1 min

A great escape in the Outaouais

Camp Explora combines treasure hunting, history and ATVs

Electric ATVs transport guests on Camp Explora's mystery safari tours Credit: credit goes here

Camp Explora, in Montebello, Quebec, has quickly become one of the Outaouais region’s number-one attractions. 

Exciting outdoor activities are the game-adventure company’s expertise, specifically its ATV mystery safari, in which participants board electric ATVs for a 90-minute iPad-guided tour of the region. In contrast to typically noisy, gas-powered ATVs, Camp Explora’s Bombardiers run in near silence without polluting. Visitors travel along trails and secondary roads, exploring the area’s natural beauty while collecting clues hidden on Mount Wescott and trying to solve a mystery. Those who uncover the secret have their names entered in a monthly draw.

Hot summers and cold winters mean participants should consider their wardrobes in advance. Staff members recommend winter coats, ski pants and boots as early as November. Mud gets tossed up from the ATVs, so light colours are discouraged and raingear is always handy for unexpected storms. ATV outings end Dec 1, when the trails are turned over to cross-country skiers. However, the fun continues with a snowshoe treasure hunt for the winter months.

After your scenic escapade, head indoors to warm up. Built in 1931 by Swiss-American entrepreneur Harold M Saddlemire, Camp Explora’s base camp was once the vacation home of the private and exclusive Seigniory Club, whose members included heads of state and business leaders. Nestled among gigantic white pines and granite boulders, the red-cedar structure was built by the same architects and craftsmen who constructed the nearby Château Montebello. 

The base camp houses a mini-museum on the history of the Club and Mount Wescott. It features original club magazines, promotional material and furniture, as well as details on the rich and famous who spent time there. 

You’ll also find the African-influenced tearoom, which serves light meals from locally sourced produce, including a homemade cream-of-carrot soup that is quickly winning fans. Cuddle up on one of the large couches in front of the two-storey fireplace and enjoy the amazing view and the beautiful Siberian huskies playing outside before heading back out into the snowy forest.

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