TODAY ONLY: Free shipping on all orders. TODAY ONLY: Free shipping on all orders.
My cart (0)
Call
1-855-687-0344
Contact
info@figclothing.com
Store info
Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm

Directions

HEAD OFFICE
5610 Saint-Laurent blvd
Montreal, Quebec, H2T 1S8
TEL/ 438.386.3344
FAX/ 866.845.3886

ACCOUNTING
4613, Louis B. Mayer,
Laval (Québec) H7P 6G5
TEL/ 450.687.0FIG (0344)
FAX/ 866.845.3886


HEAD OFFICE
5610 Saint-Laurent blvd
Montreal, Quebec, H2T 1S8
TEL/ 438.386.3344
FAX/ 866.845.3886

ACCOUNTING
4613, Louis B. Mayer,
Laval (Québec) H7P 6G5
TEL/ 450.687.0FIG (0344)
FAX/ 866.845.3886

Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm

Vanlife au Bas-Saint-Laurent avec son chien à l’automne||Vanlife in Bas-Saint-Laurent with her dog in the fall
·

Vanlife in Bas-Saint-Laurent with her dog in the fall

·

By Ariane Arpin-Delorme

The vanlife trend has never been so popular in Quebec in recent years and even more since summer 2020. Van road trips allow (almost) total immersion in to the heart of the great wilderness, but also to access places that are otherwise be difficult and by the very fact of leaving the beaten track. Memories of my vanlife experience on the North Shore in 2020 had me so excited, that I wanted to relive the experience this year, to rediscover the Bas-Saint-Laurent and this time accompanied by my dog Kenya.

I’m sharing with you my experiences and energizing outdoor activities as well as a few gourmet stops, to better prepare your future trip to the Bas-Saint-Laurent this fall or perhaps next year!

Good to know about van rental

Interesting to know that in Quebec and in most of Canada you are allowed to do boondocking! Boondocking, is to sleep in your car, your van or your recreational vehicle. Even when wild camping (unless in places where it is clearly stated that it is prohibited to do so). No special permit is required to rent a van in Quebec as in the vast majority of countries. It’s enough to be 21 years old or 25-26 years old with some hire companies in some countries. Consider asking for unlimited mileage. It is also advisable to pre reserve your campsites, especially in summer. Although it’s very easy to find your way, I recommend that using your GPS or Waze on your phone, to give yourself some peace of mind to better enjoy your trip. Don't forget to take an insurance package!

Road-trip in a converted van

My advice is to rent a converted van, including, among other things, the modules for sleeping, eating (indoor and outdoor) and cooking (including an electric cooler and a portable picnic table, the propane stove and a water tank as well as all the necessary kitchen equipment) and including camping equipment if necessary. You could also add a tent on the roof, a canvas annex above the rear kitchenette, a bike rack or roof box.

I had the chance to experience for a second time the excellent service of the company Le Baroudeur, which has been operating since 2017 and is based in 4 main cities in Quebec.

Their new Dodge Grand Caravan vans (and now also offering SUV’s) can accommodate up to 4 people, but it's best to be only 2, especially if you don’t travel light like me! Everything you need is included and I was very please to note that there’s no cleaning fees after use. Extra kits such as: techno and mood lights, mosquito nets and mosquito repellents, children's kit, sheets and towels, hammock for 2 people, portable toilet, etc. are available at an extra cost.

Small dogs (less than 24 kilos) are accepted (fees apply).

Le Baroudeur gave me the opportunity to rediscover Bas-St-Laurent in an authentic, economical, accessible and above all pretty cool way!

For more info: https://lebaroudeur.ca/en/

Day 1: Montreal / St-Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie / Kamouraska / Saint-André-de-Kamouraska - About 4h drive / 400 km

My most memorable memories:

The feeling of being on an adventure; Drive along the magnificent river; Taking some time in the picturesque village of St-Denis-de-la-Bouteillerie; Catching a bite to eat with significant friends who moved to the charming Kamouraska region (a region known among other things for its hundreds of routes of all levels, with spectacular views of the river); Admiring the sunset, an exceptional mixture of pink and orange; Settling into my little house on 4 wheels, ...

Outdoor stops:

Rental of outdoor equipment (hiking, climbing and kayaking) at the Camping / Ecological Society of the SEBKA Batture, Saint-André-de-Kamouraska

https://sebka.ca/

Possibility of a mountain bike stop at Boisé Beaupré, La Pocatière

https://www.trailforks.com/region/boise-beaupre-15202/

Gourmet stops:

Brûlerie du Kamouraska, Kamouraska

https://bruleriedukamouraska.com/

Côté Est, Kamourask

https://www.cote-est.ca/

Microbrasserie Tête d’Allumette, Saint-André-de-Kamouraska

https://www.tetedallumette.com/

Day 2: Kamouraska / Cycling on the circuit des Églantiers / Notre-Dame-du-Portage / Pohénégamook circuit - About 1h drive / 85 km

My most memorable moments:

Making myself coffee and prepare my lunch in the small kitchenette behind the van; Walking at low tide on the edge of the river with my dog Kenya; Smiling under an incredible blue sky at the sight of these unique rocky monadnock mounds that dot the Kamouraska plain; Pedaling on the circuit des Églantiers from the heart of the village of Kamouraska; Passing in front of superb ancestral houses along Route 132; Have a cold drink at the Auberge du Portage; Reconnect with Pohénégamook and its beautiful lake, ...

Outdoor stops

Cycling along the circuit des Églantiers (intermediate level - 42 km) from the village of Kamouraska. Additional itineraries are still possible from Kamouraska, in particular the return trip to Rivière-du-Loup (78 km) or the return trip to La Pocatière (62 km).

https://www.bassaintlaurent.ca/fr/quoi-faire/velo/

Gourmet stop:

Auberge du Portage

https://aubergeduportage.qc.ca/

*For info, the Route des Frontières – The tourist route that leads to the borders of the Bas-Saint-Laurent, along the borders of Quebec, New Brunswick and the State of Maine in the United States is an itinerary of more than 90 km on route 289, with its share of panoramic viewpoints. I only rode it from Saint-André-de-Kamouraska to Pohénégamook, as I then took the road north towards Lake Témiscouata. But to find out if you have more time.

Day 3: Pohénégamook / Hiking on Sentier des 3 frontières / Pohénégamook

My most memorable moments:

Lunching with your feet in the sand at the outdoor base of Lac Pohénégamook; Grabbing a latte and visiting the café-boutique of yesteryear, like a museum; Go hiking on a section of the 3 Borders Trail and feel like you're on a distant journey; Observing the panoramic view of Lake Pohénégamook, the St-Éleuthère and Escourt districts from the Belvédère de la Croix (in the evening, a huge cross lights up there); Reunion dinner with friends to celebrate this little vacation, ...

Outdoor stops:

Beach at the Base de plein air de Pohénégamook and possibility of renting outdoor equipment (paddle board, kayak, canoe and small laser sailboat)

https://www.pohenegamook.com/

Hiking on the Sentier des 3 frontières: This can be done hiking, but also by bike or in a watercraft. In the latter case you can take the navigable network of the Saint-François river, lakes and the Saint-Jean river, from Pohénégamook to Saint-François-de-Madawaska (76 km).

http://pohenegamook.net/tourisme/activites-et-attraits/sentier-des-3-frontieres/

Belvédère de la Croix

https://www.tourismetemiscouata.qc.ca/vacances-quebec/index.aspx

Gourmet stops:

Café-boutique d’antan Chenous

https://www.facebook.com/Chenous-caf%C3%A9-boutique-dantan-109979104700214/

Microbrasserie Le secret des dieux

https://lesecretdesdieux.com/

Day 4: Pohénégamook / Lac Témiscouata / Cycling on Le Petit Témis / Lac Témiscouata - About 1h15 drive / 90 km

My most memorable moments:

Cycling on my gravel bike and traveling a section of Petit Témis (60 km round trip between the villages of Cabano and Dégelis), between Lake Témiscouata and nature; Making many photo stops on the shores of majestic Lake Témiscouata and between cliffs dotted with ferns, like a jungle; Finding the tranquility of my little cocoon in the van and my dog Kenya…

Outdoor stops:

Enjoying the shores of magnificent Lake Témiscouata and its national park: the park combines a body of water and low-altitude forest that can also be discovered by taking 8 trails totaling 35 km. Among other things, artefacts have been found there, testifying to 10,000 years of history and human occupation.

https://www.sepaq.com/pq/tem/

Cycling along the Petit Témis, (first cycle path in Canada linking Quebec and New Brunswick: 134 km long in sifted gravel and located on the right-of-way of an old railway line. The slope never exceeds 4 % thus making the course accessible to all)

https://petit-temis.ca/en/

Gourmet stop:

Zele Café, Pohénégamook

https://zele-cafe.myshopify.com/

Day 5: Lac Témiscouata / Crossing by boat from Notre-Dame-du-Lac to St-Juste-du-Lac / Grande fourche beach / Rivière-du-Loup - About 1h30 drive / 115 km

My most memorable moments:

Enjoying preparing meals in the kitchenette at the back of the van; Feeling the sun on my skin between two mini showers; Dreaming of setting sail again while watching the sailboats docked at the marina; Getting back on the road and have the impression of leaving Lake Témiscouata too early; Having a drink and picnic at the Grande Fourche beach in Rivière-du-Loup; Buying fresh produce to cook in the kitchenette of the van...

Outdoor stops:

Crossing Lake Témiscouata

https://traversedutemiscouata.com/

Grande fourche Beach, Rivière-du-Loup

https://www.tourismeriviereduloup.ca/fr/membres/plage-du-lac-de-la-grande-fourche/

Gourmet stop:

Le St-Patrice

https://www.lesaintpatrice.ca/

Day 6: Rivière-du-Loup / Trois-Pistoles / Rimouski - About 1h15 drive / 110 km

My most memorable moments:

Enjoying the incredible view of the river and breathing in the fresh air from the top of the Belvédère de l’Anse; Walking along the majestic River and be always dazzled by the beauty of the wild landscapes; Pic-nicking on the water's edge, tasting local products, including one of the best cheeses I’ve tasted for a long time from the Fromagerie des Basques in Trois-Pistoles; Finally, visit the Distillerie du St-Laurent, my favorite of all Quebec gins; Having a great time sitting outside the van in good company...

Outdoor stop:

Belvédère de l’Anse

https://www.tourismeriviereduloup.ca/fr/membres/belvedere-de-lanse

Gourmet stops:

La Fromagerie des Basques, Trois-Pistoles

https://fromageriedesbasques.ca/

Distillerie du St-Laurent, Rimouski

https://www.distilleriedustlaurent.com/

Day 7: Rimouski / Hiking to the Canyon des Portes de l’enfer / Parc national du Bic - About 1h drive / 75 km

My most memorable moments:

Sleeping in (well almost); Spending time with Kenya in the van and strumming on my computer for work; Going inland to discover a little gem that’s not so touristy! The Canyon des Portes de l’enfer, easily descending the 300 steps leading to the Rimouski River with the help of Kenya; Crossing the highest suspended footbridge in Quebec (63 m) before setting off on the descent into hell; Taking advantage of majestic landscapes and falls to take pictures; Returning to the parc national du Bic to spend the night...

Outdoor stops:

Canyon des Portes de l’enfer: This natural gem bordered by 90 m high cliffs also includes a network of hiking trails ranging from 1 to 14 km.

https://www.terfa.ca/fr/terfa/canyon-des-portes-de-l-enfer/

Parc national du Bic

https://www.sepaq.com/pq/bic/index.dot?language_id=2

Gourmet stop:

Cantine côtière – Chez Pierre, Rimouski

https://chezstpierre.ca/cantine/

Day 8: Parc national du Bic / Montreal - About 5h drive / 520 km

My most memorable moments:

Feeling welcomed by the rich and varied landscapes of the Bic national park (only 33 km2 of territory) and quickly feeling myself transported elsewhere; Rediscovering the bays, coves, rocky beaches that had marked me so much in the past; Choosing to hike on the Murailles trails to the one leading to Pic Champlain; Feeling sad to have to take the road back home; But enjoying the views of the river along the way…

Outdoor stop:

Parc national du Bic: It is 25 km of hiking trails, 15 km of cycle paths and the possibility of sea kayaking to admire the incredible river landscape of this region.

https://www.sepaq.com/pq/bic/index.dot?language_id=2

Gourmet stop:

https://www.follesfarines.com/

Want to take a van back to Bas-du-Fleuve with Kenya and me?

For more info: https://www.bassaintlaurent.ca/

For more info about cycling: https://www.bassaintlaurent.ca/fr/quoi-faire/velo/

For more info about hiking: https://www.bassaintlaurent.ca/fr/quoi-faire/activites-de-plein-air/randonnees-pedestres/

English