The best places to stargaze in Quebec

The best places to stargaze in Quebec

The total solar eclipse on April 8 captivated a large number of Quebecers who gathered outside to observe this rare and stunning phenomenon. It certainly sparked invitations and sent a taste of interest in the stars, the universe and the planetarium. Here are nine places in Quebec to extend the astronomical fun with outdoor overnight experiences.

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1. Mont-Mégantic National Park – Eastern Towns

We no longer present this national park with its majestic mountain, famous (not only) for the observatory located at its summit and the International Dark Sky Reserve (the first to see daylight in the world) that surrounds it. At the foot of this mountain, ASTROlab, a science museum and discovery centre, offers a full range of activities to discover the wonder of space and the universe, including astronomy evenings and evenings at the popular observatory.

Read also : The most beautiful excursions in Mont-Mégantic National Park

2. Au Diable Vert – Glensutton, Eastern Townships

© Image taken from Diable Vert website

Known for its many rustic and unique accommodations (tree shelters, cabins, etc.), Au Diable Vert mountain resort offers a range of activities – including one unique to Canada, VéloVolant. Recently certified as a dark sky reserve, it has also had an outdoor planetarium, ObservÉtoiles, since 2018. It is a four-season amphitheater with 180 seats, on heated platforms, set up on the mountainside, even with augmented reality! Guided by the narratives of talented astronomers, each nighttime performance is tailored to the changing reality of the beauty of space.

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Read also – Au Diable Vert: a new planetarium that is unique in the world

3. Sutton Nature Ecological Park – Sutton, Eastern Townships

© Frances Bisset

The Sutton Ecological Natural Park (PENS) is part of the Montagnes-Vertes Nature Reserve, a wonderful protected area that can be explored via 52 km of trails. This natural gem can also be discovered after dark, under a full moon as part of guided trips, one Saturday a month. A wonderful opportunity to explore and discover in a “new light” this magnificent mountain park, its four peaks and its majestic panoramas, illuminated by headlamps and moonlight.

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4. Domaine Saint Bernard – Mont Tremblant, Laurentides

© Image taken from the Domaine Saint-Bernard Facebook page

Located less than 10 km south of the village of Mont-Tremblant, Domaine Saint-Bernard welcomes ornithologists, hikers and astronomers looking for a location away from large urban centres, ideal for observing nature and the skies. Every Saturday evening in the summer, in the Astronomy Pavilion, a team of volunteers introduces visitors to stargazing through various telescopes. During the day, you can enjoy more than 37 kilometers of hiking trails, open all year round, and beginners' trails for gravel cycling.

5. Eco Odyssey Nature Park – Wakefield, Outaouais

© Image taken from the Facebook page of the Eco-Odyssée Nature Park

This eco-tourism park, located in a large swamp, is known for offering different adventures amidst a “water maze” with a total of 64 intersections spread over 6.4 km. An experience you can try in a SUP, kayak, canoe or pedal boat also at night. Every Friday and Saturday in summer, and Saturdays only during fall, the “Le Clair de Lune” package allows you to enjoy the water maze by moonlight. The site also offers several types of accommodation (shelters and chalets).

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6. Mont Cosmos – Saint-Elizaire-de-Bose, Chaudière-Appalaches

© Image taken from the Facebook page of Mount Cosmos Observatory

Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, less than an hour's drive from Quebec, Mount Cosmos is an ideal location for stargazing. Far from any light pollution, and offering a clear view of the skies over the St. Lawrence Valley, the site has been home to the Mount Cosmos Observatory for more than 40 years, and is a distinguished meeting place for amateur astronomers, from the novice to the most established. Experienced. Observation evenings are organized there approximately once a month, from May to September. The site also has a network of 5 km hiking trails, managed by the municipality of Saint-Elizaire, and two lookout points to enjoy the scenery.

7. Domaine à Ciel Ouvert – Charlevoix-Est, Charlevoix

© Image taken from the Open Air Domain Facebook page

Opened in 2023, Open Air Domain (DACO) is an unusual property, located in the Sainte-Agnès sector, 10 minutes from La Malbaie city centre. DACO is open year-round, 7 days a week, and offers several cabins, “vanlife” grounds, and hiking trails. Telescopes are available in campsites ready for camping. There is also a large net stretched into the air for stargazing.

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8. Mer et Monde Écotours – Issébet, Côte Nord

Mer et Monde Écotours has been offering night kayak trips for several years, between 9pm and midnight, to observe the phenomenon of bioluminescence and listen to marine mammals using a loudspeaker. You can also look up to observe and appreciate the spectacle of the starry sky.

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9. Pourvoir Saint Zenon – Saint Zenon, Lanaudière

© Image taken from the Facebook page of the San Zenon Observatory

Located far from light pollution, Saint-Zénon is not only a fishing place, it also has an observatory. Therefore, it is an ideal place for stargazing in the region.

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About the Author: Octávio Florencio

"Evangelista zumbi. Pensador. Criador ávido. Fanático pela internet premiado. Fanático incurável pela web."

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