Nicknamed “Québec City's Great Outdoors,” the sprawling regional county municipality of La Jacques-Cartier, the Québec City area's green belt, lies just 20 minutes north of downtown. Here is an overview of the region, including both its well and less well-known attractions.
At the Water's Edge
- Jeff Frenette Photography
- Sentiers du Moulin
- Sépaq, Réserve faunique des Laurentides
La Jacques-Cartier is home to some of the Québec City area's most popular lakes. To the west, Station touristique Duchesnay and Club Plage Saint-Joseph give access to a beach on the shores of Lake Saint-Joseph where you can enjoy water activities. Toward the center, the region is popular among bird lovers, who visit the area to observe the 160 species that inhabit the wetlands of Marais du Nord. If you continue along your way you'll come upon the Manoir du Lac-Delage resort.
At the northernmost point of the region, Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier boasts irresistible recreational opportunities on the famous Jacques-Cartier River, where you can let the current carry you in a canoe, kayak, or an miniraft. You can even go fishing!
A little further east you'll find Réserve faunique des Laurentides, a wildlife reserve known for its brook trout fishing and, in the fall, small game hunting.
- Sépaq - Station touristique Duchesnay
- Jeff Frenette Photography
- Francis Gagnon
- Steve Deschênes
La Jacques Cartier is famous for its outdoor recreational areas brimming with activities for the entire family, all year round. Its mountains, forests, and wetlands are perfect for hiking enthusiasts, with many excellent trails and beautiful lookouts. The majestic Jacques-Cartier River meanders through the forest encouraging the practice of water sports for all ages, such as rafting and whitewater kayaking.
At Stoneham Mountain Resort, families and couples will certainly find what they are looking for; pool and spa, playground, tennis court, hiking trails and health center offering massages and treatments, all located right at the foot of the slopes. Once the snowflakes begin to fall, the resort plays host to skiers and snowboarders with its numerous runs and great night skiing!
Continue on your way toward Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier and you'll come to Village Vacances Valcartier. It's the perfect place to cool down on hot summer days with its many waterslides, a wave pool, and its adventure rivers. You can also go whitewater rafting, canoeing and even camp onsite. During the winter months, the park turns into the largest winter playground in North America. There's no better way to get in touch with your inner child!
Cyclists can access the 60-kilometer Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf bike path from this sector, or ride all the way into downtown Québec City along Corridor des Cheminots.
To the west lies Station touristique Duchesnay, a great destination for treetop adventures, hiking, cycling, canoeing and kayaking. You can also observe black bears or explore a giant wooden maze nearby.
La Jacques-Cartier region is also home to five outstanding golf courses.
A Winter Wonderland
- Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, Francis Gagnon
- Dominic Boudreault
- Francis Gagnon
Winter in La Jacques-Cartier is a magical time. An abundance of snow make for exceptional outdoor fun at the area's two ski resorts and the snow slide parks. The white stuff also ensures great conditions on the snowmobile trails, and the cross-country ski and snowshoe trails that criss-cross Camp Mercier, Station touristique Duchesnay and Centre Castor. Did you know that it is also home to the busiest fatbike centre in the world?
Those who like to skate in the great outdoors will love the Parc du Grand-Héron forest skating trails and the 3-kilometer rink on Lac Beauport. Or if you're itching for something new, you could also try out ice fishing or dogsledding, all of which are available locally. Dogsledding excursions are also available in Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier and Stoneham.
R & R
- Le Nordique Spa Stoneham
In La Jacques-Cartier, relax and recharge your batteries at one of the local spas. At Le Nordique Spa Stoneham, you’ll find a wealth of esthetic and massage treatments, with saunas and hot tubs all onsite.
There is also the Aroma spa at the Hôtel Valcartier where you can have personal care services, as well as hot and cold baths, saunas and an indoor pool connected to an outdoor pool.
For more information, visit the Tourisme Jacques-Cartier website.
La Jacques-Cartier in images
Discover the largest playground in Québec. Located just 20 minutes from Québec City with its myriad of activities offered year-round.