This is one in a series of articles written by Joannie Fillion, a photographer from Baie-Saint-Paul and the mother of three beautiful children. Through the stories she tells and the delightful glimpses of family life she gives us, we discover her love for the Charlevoix region.
Ever since my children were little, the activity that best combines relaxation, fun and laughter has always been a simple beach outing. Throw in a delicious picnic full of local goodies, a kite to fly, a beach volleyball and a few buckets and shovels and you’re all set for a day that parents are sure to enjoy just as much as the kids. In Charlevoix, there’s a lot of choice, but here are our three favourite beaches in the region just to get you started.
Located at the very end of Saint-Anne Street and close to downtown, Baie-Saint-Paul Beach is probably the place we go most often to enjoy some outdoor fun with the kids. Along with playing in the fine sand, the children love the playground equipment just steps from the beach. A wide range of sports activities are available nearby. Katabatik – Aventure dans Charlevoix rents out sea kayaks and organizes river kayak trips on the magnificent Rivière du Gouffre. The charming little trails at Boisé du Quai seem to invite walkers to lose themselves in the forest. With so many activities to choose from, it’s never the same visit twice!
The Petite-Rivière-Saint-François wharf, just a 15-minute drive from Baie-Saint-Paul, is a marvellous spot to spend some quality time with children, building towering sand castles, playing catch with a beach ball and sharing lots of fun and laughter. Everything’s there for you to enjoy, including a splash pad, a playground, swing sets, a volleyball court, a snack bar, washrooms and of course one of the region’s finest beaches. The breathtaking vista offers a 360° view of the St. Lawrence. Far off on the horizon, you can see Isle-aux-Coudres, a few impressive Charlevoix summits and the river’s south shore.
Nestled in the heart of an idyllic landscape, the famous Saint-Irénée beach is a must-see. The water is calm and clear, and children love to go wading, fly a kite or hunt for marine life and precious stones. When it’s time at last to call it a day and head home, our pockets are a little heavier and our eyes, a little brighter. To top it all off, the children get to wave to the passengers on the Train de Charlevoix, which runs along the St. Lawrence shores. Who knows, maybe that will be our next family activity!
*Being so close to the St. Lawrence River is a real privilege. However, vigilance is required at all times: the waters are cold, the currents are strong and the tides can be surprising.
To discover more adventures, follow Joannie Fillion on Instagram @joanniefillionphotos.