With the arrival of spring’s sunny days, many hikers are excited to put on their boots and explore new peaks. The trails are especially vulnerable during the thaw. So, let’s focus on respecting and protecting our precious ecosystems.
Small steps and big consequences for the environment
The snow that protected the trails over the winter has mostly melted but it’s still around on several peaks in the region. As temperatures hover above and below freezing, thaws and refreezes are happening. During freezing, the water on the ground expands and creates mud pools, and the soil is greatly reduced, which causes the trails to degrade, compact and erode.
Arguably one of the biggest factors causing trail degradation is standing water. When a walking area is muddy, hikers step off the trail. That’s when compaction increases, which is harmful to mammals, plants and trees, and sometimes causes irreparable damage.
Despite the temporary closure of many trails in the region, some are properly designed to accommodate hikers during this precarious period.
These are some of the trails generally accessible in the spring in Charlevoix:
- La Forêt Marine – Musée maritime de Charlevoix
- Sentier des Planètes – Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu
- L’Anse-au-Sable – Baie-des-Rochers, Saint-Siméon
- Les Florent – Baie-Saint-Paul
- La Rémy – Baie-Saint-Paul
- Des Colons – Baie-Sainte-Catherine
- Parc national des Grands-Jardins
- Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie
Download the Charlevoix Hiking Trails Guide and contact the trail managers for more details.
To assure the trails stay healthy, it’s important we give nature a chance to wake up and settle in. Let’s respect Mother Nature’s generosity. She asks for a little time to rest as our trail managers work hard to offer us beautiful paths to explore on every visit.
*Every year, the trails’ opening dates change. Several factors come into play, including snow cover, thaw period duration, temperature and precipitation.