Distance : 485 km (302 mi.)
Start your road trip to Lac Saint-Jean in Trois-Rivières, situated on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River halfway between Montréal and Québec City. From Old Trois-Rivières, follow Route 155 through Shawinigan to La Mauricie National Park of Canada. From there, head to Lac Saint-Jean: Québec's inland sea!
A. Old Trois-Rivières. Sprinkled with historic monuments and buildings, this location has some fine examples of 18th century architecture. Along the streets you'll find panels and plaques telling the city's history. This culture-loving town boasts art galleries, museums and concert halls.
B. Shawinigan. This city just twenty minutes north of Trois-Rivières on the shores of the St. Maurice River has a waterfall almost as high as Niagara Falls, with a height of 50 metres (164 feet)! The power of Shawinigan Falls was harnessed to produce electricity, which led to the establishment of the town that bears its name.
La Cité de l'énergie. Fascinating and educational, Shawinigan's Cité de l'énergie tourism complex boasts the second highest observation tower in Québec, a collection of industrial machinery, interactive exhibitions, and captivating scientific demonstrations. The magic of energy and technology!
C. La Mauricie National Park of Canada and La Tuque. Panoramic Route 155 hugs the shoreline of the St. Maurice River to travel through breathtaking landscapes. The park offers all kinds of land and water activities, plus a 75-km-long hiking trail aptly named The Long Trail. Way up the St. Maurice River sits La Tuque, a town of 12,000 people, with arts and crafts, churches, covered bridges and more.
Ermitage Saint-Antoine. The Capuchin Fathers at Saint-Antoine’s Hermitage of Lac-Bouchette offer a spiritual retreat for individuals, couples and families. There is a museum, monastery, indoor chapel, and outdoor chapel overlooking Ouiatchouan Lake.
D. Village historique de Val-Jalbert. Originally a pulp and paper town founded in 1901, this village has several homes, a convent and a general store from that era that have been preserved. The area features beautiful scenery, including the magnificent Ouiatchouan Falls that you can get to by pathway, stairs or cable car. Visitors will find quality accommodations and a campground with a pool, as well as restaurants and gift shops.
Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien
E. Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien. This "wilderness zoo" has over 1,000 animals roaming in a wide-open natural environment. The recently opened Amur tiger habitat has joined the Japanese macaque monkeys and Japanese cranes in the Asian section. There is a caged train through the Nature Park Trails, a pedestrian section and even a day-and-a-half safari in caribou country (reservations required).