So, if I said to you “wool socks, long walks along leaf-strewn paths, afternoon naps to the sound of raindrops, and reading by the wood stove,” what would you say? And what if I threw in “hoodie, hot soup, and a deck of cards”? Pretty tempting fall scenario, right? Don’t tell me I’m the only one desperate for a little nature cocooning? Impossible! The fall equinox may already be behind us, but there are still a few great days left to enjoy some camping. But let’s be clear: When I say “fall camping,” I mean “camping in alternative accommodations or ready-to-camps” because comfort matters, after all. Fall is the perfect time to breathe in the smells, go for a hike, take a nap, or read in the fresh air. Here are a few ideas that don’t take a lot of advance planning.
The Val-Saint-Gilles fire warden’s house is about (okay, exactly!) 21 minutes away from La Sarre. Located on the banks of Rivière Turgeon, it’s an historic site erected by the Société de conservation du Nord-Ouest pour la prévention des incendies en forêt. The building has since been converted into a snack bar, as well as an outdoor activities service centre. In winter, there’s snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, and in summer, hiking and water sports on the river. Year round, you can camp in a fully equipped cabin or in one of two yurts, for an extra-special experience.
Photos: municipalité de Val-Saint-Gilles
Although Thanksgiving weekend marks the end of summer activities at Parc national d’Aiguebelle, you can still rent a rustic cabin for a fall or even winter getaway! These small cabins, reminiscent of a pioneer home, are equipped with a double bed or bunkbeds, a wood stove for warmth, propane burners for cooking, and firewood. Just bring along your bedding or sleeping bag, personal effects, and food for the ultimate experience! By the way, according to a highly reliable source, one of the big advantages of the rustic cabins is they’re so quiet, early risers will often be treated to wildlife sightings!
Ready-to-camps in national parks
In this case, you’ll need to act fast. Ready-to-camp rentals at Parc national Opémican and Parc national d’Aiguebelle end on October 10. A ready-to-camp consists of a wooden platform floor and sturdy canvas walls and roof. Think luxury prospector’s tent! It’s equipped with bunkbeds, dishes, and everything you’ll need to cook and eat your meals. Thinking of squeezing in one last camping trip before the cold weather sets in? It’s worth a try!
Les Racines du p’tit Isidore
At Les Racines du p’tit Isidore, campers will find cabins and yurts. Everything’s already set up—just bring your personal belongings and your favourite book. Dishes, firewood, furniture... it’s all there!
Photo : Martin Lord
For the slightly more daring
Hardcore campers might want to try the ultimate fall camping experience—a tent! If that appeals to you, I recommend the Témiscamingue marina campground, where fall colours can’t be beat! There are also trails nearby, including the Circuit cyclable et piétonnier Roger Labrosse and the Circuit des conduites forcées in Témiscamingue.
Finally, the campgrounds at Réserve faunique de la Vérendrye are also interesting options.
Whatever your camping comfort level, one of these options is bound to tickle your fancy. For a short stay to disconnect or a longer trip with friends to get your fill of fresh air and fun, a fall camping experience is a must. In all cases, don’t forget to bring warm, light-coloured clothes if you plan to spend time in the forest. Other weekend essentials include soup, homemade or canned (it’s up to you), and a solid pair of boots so you can go for a brisk hike and earn your nap by the fire. Good night... um, I mean, happy camping!