France Lemire, master in the art of exploration
There are many lakes and rivers that are connected to each other in this region. That’s quite unique because you can wander the waterways, as the first nations used to do, from north to south, from east to west. There are so many possibilities! Besides, there are some beautiful places, like incredible waterfalls that can’t be reached by car, which means you can only get there by canoe.
There are still large expanses of woods where there is no one, only a few hunting camps, but no houses. And in the south, in the Témiscamingue region, thanks to the controlled harvesting zones (ZEC), there are huge areas that remain completely untouched, with tall mature trees. You feel all alone in the world, as if you were a pioneer. And that’s quite rare because, in many parts of Quebec, you see a lot of people enjoying the outdoors, on rivers and on hiking trails. I like to go away and go deep into the woods to go camping. Add good food, a campfire, and a sky full of stars, without any light pollution, and I feel totally free. Those little moments of eternity help us live in the moment.
We also live on a relatively flat territory, but we are lucky enough to have several hills where we can hike up trails, and rise above the territory to see far, so far that you can almost see the roundness of the Earth. And if you’re fortunate and get there at sunset, you’re likely to remain speechless for a long time in front of this great beauty.
There are two main outdoor attractions in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region: Parc national d’Aiguebelle and Parc national d’Opémican. The rifts of Lake La haie, in Aiguebelle, are completely mind-blowing. They are narrow landscapes, where you feel like a little ant in the universe. And in Opémican, there are cliffs overlooking Lake Timiskaming and tall pines that greet us on the way. I don’t even feel the need to go somewhere else for outdoor activities because I have so much more to explore here. I don’t think I’ll have enough of a lifetime!
And there are so many activities and places to discover in the region: for example, the Boutique de l’Atelier, where you can meet two colourful and talented artists; the Pikogan Pow-Wow, where you can see the amazing performances of the dancers and join in the celebration of Anishinabe culture; the Café Elkoza, in Macamic, where you can enjoy the warm atmosphere and the view of the lake!