Quebec City parks, Quebec
This beautiful domain, once known as Spencer Wood, served as the residence of the Governor General of Canada from 1870 until 1966, when the house was destroyed in a deadly fire. It was then decided that the park should be opened up to the public and it soon became one of the locals' favorite picnic spot. The park is beautifully situated, overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The wooded paths will lead you to a nice open space ideal for picnics and outdoor activities. There is a playground for children, and pets are welcome too! For those interested in the history of the Bois-de-Coulonge, it is possible to go on a guided tour offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons all summer long. The 50-minute tour costs $5 for adults and there's no need to book ahead of time, you can just show up at the warden's house. Access to the park is free and parking is free in the evening and on weekends.
I've already written quite a few tips about different parks in Quebec City, and I guess this one could probably fit into the "Off the beaten path" category as most visitors sadly don't make it to the Domaine de Maizerets. This beautiful 27 ha park is located in the Limoilou neighborhood. Perhaps the best way to get there is to follow the bike path that runs from the Old Port straight to the park. Back in the early days of New France, le Domaine de Maizerets actually was a farm. In 1705, the Quebec City Seminar bought the farm and turned some of its fields into public spaces for different types of recreation. Over the years, the city has taken over management of the Domaine, which is now accessible free of charge and open year round. On top of its historical buildings and numerous walking trails, visitors will also find an ice rink, a swimming pool, a natural labyrinth, sports grounds, and different activities ranging from Medieval dancing to conferences on bird watching and photography. It's worth checking out the park's Website to see what's going on because several different activities are organized every week. It truly is one of Quebec City's hidden gems!
Once the linchpin of Quebec's northern defenses, this is now one of the city's parks. Inside the Dauphine Redoubt (dating from 1712) is a museum. It includes the old barracks, the kitchen, weapons, and much more. Learn about life in the old Quebec army garrison in the days of French and British rule. Also visit the Foundry, where guns were made. It has a 1/300 scale model of old Quebec, made in 1808.
Located on the south shore, just across the Pierre-Laporte bridge, the Parc des Chutes de la Chaudiere is one of the area's best kept secrets! The Chaudiere Falls are not as high as the better-known Montmorency Falls, but they are larger and, in my opinion, prettier. A walking trail goes all around the falls, and you can also observe them from the suspension bridge or walk down the wooden steps that lead to the river. From there, you can walk along the rocky shore (make sure to bring good walking shoes) and get close enough to the falls that you'll feel their watery spray.
Access to the park and parking are free. There are picnic tables, restrooms and a snackbar near the parking lot.
This beautiful and quiet park is located on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River, in the Sainte-Foy area. People mostly go there to walk the 2.5 km trail that runs between Sainte-Foy and Cap Rouge, and to enjoy the splendid view of the "Pont de Quebec". This bridge is the longest cantilever bridge in the world and has been recognized as an international civil engineering achievement. The 549 m long central section fell twice during the construction of the bridge, killing almost 100 workers. The bridge was finally completed in 1917 and now stands as a proud symbol of modern civil engineering.
To accomodate the increasing flow of traffic, a second suspension bridge, the Pierre-Laporte bridge, was added in 1970.
Access to the Jacques-Cartier beach park is free and parking is also free. There are restrooms and picnic tables on site.
This park fronted by a monument is dedicated to the French victory over the British at the Battle of Sainte-Foy. The battle was fought on April 28, 1760 during the Seven Years War. It was a victory for the French under the Chevalier de Lévis over the British army under General Murray. The British army lost over one thousand, killed and wounded and the French almost nine hundred casualties, making the Battle of Sainte-Foy one of the bloodiest engagements ever fought on Canadian soil.
Lévis was, however, unable to retake Quebec City. The British garrison withstood a siege until the arrival of naval reinforcements. When HMS Lowestoft raised its flag as it neared Quebec, Lévis raised the siege and retreated to Montreal, where he surrendered in September.
Today the battle is remembered by the monument while a park is used for summer recreation by the locals.