Nature, sports and outdoor activities

Exploring Lake aux Araignées

Jessie’s Outdoor Quests

Posted on June 29, 2020

Saturday morning in the Municipality of Frontenac. The sky seems somewhat threatening! Are we in for a downpour? In this total uncertainty my Lover and I get in our kayaks and head out to discover Lake aux Araignées.

First, let’s clarify: There are no more spiders (araignées) here than anywhere else. The lake owes its name to the shape it inspires. Although this might drive some away, the site, every time, will charm those who come! The beach from which we access the lake is wide and sandy, and the water is quite shallow. In fact, several strokes are necessary to avoid scraping the bottom and reach deeper waters. The few rare cottages by the lakeshore are all grouped in the same sector. For the rest, we find most of the land is owned by the Macannamac Club (a fishing and hunting club) which surrounds the lake. The wildness of the area has therefore been well preserved. And what can we say about the panorama? All around us, nothing but mountains!

—Is that the Mount Mégantic massif, over there?
— I think it’s more here…
—Hey, that’s Mount Gosford over there! … Or perhaps it’s Marble Mountain?
—What do you think is the name of that mountain there, on the left?

A long conversation (filled with questions!) between my Lover and myself follows as we try to correctly identify all these peaks! After verification, it was indeed the Mount-Mégantic massif, Mount Gosford, Mount Scotch Cap and several state of Maine summits (Moose Hill, Merrill, Caribou). In some places the treeless American borderline is also quite visible. We are deep inside the confines of the Eastern Townships!

Paddling Different Tributaries

If you go on an excursion on Lake aux Araignées, you absolutely must explore the Rivière aux Indiens and the Rivière aux Araignées, the lake’s two main tributaries. After having reached the bay of the Rivière des Indiens, we enter the river of the same name. Twice we had to get around old beaver dams which completely block the waterway. About one kilometre further in, the vegetation takes over and it’s time to turn back!

Our exploration then takes us to the Rivière aux Araignées where the landscape is truly impressive. We feel as if each time we paddle through the water we’re getting closer and closer to the American mountains in front of us. With each kilometre, the river narrows until it’s barely wider than a brook. Because I love paddling on tight, sinuous waterways, I am not at all disappointed here! In fact, it’s one of the most beautiful areas in the Eastern Townships where I’ve had the chance to take my kayak. And the few raindrops that finally fell on our heads, in no way tainted my enthusiasm!

No boat? No problem!

Thanks to Solstice plein air, located by Lake Mégantic in Piopolis, you can rent sea kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. For an extra fee, this enterprise offers to transport your boat all the way to Lake aux Araignées. Please note that the two lakes (Mégantic and aux Araignées) are not connected by navigable waters.

Do you wish to spend the night in the area?

Camping Aventure Mégantic, offers as many campsites, ready-to-camp lodgings and inn rentals, and is the closest option for Lake aux Araignées. Otherwise, you’ll also find a few hotels, cottages and inns in the town of Lac-Mégantic, located about twenty minutes from the lake.

As for us, we opted for a rustic campsite in the Louise-Gosford Zec, Louise sector, with its entrance only a couple of minutes from the lake by car. To camp here, you must be completely autonomous, and especially, have a good car, because the Zec’s forest roads (zone d’exploitation contrôlée) are at times somewhat chaotic!

Jessie Jolin

I’m the content coordinator for Eastern Townships Tourism and an avid outdoors and sports enthusiast. Always on the lookout for new places and experiences, along with my Lover, we travel throughout the province and especially in the Eastern Townships, hoping to find the best places for playing outside. Follow me on my outdoor adventures!
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