Mont St Hilaire, Trois Rivieres and La Mauricie park

After leaving Montréal we drove east to visit the lovely Mont St Hilaire nature reserve, which is owned and run by McGill University.

We had been tipped off (by the Immigration Officer screening us on arrival at Trudeau airport, would you believe) that fall colours were late this year, and recommending we kept as far south as possible early in our trip to catch them at their best. So we checked on the Quebec Fall Colour website, and chose this compact wooded  reserve, with a small lake and steep hills, for a stop en route to our next town, Trois Rivieres.

Trois Rivieres is on the north bank of the St Lawrence and is a regenerating industrial town (well, some of the industry is still there, and it's generating pongy smog which reaches the town when the wind's in the wrong direction!). There's a fine historical quarter dating from the 17th and 18th centuries - it was the second city founded in New France after Quebec - and interesting shops, cafes, restaurants and brewpubs.

The nature reserve of La Mauricie is just under an hour's drive north and, although half the park had already closed for the winter, we had a lovely walk by the Saint-Maurice river, passing beaver dams and lodges and splashes of golden leafed trees.

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Baie St Paul