Trois-Rivières and fall foliage at La Mauricie National Park

Papermaking at Boréalis Museum

On October 12, 2017, we headed towards Trois-Rivières to tour the Boréalis museum to learn about the history of the pulp and paper industry in Québec. Trois-Rivières built its reputation as Canada’s oldest industrial city back in the early 18th century when iron production was established. Its paper business boomed in the 1920s when newsprint came in heavy demand. Situated downstream from a dense forest, the location of this town made it an ideal site for paper making.

Inside this industrial building is a beautifully curated story of Canada’s pulp and paper industry.

We explored the museum with an audio guided tour, and listened to interviews from retired loggers who recounted stories of their dangerous work and harsh living conditions. You get to see and learn about each stage of the paper making process: wood chipping, chemical pulping, pulp cleaning and filtering, spreading the pulp over fine meshes, drying the sheets between steam heated rollers, and ironing and collecting the paper on rolls.

Hiking in La Mauricie National Park

We had built up an appetite after much learning and enjoyed a beautiful picnic in the sun. We drove northbound towards La Mauricie National Park to enjoy some nature and hiking. And to our surprise, we discovered a warm shower (at the rate of $1 for 4 minutes)! I learned that a 4 minute hot shower is actually plenty of time, and it made us think about how much water we waste in our everyday lives.

Left: Starting our hike at La Mauricie National park. Right: Picnic spread of our cheese and bread lunch.
We chose to do the Ruisseau-Bouchard Trail (#14) which was labelled as a difficult 8.3 km loop. We started our hike at 2:30 pm.
The hike was beautiful, we caught the fall colour changes at their peak.
The trail takes you along 3 lakes with a lot of elevation changes. We ran into a few other hikers, but for the most part, you really get to experience the serenity of being inside the Laurentian Forest.
Here is one of the best viewpoints along the trail. We finished at about 6:30 pm when the sun had just set, making it a 4 hour hike for us.
We were greeted with small waterfalls like this one along the Ruisseau-Bouchard trail. Convenient benches are provided by the park for hikers to take in the view, and to enjoy the sound of water falling over leaves and mossy rock.

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