Treetop attraction in Laurentians beckons families
At a eco-tourism attraction in Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré, families can climb up a 40-metre-high panoramic tower that provides unobstructed views of the treetops and the surrounding Laurentian mountains.
Opened in July 2022, the Sentier des cimes Laurentides sits in the heart of the forest on the site of a former fish farm. The historic main building houses the ticket office and boutique as well as its restaurant Chez Émile and an outdoor terrace. Beginning in July 2023, there will be live music outside the restaurant from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
Stroll amidst the treetops
Visitors should wear comfortable shoes for the more than one kilometre-long path that is dotted with custom-designed interpretation panels and games that highlight the local flora and fauna.
Made of locally sourced timber, the path is designed to be accessible to all. With a gradual slope, families with strollers and people travelling in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters can enjoy a visit adapted to their needs. An elevator at the beginning of the path takes visitors to the first level of the walkway.
The walk culminates with the massive main attraction — a 360-degree panoramic observation tower that rises 40 metres high and offers a bird’s eye view of the rolling landscape and familiar landmarks like Mont Tremblant and Mont Blanc. For the brave and adventurous, a giant hammock-like net suspended in the centre of the tower allows for an especially unique view of the forest 12 stories below.
The round-trip can be completed in less than two hours though visitors are encouraged to take their time to enjoy the scenery and nature. When arriving at the 200-acre recreational tourism park, visitors can check out the gourmet products and cosmetics (made from wild plants) at the on-site store.
Credit: Sentier des cimes Laurentides
A first in North America
Unique in North America, the attraction is a partnership between the regional development organization MRC des Laurentides and EAK Sentiers des cimes inc., the Canadian branch of Erlebnis Akademie AG (EAK), a provider of outdoor adventure facilities that has built 12 similarly impressive projects around the world. EAK Sentiers des cimes inc. has the mission to build and operate outdoor adventure ecotourism facilities in Quebec and North America in collaboration with the community.
The Sentier des cimes Laurentides is the first project carried out and launches the Canadian development of the company. More than $18 million has been invested by EAK Sentiers des cimes inc. and $4.3 million from the MRC des Laurentides to create this new ecotourism destination, and more than 400,000 visitors are expected to visit the site each year.
About 150 kilometres from Montreal, on the Route des Belles-Histoires and on the edge of the P’tit Train du Nord linear park.
For more information, visit sentierdescimes.ca.