There’s something about walking around a new destination. The fresh air and slower pace allows us to see things through fresh eyes and hopefully discover those little gems the locals keep to themselves. Fortunately, here’s some inside local knowledge to steer you in the right direction.
We begin in front of Maison Mère, a non-profit organization formerly the convent of the Little Franciscans of Mary. Like a caring mother, it focuses on a sustainable future of Baie-Saint-Paul, hosting a museum trail, youth hostel, co-working space and the Mousse Cafe, where locals and visitors share friendly chats over great coffee.
Once well caffeinated, take Chemin des Soeurs (Path of Sisters), a soothing gravel trail that leads you to the St Lawrence River via the wooded area of Boisé de Quai. Then take a little detour to the right of the Hotel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix to say hello to its furry and feathered permanent residents!
Returning to the path and continuing through the fields, you’ll notice the fresh river breeze already starting to blow by. Bypass the first wooded area and take the path to the right leading directly to the beach. Take in the glorious vista, breathe in the fresh air and allow the magic of the river to soften your senses by indulging in a clay bath at low tide.
When you’ve sufficiently absorbed the well-being from the sand and dazzling panorama, return to the wooded area and lose yourself along its many paths, but don’t worry, the exit is never far away.
After letting your inspiration wander through the fields, beach and woodland, let your artistic side be drawn towards the Wharf and the Baie-Saint-Paul Museum of Contemporary Art. Finally, Rue Sainte-Anne will return you to the heart of the town where you’ll get to admire the charming inns and colorful houses while following the rivière du Gouffre all the way back.
Useful information :
- Total distance of th whole experience: Approx 5 kilometers
- Duration: Between 1-3 hours depending on your walking speed and length of stops.
- Best time of day: Any time, but the locals prefer it at low tide
- Cost: Free, but please step out of your way to encourage purchases from local vendors