The first in an occasional series exploring North America’s national, provincial and state parks.
ÎLES DES BOUCHERVILLES, Que.—Days later, I found a burr in my shoelaces, which touched the little girl inside me who was forever picking burrs out of clothes and hair.
It was late April and though the landscape was still mostly brown and gray, the grass was beginning to remember it’s supposed to be green, so we drove the 15 kilometres from downtown Montreal (excluding the bits where we got lost) to the provincial park at Îles des Boucherville.
The park is in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, close enough to the city that you get sweet views of the skyline, including my favourite piece of architecture, the Big O.
There are more than 25 kilometres of hiking and biking trails on the island—we did about five of them over an hour and a half. The trails we chose ranged from tame to moderately tame—even away from the packed-gravel bike paths we had little trouble manoeuvring the stroller over dirt and grass trails.
There’s tons of wildlife, including deer, but of course we didn’t see much, what with our Jeep of Strollers and a toddler finding her voice. A couple of kayakers had braved the chill water and we came across a few birders. We had hoped for more bush and less-travelled trails, but we had fun enough that there were burrs in my shoelaces.
Îles de Boucherville is like that cute dude you meet a couple of drinks into a night out: So much fun at the time, mostly forgotten the next morning.
We give Îles de Boucherville 2 stroller wheels out of 5 (my new rating system—nifty, huh?). It’s $6.50 per person to enter the park (bike rentals, camping, etc. are extra — see the website) or buy a Quebec parks pass for $58.50.