Surprise! I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, never to be seen from again. I have however, been taking the time needed to adjust to a new way of life that is living through a worldwide pandemic. Like the majority of people living through these strange and uncertain times, this has been a weird and confusing time for me, hence the silence and lack of posts. While spending the majority of the year holed in up in quarantine, has taught me many things, having the time to reflect on the many beauties and wonders our own backyard offers, really inspired me even more to plan trips and outings within my own region, to step foot in tiny, villages dotted along the way and to discover the best kept hidden gems.
To commemorate my first blog post back and to show you the highlight reel of my summer, if you will, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite places to visit in the Eastern Townships, that are not only gorgeous and unique in their own ways, but also social distancing friendly destinations as well, so you can enjoy the last few days of good weather all while being safe and responsible.
AU DIABLE VERT | SUTTON
Nestled away at over 1000 feet of altitude, amongst some of the most well known mountain ranges in the area, you will find Glen Sutton’s hidden gem, Au Diable Vert. This fantastic site in the heart of the Eastern Townships, offers many different activities ranging from stunning hiking trails and unique camping accommodations to the one of a kind Velo Volant experience. There is also a pasture in the center of the site that houses several gorgeous highland cows, waiting to meet you.
Hiking on mont pinacle | coaticook
Hikes are always a good idea and even more so when you can explore your surroundings, in a safe way. While there are tons of mountains to climb and trails to overcome, within the Eastern Townships, one of my favorites would be Mont Pinacle, in Coaticook. This popular hiking destination will guide you through lush forests of pine and maple trees, along the sparkling Lyster lake, and all the way up the rocky mountain top for the most breath taking views of the entire region below. What’s great about this place, is that while it is a well-known and frequently visited trail among the avid hikers of the region, the multiple view points found at the top, will allow you to breath in those stunning views, while keeping a distance from those around you.
VERGER CHAMPETRE | GRANBY
From orchards and fields filled with homegrown produce, to barns and pastures filled with the most adorable animals waiting to meet you, the Verger Champetre is home to over three acres of wonders for you to discover. Here you can bring a basket filled with your favorite treats to enjoy a picnic under the willow trees found on site or you can venture off into the deer enclosure to make friends with these curious little creatures. As if that wasn’t enough, this family owned attraction also offers the option to take either a miniature horse or an alpaca out on a walk through the many trails found on site. A tip if you want to avoid the crowds and to virtually have the place to yourself, would be to show up for opening. This is what we had done and there was only one other group of two people that were already there when we arrived, which made for an enjoyable yet safe morning of exploring.
CAMPING AT HUTTOPIA | SUTTON
Another favorite of mine in the town of Sutton, is Huttopia. This wonderful camping site offers many different options for those looking to venture out into the wilderness for the weekend. While the official camping season has ended, this places is worth bookmarking for next spring and summer. If you can’t wait to get a taste of what lies in the thick of the forest, you can book one of their adorable little cabins all year round through the Horizon Hotel.
BLACK LAKE LOOKOUT POINT | THETFORD MINES
So I might technically be cheating with this option seeing as it’s actually found in the Chaudiere Appalaches region of Quebec, but seeing that it’s still close to the Eastern Townships and too pretty of a spot to pass up, I’m throwing it in here anyways. Hidden away amongst the towering mounds of dirt and pebbles and the craters that the old asbestos mines have left behind, you will find the charming village of Thetford Mines, more specifically the Black Lake lookout point. This free to visit and well spaced out, unique spot offers stunning views of the old mining well that now houses a bright, teal colored lake that is reminiscent of the tropical waters of the Caribbean. There is also the Flintkote crater that is a must to visit if you’re in the region as well as the many spots to stop along the side of the road to take in the unique landscape and views, this town has to offer.
Disclaimer : As of the 8th of September, the government of Quebec has implemented a color system relating to the number of Covid cases in a certain region. While the Eastern Townships remain in the orange zone as of the writing of this post, it is highly recommended to avoid unnecessary travel between certain regions, to help reduce the spread of the corona virus. If you decide to visit any of these places mentioned, please do so in a safe and responsible way so that we can enjoy these wonders for years to come.