Whether for the purpose of sharing your love of the outdoors with your kids, walking with friends in nature, running with your dog or going for a bike ride or on a snowshoe trek, this place will amaze your senses, in every season.
To welcome you, at the entrance of the site on Fontaine-Claire Road, await a municipal rest area with picnic tables, where you can park your car, go to the loo and eat a bite before heading into the woods.
Hiking paths. The Sentier des deux lacs, an easy 3.4 km walk, connects Apic and Fontaine-Claire lakes. Along the way, you will see the peculiar landscapes of this vast protected territory, as well as an abundance of species adapted to mature and old-growth forests. In fact, the linear path crosses a biological refuge, allowing visitors to discover the Apic mountain and progress through a grassy plain, a small cascade and a singing creek. At the end of the path, you will reach the Sentier de la croix junction, a 1.6 km loop with a 100 metre ascent. All the way up, rests the belvédère de la Croix, a natural belvedere nestled on a rocky cape as high as treetops and with a splendid panorama of the Apic lake.
For those interested in etymology: the Apic lake was named after the steepness of its primary tributary, the Bras d’Apic, which flows into the Bras Saint-Nicolas river before gushing south to reach the Bay of Fundy. As for Fontaine-Claire lake, its name was inspired by the limpidity and crystal-clear voice of its waters, which flow from rivers into creeks all the way down to the Saint-Lawrence River. Both of these pristine beauties are head-water lakes, for they lie in the superior part of their hydrographic basin – the South River watershed.
When will you go admire these jewel-like lakes yourself? Maybe, with a little patience, you will have the chance to catch a glance of loons or even otters, whose presence indicates that of gobs of fish – speckled trout, brook trout, white minnows and carps. There, you will hear a symphony of frogs at any hour. Fine news indeed – as they all are bioindicators of the good health status of the nearby waters. Needless to say, this ecosystem is all the same fragile and we must remain sensitive and devoted to its long-term protection.
Soon, new hiking paths will be developed in the ancient forest of Ruisseau-Hamon, one of the best preserved woods of the Saint-Lawrence River’s south shore. In this exceptional forest ecosystem, which has been protected for three hundred years now, you will have the opportunity to see, among other things, century-old cedars and spruce trees and walk through, like moose, the lichen-covered paths among dense ferns sheltering small animals.
Go discover these protected forests, you will emerge with a grin… and revived.