This post was made possible by the wonderful people at Parks Canada. All opinions are our own.
I am thirty something and I have never been camping! I was always afraid of bugs and to tell the truth, I am a city girl who loves the comfort of home! Camping was not a comfortable choice in my mind! But my kids kept asking for it because all their friends went camping and they wanted to try! And as a spoiling mother, I abdicated (but only after few years of negotiation and kisses)!
We decided to explore one of Canada’s National Parks! We have 44 all across the country.
We went to La Mauricie National Park because it is only 2 hours drive from home! The trip was organized by the amazing media team at Parks Canada, La Mauricie National Park and Info Nature Mauricie! It was a 3 night trip! One night at Wabenaki and Andrew Lodges, one in a tent and one in Parks Canada oTENTik
Which one do you think I loved the most? Let’s take a sneak peak at each accommodation and will let you know!
Comparing three very different camping options
Night 1: Wabenaki and Andrew Lodge
Situated on the shore of Lac a La Peche, these two lodges offer most of the comforts of home, with a stunning view and waterfalls! The lodges are situated on top of a hill! You leave your car in the parking lot and you have to walk 3.5 km to get there! Or the lodge team can get pick you with their van! During the winter, you go with a ski doo or walk.
The lodges are from the 19th century but very well kept. We had our room with 4 beds and a bathroom. We had access to a very clean shower! As well as kitchen where everybody can cook! I was jealous of that kitchen: it had equipment I only ever dreamed of!
Since we arrived late in the evening, we relaxed a bit, cooked our dinner and had campfire with marshmallows. We enjoyed a relaxing moment with our books.
The following morning, we went for a walk! Behind the lodge there are waterfalls where you can swim! The view was stunning! I didn’t swim but some of the group we were walking with did. They said it felt like massage!
After our walk, we enjoyed swimming in the lake, while the boys had fun kayaking. We had a wonderful time.
Lodge details: cost per night : $36 per adult and $18 per child! All the boats: canoe and kayak are available to the members for free! Check their site for details: http://www.info-nature.ca/wabenaki-en! We plan on going back during the fall to see the colors! It should be wonderful
Night 2: Camping in a tent!
I was dreading the night two. Sleeping in a tent? That’s a big sacrifice for me who is attached to the convenience of a home! But the camping was part of a Learn to Camp Program for people like me who never camped and for new Canadians who want to discover the beauty of Canada! The activity costs $8 or $9 and includes a tent as well as mats to sleep on. All we had to do is bring our sleeping bag and food! We had fire, very clean bathrooms and showers as well a room where to store our food!
We arrived during early afternoon. The boys set up the tent with the help of volunteers and I enjoyed the campground with my Little princess. It was a large campground with a beach and lake! Some of the campers enjoyed Rabaska: group canoeing!
My daughter had a blast because she met 3 little girls the same age and had fun playing! At night we had a huge campfire with story telling. It was great! When the night came, I was scared of sleeping in a tent! Maybe someone will take my kids when I sleep (seriously I need to stop watching those CSI shows). But I had the best sleep ever. I even slept better than the lodge: the night was not too warm. It was perfect!!
It was a great experience and I will definitely go camping again!
Night 3: The House Tent!
We packed our belongings, the tent and headed to Otentik. It is 60 km far from the camping location on a scenic, beautiful road. The Mauricie park is just stunning. It has 536-km2 natural conservation area! It has several lakes, beaches. During our trip, several people were biking! I think they are brave because the road had multiple ups and down!
The Otentik is a tent home (more like a home than a tent) with 5 beds, a kitchen table and even cookware! No water and washroom though. It has also a BBQ and a picnic table. The car is parked in front of the tent! The washrooms are 2 mn walk, and water too!
There are only 10 Otentiks in the park. Each one is a separate lot so you don’t see your neighbor. It’s as if you are in the wilderness by yourself. It is so relaxing!! One of the nicest thing about the area are the birdies! They reply to your signing. I don’t know if you watched or read Hunger Games. They called them Mockinjay in the book. Just beautiful!
We had a relaxing time at the tent: lots of reading and marshmallow eating around the campfire! We also had the opportunity to go to the beach (it is 11 km far from the Otentik camp). You can rent canoes.
For more information on Otentik, check Parks Canada website. It costs $120 per night.
Conclusion: which one do I prefer.
I enjoyed every single accommodation. Each one offered a different experience! It was difficult for me to choose!
But I have to and I chose the lodge: you have the basic accommodation, you relax a lot, you have the boats accessible without any extra fee. The lake is just in front of the lodge. No need to get your car and drive! You can also meet new people and have a nice dinner with them.
How about you? Which camping experience do you prefer?