When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Réserve faunique La Vérendrye wildlife reserve was named after Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye (1685-1749), a renowned North American explorer at the time of New-France. This vast untamed territory is known for its more than 4,000 lakes, including 2 huge reservoirs, and many rivers. With over 800 km of scenic water routes, it is truly a paddler’s paradise. Amateur anglers will be delighted with more than 800 lakes accessible for fishing! The reserve is also rich with wildlife and lush vegetation, giving meaning to the term “the heart of nature”. Route 117 crosses the reserve from north to south for 180 km.
Season: The Northern Registration Centre, the Southern Registration Centre and the Lac-Rapide Registration Centre are along Route 117, which crosses the park. The three registration centres are open from mid-May to early September.
Opening hours: The Southern Registration Centre and the Lac-Rapide Registration Centre are open Saturday-Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Northern Registration Centre is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The forest is home to more than 40 species of mammals, including beavers, white-tailed deer, hares, wolves, bears, moose and foxes.
Many types of fish live in the lakes and rivers, including smallmouth bass, walleye, sturgeon, northern pike, speckled trout and lake trout.
And more than 150 species of birds frequent the reserve, including ruffled grouse and spruce grouse.
The Southern Registration Centre
The reserve’s Southern Registration Centre on Route 117 houses a permanent exhibit on the fur-bearing animals, fish and birds that can be found on the reserve. Take advantage of your visit to pick up some information and visit the gift shop. You can also obtain fishing access rights at any of the registration centres.
Canoeing or kayaking adventure on the river
With over 800 km of canoeable routes, the reserve is a favourite destination for canoe-camping and kayak-camping. Several lake circuits are available. The circuits starting on Lake Jean-Péré are very popular. For a downstream trip, the loveliest rivers include the Gens de Terre and the Chochocouane. The two reservoirs, Cabonga and Dozois, also provide an inexhaustible source of adventure. The routes range in level of difficulty from easy to expert and in travel time from short to long. You can rent equipment at Le Domaine. Mid-May to early September. Reservation required.
Between kilometres 329 and 332 along Route 117 / 819-435-2331.
Depending on the time of summer (July and August), raspberries and blueberries can be found in abundance on the reserve’s territory. Why not pick yourself a tasty, healthy snack!
Hiking / Interpretive trails
A few trails have been laid out for short hikes. They are accessible from May to October (except during moose hunting season).
This short 2-km trail leads from the Baie-des-Sables campground to the Du Till campground. The departure point is at Baie-des-Sables campground. Discover a lovely marsh while walking along a wooden boardwalk.
This easy 2-km trail can be accessed from Route 117, 40 km from the southern entrance. It is a great place to stretch your legs while admiring the waterfall along the road. Offers information on the adaptation of animals and plants to their surroundings and interpretive panels on the Algonquin nation. The site has dry toilets.
Sentier de la Pointe
An easy 2.3-km self-interpretation trail on the use of timber. The departure point is at Le Domaine, between kilometres 329 and 332 along Route 117.
Two Algonquin localities, Grand-Lac-Victoria and Lac-Rapide, lie within the limits of the wildlife reserve.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
There are no restaurants in the wildlife reserve. You will need to stop at a grocery store before entering the reserve (e.g. in Mont-Laurier). Be sure to bring enough supplies for the duration of your stay.
- Very Favourable