A true escape in nature

© Courtoisie

Many of us dream of a small chalet tucked away among snowy trees, looking onto a beautiful lake surrounded by gentle hills; outside, many healthy activities would beckon. That very experience is promised by the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant in both its Diable and Pimbina sectors.

In recent years, Sepaq, “the largest outdoor network in Québec”, has invested in a range of chalets designed for different types of visitors. On a recent visit to the Pimbina sector, near Saint-Donat, Tremblant Express was introduced to the Compact chalet, perfect in size for a couple or young family. After checking in and driving briefly down a forest road, you park your vehicle.

© Steve Deschênes

The parking area is a short distance from the chalet so a toboggan is provided to help you move your belongings. With that, you leave your everyday world behind, pausing only to breathe the clean mountain air.

The five Compact chalets are arranged along the shore of Lac Provost and offer an inviting, peaceful view, with each cabin spaced well away from the others for privacy.

The building boasts a clever micro-cabin design in which one room acts as kitchen and dining area and can be partitioned for sleeping. A futon and chairs fold out to form beds and there’s a separate full bathroom with shower.

The use of space is ingenious: there is ample storage for bags and equipment and convenient clothing hooks are placed throughout the cabin.

The kitchen is a pleasant surprise, offering a toaster oven, small fridge, microwave, stovetop and sink, as well as a coffee maker, kettle and toaster, pots, pans, cutting board, dishcloths, cutlery and dishes.

The water is potable, too, so all you need to bring is bedding (including pillow slips), towels and your food.

The eight-year-old cabins look almost new, probably because of the high quality materials used. There’s a large barbecue on the deck, hooked up directly to the chalet’s propane supply.

Outside there’s a fire pit with chairs overlooking the lake and a rotating industrial grill for cooking steaks or fish under the stars… or in the sunshine.

Last year, the park celebrated its 125th anniversary. The staff members are dedicated, passionate and professional, careful to balance access with conservation.The cabins, of all designs, are few in number to ensure that nature is not overwhelmed. Their scarcity makes them extremely popular, of course, and bookings – which are accepted up to a year in advance – go fast.

In summer months, the park opens up seasonal dwellings and many more campsites. Over 80 per cent of the park visits take place in the summer and there is a strategy in place to upgrade the campsites to offer more comfort and amenities. Staff informs us that the park creates loyal customers who return year after year, and these are travellers who respect the surroundings and their fellow campers.

The Compact cabins are a short walk from the beach. Now covered with snow, the cabins make it easy to imagine summer visitors flocking to the wonderful site…including an aquatic rental centre which is scheduled for improvement. A multi-functional trail links to L’Envol, which provides a gentle climb leading to two panoramic lookouts with bird’s eye views of Lac Provost.

Further on there is a wood-stoveheated cabin used by hikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Ski Garceau, for alpine skiers, is less than ten minutes from the park. The nearby town of Saint-Donat provides grocery shopping, an excellent bakery and several restaurants offering takeout.

Despite these conveniences, you can easily enjoy your entire stay without leaving the park. The staff is welcoming and provides good advice on activities. The information they offer on the Assomption sector of the park is more than enticing. In the summer, for example, there are yurts for rent that are perfect for hikers and fishing enthusiasts.

The chalet rental fees are reasonable and vary in cost based on the season. At the time of writing, there is a deal offering some cabins for seven nights at the price of five. Don’t hesitate to contact Sepaq to book a chalet, yurt or campsite and create your own memorable experience.


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Jeff Swystun


Jeff Swystun30 Posts

Conférencier prolifique et écrivain, Jeff a donné plus de 115 conférences dans 25 pays. L'expertise de Jeff en matière de stratégie d'entreprise, de stratégie de marque et de marketing a mené à l'ouverture de Swystun Communications en 2012. / A prolific speaker and writer, Jeff has appeared at over 115 conferences in over 25 countries. Jeff’s expertise in business strategy, branding and marketing led to the opening of Swystun Communications in 2012. SC is a boutique agency focused on the intersection of business and brand strategy.


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