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Truly Disconnect at Les Racines du p’tit Isidore

Les Racines du p’tit Isidore offers more of a glamping experience than a camping one. If you want to sleep in the middle of nature and have a slightly more rustic experience than spending a night in a cabin, the accommodation offered by the entrepreneur, Karine, is a good compromise. The accommodations are insulated against cold weather and they all include a small wood stove, already fired up the moment you arrive. You can also expect all the comforts of home, thanks to solar energy and indoor toilets.  

The yurts are located far enough in the forest so that you can have privacy, but Karine is one call away if you need anything. From dishes to drinking water, you will find all necessary amenities on-site. Even bedding and small slippers are provided. Imagine that! All you need to bring is food and your belongings. On-site, you can concentrate on cooking, sleeping, playing outside, or reading. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to do whatever you want whenever you want! You can safely isolate yourself and truly disconnect during your stay at Les Racines du p’tit Isidore. 

Photo : Claudine Gagné
Photo : Claudine Gagné

A Nature Lover 

Karine found her calling while she was facilitating forest workshops for high school students. Those interactions helped her notice how disconnected teenagers, or a significant number of teenagers, were from the world around them. For instance, they could not identify native tree species and had no clue how carrots grew. This surprised Karine. She expected young people from AbitibiTémiscamingue to know nature better, as they had the opportunity to grow up surrounded by nature and agriculture. From that came her first mission: encouraging people to reconnect with nature and sharing her knowledge with as many people as possible.


     Karine Landry. Photo Claudine Gagné

Karine, the owner, is first and foremost a nature lover. Her unconventional background is ample proof of that. She started college studies in forestry before working for the government in wildlife protection. She later decided to take over her father’s truck farm, which is named after his nickname, “p’tit Isidore.” Being the dreamer that she is, Karine then considered all the possibilities available to her. As the property’s edge disappears into a forest marked by the trails that shaped her childhood, Karine soon realized that alternative accommodation options would be the best way to help people get away from daily stress and reconnect with nature.

Sometimes a manager and sometimes an accountant, she also acts as a guide for the lucky ones who stay in one of her accommodations, which include yurts and a cabin. She enjoys explaining to those interested the specific characteristics of local fauna and flora, as well as showing them the best spots near the trails.

All Kinds of Customers, All Kinds of Experiences 

Karine explains that there is no typical visitor profile. She sees families, single individuals, and even groups of snowmobilers because, yes, the yurts and the cabins—soon to be two—are accessible during all seasons! All those people have only one thing in common: they change during their stay. “People who arrive here often seem in a rush to set things up. They listen to the information I share, but they can’t wait for me to leave them alone.” Still, it’s always the same: a few days later, people seem more relaxed and open to communication. “It’s as if they need a moment to forget the hectic pace of city life and to readapt to the rhythms of nature.” As a matter of fact, I can confirm that you cannot stay tense when you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the crackling fire in the small wood stove, staring at the immensity of the sky through the big window just above your bed, on the mezzanine.  

A Family Business 

Les Racines du p’tit Isidore has been in the family for more than three generations. The company’s name itself refers to Karine’s father, who is better known under the nickname “le p’tit Isidore” by all seniors in Montbrun due to his strong resemblance to Isidore, his father. The latter was among the first to arrive in the region, where he built a log home. Isidore’s son subsequently took it upon himself to use his father’s land to start a market garden, which was in turn taken over by Karine and her former partner.  
Karine’s parents are still involved in the family business. In fact, her father contributed to the design of the new cabin, which is expected to accommodate its first visitors in December 2022. This family spirit remains strong as Karine’s daughter, her new partner’s children and many of her nephews regularly come to give a hand. “They were not particularly excited at first,” Karine explains. “They thought I was rather dull to ask them to weed the garden, carry dirt and so on. But when they had their first harvest, they understood why they had done all this work and they felt really proud. It’s so much easier to get them to help me out now!” [laughs] 

 A Diverse Offering and Major Plans 

In addition to the yurt in which Simon and I have slept, two other options for accommodation are currently offered by Les Racines du p’tit Isidore: a yurt and an octagonal cabin overlooking a rocky cliff and providing breathtaking views. Karine is also considering to offer, by the end of 2022, a new cabin that can accommodate six people. As for market gardening, Karine states that she would like, in the near future, to expand the facilities and build kiosks to sell regional products. One thing is for sure, she is not short of ideas and projects! 

Photo : Claudine Gagné

Photo : Claudine Gagné

As I mentioned, Simon and I have slept in one of those yurts, but only for a night. We would have really liked to stay longer. To my delight, from the mezzanine bed, we had a frontrow seat to the first snow and a view of the sky. At night, I did not want to close my eyes, hypnotized by the dancing trees. When I woke up in the morning, I was really excited to have my coffee and to eat the breakfast that we cooked onsite on the small gas stove. If camping makes everything taste better, eating in a yurt makes that exponential! I keep sweet memories of this short stay, and I look forward to repeating this experience this winter.