09 Jul, 2021 ·
By Ariane Arpin-Delorme
Did you know that there are more than half a million lakes in Quebec, of all sizes and distinct characters?
Here is an overview of the 12 most beautiful lakes in Quebec - at least 1 per main region, to absolutely include in your summer getaways.
Nicknamed the “bottomless lake”, Lake Walker is the deepest in the province (280 meters). Nestled in the Port-Cartier-Sept-Îles wildlife reserve, on the Côte-Nord surrounded by high rocky cliffs, over 30 km long and 4 km wide. The lake takes its name from British Admiral Hovenden Walker, who failed in his attempt to capture Quebec City in 1711. Venture out onto the lake by rowboat, canoe and kayak, but it’s s not advisable to swim, as geological studies revealed the lake to once be the site of a great glacier and its waters remain freezing in all seasons. Many of the steep walls are also perfect for rock climbing!
Our other favorite body of water on the Côte-Nord: Manicouagan Reservoir.
Considered one of the 10 most beautiful lakes in Quebec, Massawippi means in the Abenaki language: "large deep lake", reaching a depth of 86 meters. It is said that for several centuries, it was the privileged place of certain First Nations devoted to fishing. Not only is this a lake of great beauty, but it’s also famous for bird watching (great blue herons, white geese bustards in October and November). You may be lucky enough to spot moose, white-tailed deer, beavers and wild turkeys. In summer, jump in and cool off, the lake is Percy for swimming! Located in the municipality of Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley, in the Eastern Townships, its area is 18 km2. The charming town of North Hatley distinctive and reminiscent of the 19th century when Lake Massawippi attracted wealthy Americans.
ur other favorites lakes in the Eastern Townships: Memphrémagog, Brome, Bromont and Stukely.
One of the most spectacular examples of a glacial lake in Quebec is Lac aux Américains. Located in the middle of the superb landscapes of the Gaspé National Park, the lake also takes its name from the American botanists who established their camp there at the beginning of the 20th century. A 2.9 km trail accessible to all, through a beautiful forest will bring you there. Surrounded by mountains, the panorama is simply stunning (even more so in the late afternoon light.
35 km long and 10 km wide, Lac Saint-Pierre is located on the course of the St. Lawrence River, from Sorel to Nicolet. Due to the fact that this lake has many marshes, all kinds of birds come to nest including the largest heronry in North America and in particular thousands of migratory birds, UNESCO recognized this reservoir of life as a reserve. of the biosphere in 2000. This widening of the river therefore stands out for its great biodiversity. It also contains the most important archipelago of the St. Lawrence made up of 103 islands.
Our other favorite lake in Monteregie: Champlain.
Located west of La Mauricie National Park, Lac Wapizagonke is a little piece of paradise - which stretches for around 15 km - where you can feel almost alone in the world. Over the decades, this lake has seen a whole myriad of characters, from the Algonquins who crossed it on their way to Trois-Rivières to trade in furs in the 17th century to the revelers who invaded the beach of Saint-Gabriel. -de-Brandon in the 1970s. Lake Wapizagonke a favorite spot for water sports, such as kayaking and canoeing. Campgrounds, hiking trails and activities have been very nicely developed in its surroundings. Be sure to take a trip to Waber Falls!
Our other favorites lakes in Mauricie: Sacacomie, Pimbina, Edouard, Bouchard and Des Sables.
A former communication route between the St. Lawrence Valley and Acadia, Lac Témiscouata (in Maliseet: "deep lake") stretches for about 40 km in the heart of a beautiful landscape of Appalachian hills. Despite its small area of only 65 km2, it is still the second largest lake on the south shore of the river. It is also said that this body of water in the Bas-Saint-Laurent lies at the heart of a land rich in 10,000 years of history. To find out, nothing better than taking the Petit Témis cycle path, which runs along its banks. Canoe, kayak, pedal boats and paddelboards can be rented at Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata to blend in with its grandiose scenery. With its many beaches, the place is perfect for swimming.
There are no less than 22,000 lakes in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, including Lake Kipawa, a species of giant spider web made up of dozens of islands and bays. 300 km2 large and 104 meters deep, one can imagine that it exudes an astonishing impression of darkness. The first logging companies, notably the famous Hudson Bay, made it their home in the 1850s. Not to mention the millennial presence of the Anicinabek people. The Algonquin First Nation still inhabits this territory. A visit to the ancestral site of Hunter's Point is a must to learn more about their culture. A real little cocoon of tranquility to discover by canoe or kayak!
Our other favorites lakes in Abitibi-Témiscamingue: Temiscamingue, Faillon and Cabonga Reservoir.
It is almost unnecessary to make the presentations of the famous Lac Saint-Jean! But did you know that this “inland sea” of 1041 km² has several beaches (private and public)? Among the most famous is that of Pointe-Taillon National Park, and the water is particularly warm. The third largest lake in the country - once nicknamed the Saguenay Sea - is as wide as the St. Lawrence River near Tadoussac. This infinite expanse is also characterized by the host of panoramas that surround it: forests, mountains, plains and beaches. The Innu gathered around the lake during the summer season and thus named Lake Piékouagami: "flat lake". Some marinas offer the rental of pleasure craft. Lac-Saint-Jean also hosts one of the largest endurance swimming competitions in the world: the "Traversée internationale du Lac Saint-Jean" over 32 km of effort and considered the Everest of freshwater swimming. Oh yes, why not also take advantage of the 256 km long cycle path?
You have surely heard of Mont Tremblant, but not necessarily the lake of the same name. Strictly speaking, the latter is not located near the tourist village of Mont-Tremblant, but rather in Mont Tremblant Park and stretches for nearly 15 km. In the fall, it's a photogenic classic! The history of this lake split into two townships is intriguing: The southern part and the mountain is home to the Mont-Tremblant ski resort, imagined by the wealthy American explorer Joe Ryan after having conquered the summit in 1937. While the north of the lake, it has been a protected heritage since the twentieth century. In addition to the hiking trails in the park, the Lac Tremblant nautical center gives you access to canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and boats. The Grand Manitou II cruise is also an opportunity to learn more about the history of the sector (to be checked according to the sanitary rules in place).
Our other favorites lakes in the Laurentians: Taureau, Windigo, Saint-Victor and Masson.
It is said that from the beginning of the 1800s, the inhabitants of Quebec fled the city to come and practice various nautical activities at Lac Beauport and enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the area. As early as 1939, the Manoir Saint-Castin, which stood on the site of the current Entourage-sur-le-Lac resort hotel, attracted active vacationers. With a small area of 0.8 km2 and a maximum depth of 13 meters, the outlet of the lake flows into the Yellow River. Note that the shores of the lake are privatized and that the only public access to the water is the municipal nautical club of the city of Lac-Beauport. Swimming and boating are the main activities.
The impact of a meteorite striking the Earth's surface about 1.4 million years ago, Lake Pingualuk is perfectly circular with a diameter of 3.4 km. Known in the past as the New Quebec crater, it’s filled with crystal clear and extremely pure water. Today it’s one of the main tourist attractions in the Nunavik region and mainly frequented by outdoor enthusiasts, included in the Pingualuit National Park.
Our other favorites lakes in Nunavik: Wiyâshâkimî and Guillaume-Delisle.
The municipality of the same name has developed around the majestic Lac Blue Sea, which has contributed to the reputation of the Gatineau Valley among vacationers in the Outaouais. Also called the pearl of Haute-Gatineau, this sheet of water - which looks like the sea and whose waters have a particular clarity - is 10 km long, 3.4 km wide and has an area of 14 km². According to legend, a monstrous serpent-shaped animal with a horse's head lives in this lake. Seen by several people between 1913 and 1930, this long, large and fast seahorse would not have given any sign of life since, except around 1980 in the Baskatong reservoir. According to the Algonquins of Maniwaki, this monster, called Misiganebic, is a friend of the waters. Even today, they would leave as an offering provisions to the four corners of the lake to thank him. There are 12 km of trails in the Mont Morissette regional park near the lake.
Our other favorites lakes in Outaouais: Pink and Simon.