Road Trip Across the Townships : Family Fun, Local Products and Welcoming B&B

Published on Jun 10, 2021

“The two ice cream cones! AH! And also playing in the river!” This is the answer I got from my 7-year-old son when I asked him what his favourite activity had been as we returned home from our Coaticook weekend.

By Katerine-Lune Rollet

For the first time in 14 months, we headed out on a family getaway. At only 35 minutes south of Sherbrooke, the charming city of Coaticook was the perfect venue for our short post-confinement escapade.

Our first destination, the Parc de la Gorge is a true must for all the activities offered here: camping, cycling, hiking, fishing and, of course, Foresta Lumina … there’s something for everyone! A must: the mountain trail. Recently redesigned thanks to some substantial investments, this three-kilometre trail leads to the Park’s highest peak. As you walk across some magnificent cascades, you’ll discover several points of interest: a covered bridge, a round barn, a flower garden, an observation tower, etc. You’ll be absolutely thrilled when you’ll hike along this route.

A Gourmet Stop

When our stomachs started to gurgle, we headed to the Microbrasserie Coaticook where we enjoyed a delicious macaroni and cheese, as well as veal and vegetarian burgers. Please note that you can choose to have your meal inside the microbrewery dining room, on their terrace, or on one of the many picnic tables scattered throughout the city centre, just a few minutes’ drive away.

On the other side of the street, an inevitable stop: the Laiterie Coaticook dairy. The renown of their ice cream is well established, and once there, there are two ways to get a cone. First, at the boutique, where ALL the flavours, made onsite, are available, or you can use their car service. Like a scene from a 1950s movie, we order our milkshake, ice cream sundae or slushy right from our car and the attendant retrieves it for us at the central station. All this without having to get out of the car. A great success!

A Welcoming B&B and Local Products

For an overnight stay, the Café et Couette Pont Rouge is the ideal venue because of its environment and warm welcome. Only recently in operation, it won’t remain a secret for very long! This old presbytery, built in 1837, offers beautifully decorated rooms with private bathrooms. “There are loads of Tintin comic books!” my son exclaimed when he walked into his room.

The charming co-owner of the B&B, Daniel Campeau proposes a hearty and delicious breakfast menu; perfect for a day filled with outdoor activities. At a five-minute walk from the Pont Rouge (which serve as the entrance to the Parc de la Gorge), you’re sure to start out your day on the right foot.

For supper, right on the corner of the street, Les Délices du Nord is both a convenience and a fine-product grocery store; A favourite for campers, with their ready-to-eat selection, and a grove of local products including La Pinte milk, trout from des Bobines, local beers, as well as cheeses from La Station. We can also buy sandwiches, and even pizza prepared right here.

The next morning, we hopped on our bikes and rode to the Parc de la Gorge’s small farm. This short trail set along the river is perfect for novice cyclists. In fact, the name Coaticook is from the Abenaki word “koatikeku,” meaning “the pine tree river.”

On our way back, we made one last stop in Waterville at the organic cheese farm, Le Domaine de Courval. Lucy and Gregory Sangiuliani, the owners, produce different cheeses onsite and sell them in their small boutique.

The soft cheeses are particularly tasty! You can also buy fresh cheeses seasoned according to the creativity of the cheese maker. My son was very happy to meet the goats, these unique and endearing animals. “Look, they’re eating right out of my hand!” he said as he was giving them some hay. These were his last words before falling asleep less than two minutes after we’d fastened him in his car seat!

Here are some more attractions we didn’t have time to visit, but which are well worth a stop:

  • The Parc Découverte Nature and its new interactif game Acoatica
  • Kayaking at the Lake Lyster near mount Pinacle
  • Le Gros Pierre Orchard
  • The Glo Golf Aventures. Located in an old church, this indoor mini-golf course has an 18-hole circuit in the dark with a “black-light” lighting. I have to go back to Coaticook just to experience this!
  • In the neighbouring town of Compton, there’s a farmers’ market every Thursday evening, the Festival Les Comptonnales and the artisanal café-dairy Que du bonheur!

Katerine-Lune Rollet

A Foodie in the Townships

Katerine-Lune Rollet has been working in front of television cameras since the age of 16. First as an actress (in Watatatow) and then as host and commentator (Ricardo, Des Kiwis et des hommes, Infoman, Montréalité). To share her passion for gastronomical tourism, she also collaborates with Coup de Pouce magazine, Le Journal de Montréal and Ici Première. Also in her CV: Une Foodie dans les Cantons video capsules in which she shares her favourite treats and gourmet discoveries in the region.
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