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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Trip Report: Mount Orford Park, Quebec

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silversand

Montreal

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Joined: 09/12/2004

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Posted: 07/10/08 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A mature sugar maple forest, hills, ponds and a lake are the reason why we keep coming back to Parc National du Mont-Orford.

A short 20-minute destination for us (a good thing in these times of high gasoline prices) to reach a peaceful camp to enjoy the wildlife, the cries of the loon, and views of a beautiful Lake Stuckley surrounded by mountains.

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We always book the same camping site, spacious, with no neighbors on two sides. Orford is a place for relaxing, reading a book, hiking the many Park trails, and returning again and again to the lake to enjoy the setting sun.

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And as the sun sets further, we hike back to our camp, leaving this beautiful view behind us.

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The following day, we hike to see different views; this time we are heading out to see a new way of camping recently introduced to North America. In Europe the Huttopia tents made their way into campgrounds all over the continent. Quebec is now experimenting with the concept; for 1st year, they may be found in Parks of the ‘la Sepaq’ system.
Mont-Orford Park has a few. The concept is geared towards campers who have never experienced camping and don’t want to invest in said before knowing if they will embrace camping or not. It also targets people who do not camp often; or wish to camp without equipment; or that cannot carry equipment (such as cyclists).

The park had a ready-to-camp formula with a pre set-up tent trailer that was popular; today the European version, the Huttopia tent, is becoming very popular. It includes a wooden platform, heavy polyester walls and ceiling. Inside: 2 rooms, a bedroom with curtains and a kitchen/dining-room/living room, with table and oil lamp, cooking appliances and chairs for the deck.

[image]


It is a very comfortable setting. Wish they had those when I was younger. Now, our camper is our home on wheels.

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Back on the trails we encounter this beautiful old tangled tree. Parts of Mont Orford forest are made up of mature old-growth that have not been too disturbed by the civilized world.

[image]

A beach also offers fun for the children…not quite relaxing moments, but a nice way to refresh in the water and enjoy some sun. When the beach gets too busy….

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…a pedalo, canoe, boat or kayak may be rented and out you go, away from the crowds.

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We are not the only ones to embrace Orford. As we were cooking our Mexican dinner, we had a creature up on our stairs looked at us with interest. No picts of it unfortunately. It was the mask bandit appreciating the Mexican refried beans, cheese and spice, bored of the old hot-dog and hamburger shtick. The park has a booming population of these creatures and at supper time, you better protect your food! Here is our camp:

[image]


If ever the raccoons eat your supper, there is always a convenient store up to 1 kilometer hike (depending where you camp); you can pick up some food or if raining, listen to the Rangers talk on the fauna and vegetation of the park.

[image]


Each night brings a different sunset and each night we will walk to the lake and marvel looking at it. We had mucho rain during our vacations this year, Mont Orford was not an exception and clouds continued to cover our painted sunset.

[image]


On our way out of the park we investigated a nesting ground for turtles. In June turtle nesting is done, nevertheless we were lucky to see a blue heron nest or two about 50-feet up at the top of dead spruce trees, in the center of a large wetland. My camera could not catch clearly the fledglings feeding close up. However, you can clearly see the heron attending its nest!

[image]

This Provincial Park, not far from Eastern Townships Highway 10, is a place offering amenities if you need them, or a more remote setting without them. There is a diversity of landscapes to please all tastes. Mostly, for us, there is the sound of the loon and the quiet forest’s “nighthum” of Orford’s wildlife.


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Nemo667

Louisiana

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Joined: 10/28/2004

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Posted: 07/10/08 07:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello Silver...

Great little get away you have there. Nice write-up and pictures too. We have something similar here in LA; very peaceful lake setting, a short trip from the house and the grandson loves it. The next big trip for us will be Big Bend TX next spring.

Thanks for posting your trip [emoticon]


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 07/10/08 08:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, Nemo!

I'll pass along your kind comments to Silverdunes. She did the writeup, I was a minor editor [emoticon]

We have 9 places near us to camp/explore/hang out at-- all within 15~35 minutes drive!

DonCurley

La Sal, Utah

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Posted: 07/10/08 08:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice write-up and pics (to both Silvers). The Huttopia tent is quite interesting. Larger in-place tent accommodations have been used in some campgrounds in the US (particularly many years ago), but I've never seen any with the nice set-up, accommodations, and accouterments that you pictured.

Thanks for sharing your trip!

Don


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SidKaye

Mt Dora Florida, Montreal QC for the Summer

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Posted: 07/10/08 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the GREAT post and Pics. We spend our Summers in the Montreal area and have not yet visited Parc National de Mont Orford.
What really piqued my interest is the Huttopia, as we cycle a lot and are always looking for new experiences by bike.

Sidney


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silverdunes

Canada

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Posted: 07/10/08 11:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks for your feedbacks.

Sydney,

If you like cycling and are in MTL for the summer, “The Estriade” is a paved bicycle path that crosses four municipalities: Granby, Shefford Township, Bromont and Waterloo. It used to be a railroad track. “The city of Bromont added a section, the Villageoise, linking the path to its downtown core.” There is also a campground (*)on the cycle trail.
Once in Waterloo, you are around 20 miles from Orford Park.

http://www.campingvelo2000.ca/camping_e.html

(*) Have not been camping to this one, therefore cannot comment. The area is beautiful, surrounded by mountains, hills and fields, but the campground is close to the highway. Maybe with all the trees around it, it blocks the noise. It is more like a one night stop for rest, on your cycling way to Orford!


Silverdunes
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TwoMaineiacs

Near Freeport, Maine

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Joined: 04/08/2006

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Posted: 07/10/08 01:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Silvers - hope you put this Parc in the trip reports. Thanks for sharing. We're looking for places relatively close to Maine for the summer and fall for a few days. That one looks perfect.

If you come back down to the Freeport area, please PM us and we'll get together.

Anne and Joe


2011 Chalet Double Slide on a 2013 F-450 Diesel DRW
On the Road Again from Rural Maine
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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 07/10/08 01:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, Don.

Interestingly, the Huttopia platform is completely base-wrapped in galvanized steel mesh (the heavy-gauge stuff) to keep out animals and to provide lots of breeze to ventilate underside.

The platform, of course, is made of cedar; the large guy-posts are spruce I think, and the anchors are 1/2 inch rebar (coated with epoxy it looks like).

These units are built in "their own community" with exclusive road access apart from the RVs and other campers with equipment.

BTW: for at least 2 months (ending around end of August) during the summer, the entire Orford Park campground is salted with classical musicians, who set-up and practice in the various lean-to's found all around the grounds! So, one could stumble across a quartet playing a Bach piece anywhere anytime, in the middle of the forest, or at the trail-heads to the various climbs (40 concerts and numerous free shows) [emoticon]

Cheers,
Silver-

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 07/10/08 01:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maineiacs:

When you decide to try out Orford, PM me, and we'll meet you there!

Additionally, PM us if you plan on coming even closer to Montreal, we'll set up a place for you to stop at our place.

Next time we're in Freeport, we'll let you know. We're usually in Freeport every summer and sometimes early fall...

Cheers,
'The Silvers'

SidKaye

Mt Dora Florida, Montreal QC for the Summer

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Posted: 07/10/08 03:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Silverdunes, thanks for the response and link. We have ridden the Estriade many times and it is a great ride. We usually do day trips of 35-65 Km going out and back or a loop. The Granby-Parc Yamaska-Waterloo-Granby is always great. We have been on most of the bike paths in Monteregie numerous times. One of main reasons we spend every Summer here is the incredible bike riding opportunities. We have been riding in Quebec for about 20 years.....LOVE IT!
I am really blessed with a wonderful wife who also enjoys riding, hiking, skiing, kayaking, and traveling.

Sidney

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