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Magog, Quebec, Canada: Life on the Lake
Magog sits where two rivers converge, the Rivière aux Cerises (The Cherry River) and the Rivière Magog. The town overlooks Lake Memphremagog, a glacial lake located partway between Newport, Vermont, USA, and Quebec, with most of the water lying in the Quebecois region. The word memphremagog is Native American and means “vast expanse of water” and nothing could better describe this area with its focus on water sports, water fun, and water views. Magog is a popular vacation area that is also close to Mount Orford National Park, which offers visitors plenty of summer and winter outdoor activities.
A Vast Lake
Lake Memphremagog brings many tourists to the Magog area and provides adventures through each season. Parc de la Pointe-Merry sits right alongside the lake and has hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic areas. Lake cruises are also available. The paths are paved right along the shore line and afford stunning views, particularly at sunset. It’s a great place for families, especially in the summer with access to swimming at the beach, paddleboards, volleyball nets, and pedal boat rides. In the winter, the lake converts into a skating rink when the ice freezes over, so the beauty is year-round. This is also the best spot to catch sight of Memphrè, a world-famous long-necked cryptid akin to the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland who supposedly lives in the lake. Viewings abound in this area and, if you’re lucky, you might capture the photo that proves its existence.
More Than the Lake
The lake isn’t the only source of water fun, though. Another option in Magog is Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises which is a short walk from the downtown area and the lake. This is a nature park with hiking trails and areas for kayaking. Plank bridges over the marsh wetlands provide amazing photo opportunities and you’ll be able to see the flora and fauna up close, as well as a variety of native birds since the park keeps the bird feeders full of seeds. There are six kilometres of trails, which can be used for hiking or skiing. The hiking trails vary in length and the Le Sentier des Raquettes trail is designed especially for snowshoeing. There are many hotels that sit right along the waterfront.
Fun for Families
Even without the draw of the lake and rivers, there are still plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy in Magog. One unique adventure is Labyrinthe Memphremagog, an outdoor maze that includes riddles that must be solved in order to reach the centre. Horseback riding is also possible. National Geographic named La Route Verte, North America’s longest cycling network that runs right through the centre of Magog, as the best cycling route in the world. There are also art museums, shopping centres, and an agritourism farm, Érablière Chic Rustique, that hosts wagon rides on the back of a tractor and a buffet dinner in a barn featuring food items made from maple sugar tapped onsite.
Mont Orford is a short drive away from Magog and provides opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, as well as hiking with both easy and challenging trails. Ski Mont Orford provides trails and chairlifts to four mountain areas: Mont Orford, Mont Alfred DesRochers, Mont Giroux Est and Mont Giroux Nord. The trails range from easy to double black diamond, or extremely difficult. There are groomed trails and trails with glades for the truly skilled skier. The area also has a snow park and beginner’s trail for those just learning. Restaurants and child care are also onsite.
Something a Bit Different
Magog is also close to an extensive wine area, with several wineries in the town of Dunham, about two hours away. However, Magog itself has a winery, Le Cep d’Argent where it’s possible to do tastings and take a tour. Another fun tasting experience can be had at Chocolats Vanden Eynden, a chocolaterie where guests can sample the homemade goodness of chocolates and ice cream. Magog is also home to several spas which focus on the Nordic style baths and steam rooms, and saunas overlooking the river.