A Magical Day on the Waters of Lac-Saint-Jean and the Metabetchouan River
We woke early on the second day of our trip, packed up our belongings, and biked back to our car parked near the visitors center of Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon. Less than a 45-minute drive later, we were on the southeastern shores of Lac-Saint-Jean ready to stand-up paddleboard once the outfitter O’Soleil opened up shop at 9 am. Offering paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes, O’Soleil is located on an ideal spot on a placid river that can either lead inland or to the expansive waters of that 45-kilometer long by 35-kilometer wide lake called Lac-Saint-Jean. We paddled on the serene river under bridges and past marinas lined with boats to steady our balance and stroke. Then off we went on a wondrous stretch of water, hemmed in by barrier beaches. Soon we were feeling the chop of this massive inland sea as a steady stream of boats filed out to the lake. O’Soleil also rents bikes to sample a stretch of the Véloroute des Bleuets, the 256-kilometer bike trail that lines the shoreline of Lac-Saint-Jean. The 10 km ride past the charming town of Metabetchouan (stop for sublime chocolates at the small artisanal store, Rose Élisabeth) to Desbiens is one of the finest parts of the bike trail.