After an intense day of cycling, take some time to explore the numerous attractions on and near the Trail in Victoriaville. Located about halfway along le parc linéaire des Bois-Francs Trail, the town is the county seat of the regional county municipality of Arthabaska and is an ideal place to learn more about what the region has to offer.
Amateur historians and Downton Abbey lovers will be enchanted by the Musée Laurier, just a few minutes away from the Trail in Victoriaville. The museum was once the home of Wilfrid Laurier, one of Canada’s first prime ministers, who practised law in Arthabaska in the 19th century. A guided tour of the museum could take up to two hours, but the charming decor and fascinating stories will enchant visitors.
Feeling peckish yet? Take a seat at Shad Café and sample some amazing local beers, tasty lunch options and performances by local musicians. If you’re looking for something more indulgent, treat yourself to an authentic poutine at Fromagerie Victoria. After your Trail adventures so far, you’ve earned it!
You’ll also find something sweet at Verger des Horizons, an apple orchard that’s open year-round. The best time to visit is October, when visitors can pick their own apples and participate in the Balade Gourmande, the region’s flagship foodie event.
After lunch, there are plenty of other cultural diversions to discover. Grange Fleury, where teenage actors put on plays for children, is a sure hit for families. Meanwhile, adventure junkies can test their mountain biking skills in the Parc du Mont-Arthabaska, located a short distance from the Trail.
After a more relaxed day in Victoriaville, pack your bags and bikes into your car and head to Laurierville. The small town, named after Wilfrid Laurier, takes in the northern section of le parc linéaire des Bois-Francs Trail.
After checking into your room, head to Lyster and get a table at Restaurant Le Jaseur. Offering a family-friendly menu, speciality coffees and a sunny terrace, this friendly restaurant is a convivial stop for your last night in the region.
Where to stay
A former five-star hotel brought back to life as a boutique B&B by owner Nathalie Charbonneau, La Maison Blanche offers five themed rooms in Laurierville. Pro-tip: if travelling with young children, make sure to book the treehouse room!
It’s easy to be charmed by the vintage vibes of this unique house, which include an old telephone box, cubbyholes for keys behind what used to be a reception desk and a swimming pool in the back garden.
Sport lovers will also find themselves on hallowed ground – hockey legend Jean Béliveau signed a contract with the Montreal Canadiens in this very building!