There is nothing on earth quite like the Eastern Townships in the fall. Find out why here.
The Eastern Townships of Quebec, with its charming towns, stunning landscapes, and passionate local culture, is a haven for travellers seeking a unique autumn experience. Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the region with my daughter and it has become my favourite road trip in Canada.
Recently named one of the New York Times 52 places to visit in 2023, the Eastern Townships is a must-visit any time of year, but the fall is particuarly magical. Here are all the reasons you need to visit the Eastern Townships in the fall:
Astonishing Fall Colours: The Eastern Townships is renowned for its incredibly vibrant fall foliage. The region transforms into a palette of reds, oranges, and yellows, offering a visual treat for nature lovers.
Charming Towns and Villages: Places like Sutton, Magog, and Sherbrooke are not just names on a map. They are the heart of the Eastern Townships, each with its own unique charm and history waiting to be explored.
Hiking Adventures: With trails like those in Mont Orford and Sutton, the region offers hiking experiences that cater to both beginners and seasoned trekkers. The fall season adds a mysterious touch to these trails with its crisp air and colorful leaves.
Gastronomic Delights: The Eastern Townships is a foodie’s paradise. From the Route des vins, which boasts over 20 wineries, to the local restaurants that serve dishes made from fresh, local ingredients, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
Cycling in the Fall: The region offers several biking trails that are perfect for witnessing the fall colours. Whether you’re a casual cyclist or an enthusiast, the Eastern Townships has a route for you.
Cultural Experiences: Dive into the arts, culture, and heritage of the region. Visit places like the Missisquoi Museum or the Théâtre Granada to get a taste of the local culture.
Relaxing Spa Retreats: After a day of exploring, what better way to relax than at a local spa? The Eastern Townships is home to several wellness centers, like the Amerispa in Bromont and the Spa Nordic Station offering a range of treatments to rejuvenate your mind and body.
Local Festivals and Events: Fall in the Eastern Townships is marked by several events celebrating the harvest season. From gastronomic events to local fairs, there’s always something happening in the region.
Proximity to Major Cities: Located just an hour away from Montreal, the Eastern Townships is easily accessible, making it a perfect weekend getaway.
Endless Exploration: Beyond the mentioned reasons, the Eastern Townships offers so much more. From its lakes and forests to its local markets and artisan shops, every trip to this region promises new discoveries.
Lakeside Serenity: One of the region’s best-kept secrets is its serene lakes. Lake Memphremagog, for instance, not only offers breathtaking views but also a legend of its own – the mysterious lake monster. Whether you’re into boating, fishing, or simply picnicking by the shore, the lakes of the Eastern Townships provide a tranquil escape.
Artisanal Crafts and Shops: The Eastern Townships is a hub for artisans. As you stroll through towns like North Hatley and Bromont, you’ll discover quaint shops selling handcrafted goods, from pottery to handwoven textiles. These unique souvenirs capture the essence of the region and make for perfect gifts.
Historical Landmarks: Dive deep into the history of Quebec by visiting the numerous historical sites scattered throughout the townships. From old churches to heritage homes, these landmarks tell tales of the region’s rich past.
The Beer Route: For those who have a penchant for craft beers, the Eastern Townships won’t disappoint. The Beer Route is a curated trail of seven breweries, each offering a unique blend of flavors. Sip on a pint as you enjoy the fall foliage – a match made in heaven!
Wildlife Encounters: The dense forests of the Eastern Townships are home to a diverse range of wildlife. Autumn is a particularly good time for birdwatching, with migratory birds passing through. With a bit of luck, you might also spot deer, foxes, and other woodland creatures.
Local Markets: Fall is harvest season, and the local markets are brimming with fresh produce. From crisp apples to sweet maple syrup, the flavors of autumn are in full swing. Visiting a local market is not just about shopping; it’s an experience where you can interact with local farmers and learn about their produce.
Stargazing at Astrolab: Located in Parc National du Mont-Mégantic, the Astrolab offers a unique stargazing experience. As the nights get longer in the fall, it’s the perfect opportunity to gaze at the stars and learn about constellations.
As the golden hues of autumn envelop the Eastern Townships, it becomes evident that this region is more than just a destination; it’s an experience. From the vibrant tapestry of fall foliage to the rich tapestries of history, culture, and gastronomy, every corner of the townships tells a story waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an adventurer, a foodie, or someone seeking a serene escape, the Eastern Townships in the fall offers a mosaic of memories that will linger long after your journey ends. So, as the leaves crunch beneath your feet and the crisp air whispers tales of yesteryears, take a moment to immerse yourself in the magic that is the Eastern Townships.