Enjoy the forests at Mont Wright

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Photo: Juanita Craig

Signs along the trails of Mount Wright give hikers information about the plants and wildlife.

During the national week of trees and forests, the Association forestière des deux rives (AF2R) and the municipality of Stoneham-Tewkesbury are inviting the general public to an autumn excursion of Mont Wright on Saturday, September 22, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Mont Wright is situated just 30 kilometres north of Quebec City on route 175 at the entrance of the Laurentides Wildlife Reserve.

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 Mount Wright has miles of wonderful walking trails through its old growth forests and the view from the summit is magnificent.  

The forest covers 190 hectares with two forests on Mont Wright that have never been used for logging purposes. As a consequence, the trees have been allowed to reach full maturity, some of them as much as 300 years old. In fact, in 1997, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et Faune du Québec recognised the area of Mont Wright for its exceptional forest ecosystems. The two forests are comprised of yellow birch maple groves, American beechwood and yellow birch fir trees. Furthermore, the forest is home to a range of animals including black bears, moose, red foxes, porcupines, coyotes and raccoons.

The park itself has 6.5 km of hiking trails for a range of hiking abilities. At the start the trails are coloured panels informing walkers of the length of each trail. There are also panels explaining the history of the Wright family, the Stoneham-Tewkesbury municipality, the exceptional forest ecosystems and how to maintain them. While heading up the 438 metres to the summit of Mont Wright, the senses are enlivened by the rich scents of the forest.

Thomas Wright bought the mountain and surrounding area in 1842 and many generations of the Wright family lived in a small home there until Sydney Wright, the last surviving family member, died in 1972. At that time, two wills were found. One bequeathed the land to the municipality of Stoneham and it stipulated that it remain in its natural state and become a park in the memory of the owner's family.

The other passed the land over to a family friend who was a wood merchant. A long judicial process followed and seven years later, the Supreme Court of Canada decided in favour of the municipality, which opened it up to the public in 2002.
September 22 will be a great opportunity to admire the trees' stunning autumn colours with a nature guide. Visitors get a panoramic view of the area from the summit. For more information and to register for the event, contact the AF2R at: 418-522-0006 ext 3024, or visit [email protected].