I have been meaning to visit Îles-de-Boucherville National Park for so damn long. It’s the closest Sépaq park to the city, as it only requires a 30 minute drive.
This year, Navette Nature has been offering free shuttles from downtown Montreal through a collaboration with a bank. All you have to pay is the park entry fee of $8.75 which helps support Sépaq. The departure is every Friday at 9am from Square Dorchester (close to Peel metro) and the return is around 4pm.
Îles-de-Boucherville is mostly known as a kayak location, as you can go around the islands in about 3 hours. Of course, on the day of my visit, the wind was at 26km/h! I really wanted to kayak so I agreed with the staff to go the opposite direction, which made it harder but safer for when I’d want to come back.
I saw a few beavers in the water <3 and lots of happy birds flying all around. It felt so nice to be in the water (probably because I was alone haha) and enjoy the calm. After about 40 minutes of constant paddling, I turned around and let myself flow back to the dock.
Since I couldn’t do the full tour, I decided to go to the visitor centre to get help picking a decent trail for the rest of my day. I ended up walking Île de la Commune, which was supposed to take 2-3h but it only took 1.5h.
I really enjoyed the trail, especially at the beginning when you could walk very close to the shore. It was covered in grass and you almost felt hidden from the nearby bike path.
All the islands also have lots of picnic tables which makes it perfect to sit & enjoy the surroundings. For me, it was a chance to sit & meditate. All I could hear, other than the soft wind, was a bird that seemed entertained by me. It made me smile.
I’ll definitely have to go back to get more time on the water. It’s a bit tricky when you have to prebook your ticket with the shuttle for that though. The weather also changed pretty quickly when I came back to eat my lunch. It ended up being too cold & rainy to stay outside and it did feel a bit long to wait for the bus to leave again.
I took it as a sign that I should read & catch up on my podcasts. Speaking of which, I listened to the Emerge podcast for the first time and the discussion with Daniel Schmachtenberger was really powerful. You should check it out!