It seems fitting that the Eastern Townships originated in 1796 when the British granted land to Loyalists fleeing the United States after the American Revolution.
Today, this region, which borders the U.S. for more than 186 miles, is a popular all-season vacation destination for New Englanders seeking a convenient, yet distinctively different, vacation in predominantly French-speaking Quebec. “Americans coming from Vermont might feel they’ve changed continents as well as countries, visit all the pretty little towns. Having one of the largest concentrations of organic farms in the country, and there are lots of vineyards and farmers markets.”
Driving gives you the most flexibility. From Montreal, it’s only about an hour’s drive southeast via Autoroute 10, and I-91 north from Vermont becomes Highway 55 when you cross the border into the Eastern Townships. Three designated road trips help visitors navigate the region’s attractions. Quebec’s only Wine Route takes you to local vineyards known for their ice wines and rosés. The 260-mile Township Trails leads through 31 picturesque towns, by grand Victorian houses and round barns, and over covered bridges. Focusing on the region’s natural beauty, the 100-mile Summit Trail leads to scenic viewpoints, parks, and hikes. Cycling and hiking are ideal in the summer. Sailing is popular on lakes Memphremagog and Massawippi.
The Eastern Townships offers inns, cottages, B&Bs, and hotels for every budget. Glen Sutton Valley’s Au Diable Vert is a 320-acre resort with mountain suites, cabins, prospector tents, and tree houses. Aux Jardins Champetre in Magog is an old-style country inn that serves meats and produce from its farm. Historic Manoir Hovey and the four-diamond Ripplecove Lakefront Hotel both overlook Lake Massawippi and are ideal bases for visiting nearby vineyards.
Fun Fact: Mont-Megantic was designated as the world’s first International Dark Sky Reserve in 2007. Covering almost 2,123 square miles in Mont-Megantic National Park, the area offers exceptional starry night viewing. The park’s research and outreach programs work to reduce light pollution throughout Quebec. And there you go.
Article credit: nationalgeographics
Photo credit: Tourism Eastern Townships