Québec ) from Montreal and Toronto, with wide connections (distance from Québec / Quebec to Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges: 48.1 kilometres). VIA Rail maintains regular services with Montreal, Toronto and Windsor. A number of car rental companies offer service at Québec / Quebec airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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