lac de la cabane

Our nice tranquil lake, with boats nor cottages, surrounded by pristine forests, dotted with majestic boulders, with its beautiful sandy beaches, its coconut palms…

Okay, I’m carried away a bit. But our very nice secret lake, an hour from Montréal but almost never frequented by any other living creature than deer, moose and otter… Oops, there I go again. Anyway, that lake is going to be spoiled. A developer lay its filthy hands on it and now he’s going to build cottages around it.

We went there today and found big signs with “Domaine Privé” and “Défense de circuler”. We ignored them for now, since it’s construction holiday and also to investigate. The lake is just as pristine as ever, but there was doom in the air. The doom of big trucks, by and builders coming in, to build monstrous houses. (For some reason people who can afford a second home in the Laurentians have no taste.) Followed by loggers on a mission to create lake views for the owners by logging all the trees between the lake and said houses.

It’s only weeks before they put big steel fences around it and declare it a real No-go area.

So I’m going to spill the secret and give you all detailed instructions how to get there. Rent a car and enjoy this really nice lake while you still can get in, albeit by ignoring some signs. If somebody tells you to go away tell them you come here for years and nobody ever told you to go away. They probably tell you that things have changed but I bet you can stay for the day if you tell them you came all the way from Montréal.

How to get there

First locate the lake on this Google Maps map. Follow the included driving instructions from highway 15 North to the parking area in Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard.

From there:

  • Park your car at the parking area on the Chemin de Val de Loire. It’s a rather big parking, for around 20 cars (so all readers of loglog can go at once; plan car-pooling in the comments), at the North side of the street, on the map above at the letter D (of “De-Loire”), just right of Lac Morgan.
  • Get out of the car, pack your things (sunscreen!) and enter the area by going through the big gate at the east side of the parking lot.
  • Turn left (NW) and follow the wide path. At a crossing there is a small cabin for cross-country skiers (there are not many of those around) and an orange plastic barrier.
  • Ignore the signs, walk around the barrier and continue on the narrowing path. Enjoy the nice ferns at both sides of the trail.
  • Cross a almost destroyed bridge (I bet one of those fat builders tried to cross) over a small stream.
  • You now approach an open area, with on your left a pumping station for the municipal water supply of Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard since our lake is their main reservoir. To the right you see the newly constructed road that leads to the new cottages, surrounded by big boulders.
  • Continue straight ahead, ignore another sign and follow the slightly sloping gravel road.
  • We’re almost there now. After a slight bend you’re at the highest point of the road and the magnificent “Lac de la Cabane” is right in front of you.
  • Follow the road 100 metres and there is the beach. Soon it will be a private beach, no longer accessible by us mere mortals, without hundreds of thousands of disposable dollars.
  • If you follow the path that starts at the other side of the beach you can go to a nice private rock.
  • A few hundred metres from the beach there is a large boulder, slightly hidden under the foliage.
  • Just before it is a small path passing on the left side of the boulder, and leading to a magnificent flat boulder that is an excellent starting point for a nice refreshing swim in the crystal clear (the whole village is drinking it) water. Clothes are entirely optional. A pillow or mattress might come handy however, since the rock is quite rough on your bum/back.
  • Enjoy your stay, don’t get sunburned, and please leave only your footprints.

Lakes should be public and not private. They’re part of the land that our ancestors stole from the natives. Well, maybe not my ancestors exactly, but you get my point.

If you don’t get my point you can always go to the developer’s site and buy one of the lots and have your dream house built. Be quick, they’re going fast. If you do, please invite me over once in a while. In return I can do some maintenance, I’m quite good at that. Then at least I can lay my eyes on “our” lake once in a while.

If you have access to other lakes please do not hesitate to email me.