After finally managing to peel ourselves away from the creatively-delicious city of Montreal (epic bucket list post here), our adventures took us northwest to the picturesque village of Mont Tremblant. Famous for its brightly colored ski resort, hosting the Iron Man and its endless array of outdoor activities, we had no idea how big of a treat we were in for.
Treat #1: With time for just one hike, it was hard to decide, but no trip to Mont Tremblant is complete without making it to the top of actual Mont Tremblant!
During the winter you can ski this beautiful mountain, but during the summer you have the option of taking a number of trails to the top. Now, I am sure this hike is absolutely lovely on a sunny day, but in the rain… with no bug spray, at the height of black fly and mosquito season… now that was a bit different of a story:
We decided to go with the four-mile hike up Grand Brûlé, which is known for being the most direct/steep, especially at the end, but it also happens to offer the most beautiful vistas, even in the rain.
So where’s the treat in this one right? Well, besides it actually being a great hike (given the proper weather), when we got to the top of the mountain we discovered that we could take the gondola down! No more mosquitos biting our necks, no more rain… and for some reason it would be free (there must be a rainstorm hiking discount). We just couldn’t turn it down:
That gondola felt more like a magic carpet ride, whisking us away from the mountain. Any other day we would have been all about hiking back down, but today we were more than happy to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Tips for hiking: If you’re up for a challenge and want to make it a longer hike, consider hiking up via the Johannsen Trail and taking Grand Brûlé on the way down (11-miles roundtrip). OH, and if you’re visiting June-July, bring bug spray! We learned the hard way:
Parking: You are free to park overnight in your RV/camper in P3 and no one will bother you! We stayed there 2 nights, grilled and enjoyed watching the many deer that came prancing by! (In case you were wondering, we don’t miss TV.)
Treat #2: Mountain Biking in Mont Tremblant!
Starting at the Pedestrian Village (where you can also pick up a trail map), we entered a system of winding trails of every difficulty level. Drew and I had a blast weaving around each other, choosing trails that suited our individual fancies.
We rode all around Mont Saint-Bernard and down and across to Lac Mercier‘s sandy beach for a much needed swim, snack and rest (highly recommended) before riding back up to the pedestrian village:
While relaxing at Lac Mercier, we had the chance to watch herds of beastly men and women swim across the (COLD) lake training for the Iron Man that was taking place the very next weekend! While biking back, we happened to fall upon the actual Iron Man running route!
Treat #3: All this talk about treats and we haven’t yet told you about the sweetest treat of all!
Crêperie Catherine has been serving up Mont Tremblant’s favorite crêpes since 1995. Catherine moved her shop from the pedestrian village to a new, spacious spot, beautifully decorated and filled with her impressive and adorable collection of chefs!
Before we get to the dessert part, we have to mention the smoked salmon crêpe… OMG. The smoked salmon with the signature Bechamel sauce, all on top of the perfectly cooked, soft crêpe. It was beautiful, delicious and unique, unlike any crêpe we had ever had before:
Now time for dessert! Being gluten-sensitive, I was thrilled to find out that Catherine was serving up gluten-free gaufres! Freshly picked strawberries with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice cream on top… oh yeah:
I have a special place in my heart for gaufres. My cousin and I used travel to Brittany, France each summer with our family and get gaufres with Nutella nearly every day. I think that gaufre was bigger than my face:
Drew couldn’t help but order the “Catherine Crunch,” a warm, sweet crêpe surrounded by sliced bananas, topped with 3 scoops of vanilla bean ice cream (really good ice cream), a chopped crispy crunch bar, a heaping mound of crème fraishe and Catherine’s famous sucre a la crème sauce, a concoction of melted sugar, condensed milk, and butter… Oh My:
Mont Tremblant is sweet in every sense of the word, and while we wish we could have stayed longer to indulge in a number of the other adventures, we left feeling heels over head, truly satisfied.