March 25, 2021Escapade
Between wild boars and mountains in the Eastern Townships
August 28, 2021Escapade
Marie-Eve, her partner and her 2 children, aged 5 and 8, travel around in a Class C motorhome. In their search to see more of Quebec over the summer, they were interested by the idea of Terego. They told us about their experiences with several producers on our blog. Are you ready to set out? Destination: The Eastern Townships.
Summer is coming to an end, and the temperature is getting cooler... It's the perfect time for a family RV outing! We chose for this weekend not to go too far from our beloved city, Sherbrooke, and to visit the unknown region of Haut St-François. First destination: La Ferme Renaissance in Weedon, our Terego for the night!
La Ferme Renaissance is, first and foremost, a wild boar and red deer farm. Frédéric, the friendly owner, offered to show us the animals (reservation required). Passionate, he taught us a lot about these animals that we know little about. Did you know that wild boars literally eat soil, digesting the small roots that are hidden in it, and in this way, manage to uproot trees in their enclosure? That, contrary to popular belief, their two long lower teeth do not protrude from their mouths, unless you decide to pull out the upper ones which normally serve to hone the lower ones and keep them short? We enjoyed watching the baby boars and the teenagers nicknamed "bêtes rousses" ("red animals") with their mothers in the enclosures.
We also had the chance to feed the red deer and to observe a small fawn born a week ago. Did you know that red deer are not roe deer, but rather their cousins in the deer family? Frédéric told us a lot about the antlers of this majestic beast. Covered in velvet, a skin very rich in blood vessels, the antlers of bucks grow rapidly (in just one month!) and their size depends on the amount of testosterone produced by the deer. As long as they are covered in velvet, they will not use them to fight, as a wound at this point could be fatal, causing them to lose a lot of blood. But when the velvet dries up and falls off, look out! They will then use them to fight and impress the females and may even injure those who refuse to mate!
We concluded our guided tour with a visit to the "little" animals: the beautiful ponies Lili and Ti-Pou and the miniature pony Mimi, the big rabbits, the roosters and finally, the turkeys. We then had the opportunity to see and touch wild boar skulls and deer antlers up close. It was at this point that we learned where the expression "Avoir une tête de cochon" ("having a pig's head") came from. This is because the top of the skull of wild boars (and also of their cousins the pigs) is particularly thick and hard! Finally, we had the chance to enjoy sampling wild boar terrines and sausages accompanied by a locally baked baguette. Mmm…. delicious! The grown-ups scrambled to get a few bites before the kids devoured it all! We also stocked up on wild boar sausages and terrines before we left, but we could just as easily have bought steaks, ribs, fondue meat or filet mignon... It's handy to have a fridge in the RV to bring it all back!
Our overnight RV parking space was right next to the pens, which gave us another chance to observe the animals, especially since the owner came to feed them at around 5 pm, which certainly brought them very close to the wire fences. After a tasty supper, the sun set quietly over this country landscape for a good night's sleep before our busy start to the next day.
In the early hours of the morning, we left after breakfast for a day of hiking. Our destination was the Des Escarpements trail in Mont Mégantic National Park, Franceville sector. The most beautiful family hike in the Eastern Townships, in my opinion! We first followed the stream and then crossed it to tackle the mountain. We continued along the loop in a clockwise direction, and a few metres after the intersection, we found a pretty mini-canyon which delighted the whole family. Don't worry; the trail doesn't go straight through, so you don't have to go through it if you don't like tight spaces.
We then continued our climb through the forest, passing beautiful rock structures and small inukshuks. At the summit, we picnicked in front of the magnificent view of Mount Megantic and its observatory. On the way back down, we took a refreshing dip in the river at the Pruches stop and its mini beach.
On the way back, we stopped at the Walter-MacKenzie Park in Scotstown. Bordering the Saumon River and with boats for hire, it is an excellent starting point for nautical activities. The bicycle path of the Scots marshland park also begins there, which leads to Mont Mégantic park via 8 km of gravel path in the forest and several stopping points. The start of the trail is also home to the Camping de la Rivière Étoilée campsite and small elven habitats that you can enjoy discovering by closely observing the large trees that line the river.
We could also have stopped at the Parc des Deux Rivières in East Angus, which offers beautiful hiking trails and popular adventure/climbing trails for young and old. But with our home and the return to the routine awaiting us, we continued on our way back, telling ourselves that we would be back again soon...
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