The winter season is coming to a close for Parc de la Gorge in Coaticook and as warmer weather approaches, the Parc Is looking forward to changing over to their spring and summer activities. Hosting their multitude of winter activities such as Ice climbing, dogsledding, winter hiking and a skating rink has become increasingly difficult for the winter season employees. “The recent weather has made it really hard for us to ensure quality and availability in our activities,” said Caroline Sage, executive director of Parc de la Gorge and Parc Découverte Nature. With rain and the cold weather often appearing one after another for the past couple of months, maintaining their activities has put an incredible strain on the small winter staff, forcing them to even close their trails due to safety concerns caused by ice. Currently, activities are closed due to the lack of snow. However, depending on the snowfall that is expect this coming weekend, the trails may open again to the public for one of the last times this year.
Putting the dreary winter behind them, Sage and La Gorge have begun the planning of their spring and summer activities. While dates are yet to be announced officially, the Gorge is expecting to open up their activities around the end of April. “Of course, it always depends on the spring weather we get,” said Sage, a rainy spring always being detrimental to their activities. “We usually align our opening with Easter and this year we are aiming to be open in early May for the hiking and bike trails, but the weather around that time will dictate whether we open or not.”
The campgrounds and Foresta Lumina are expected to open again on Victoria Day and Parc de la Gorge is expecting another busy year for these two activities. “Camping has exploded in popularity since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as our hiking and Foresta Lumina.” Said Sage. Last year alone, the park saw around 60,000 visitors on their grounds. A formidable number for the small town of Coaticook and this year’s numbers are projected to be close to the 100,000 mark, a major increase over last year. Sage credits their location and what they have to offer for the major increase in visitors over the past couple of years. “We get people from all over Quebec, places like Gaspé or Quebec City, that often visit our park,” Sage said, mentioning an increase in visitors from the United States and Ontario as well. Being gifted with beautiful nature trails and a wonderful, hard-working team, Sage is proud to witness and be a part of the exponential growth that Parc de la Gorge has seen over these past couple of years.
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