Lac-Saint-Jean is a large rural area composed of multiple small villages surrounding the lake of the same name. The lake and villages are located to the west of Chicoutimi-Jonquière (and the Saguenay River) in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec in Canada.
A geographically-isolated region, Lac-Saint-Jean is mostly francophone and known for its blueberries (the locals are known as "les bleuets"). Much of the area is agricultural land; weather permitting, blueberries are ready for harvest in mid-August.
By automobile, take Route 155 from Trois-Rivières to Chambord or Route 175 from Québec City (exit onto Route 169). From Chicoutimi-Jonquière, head west on Route 170 (south shore) or Route 172 (north shore).
By air, it is possible (but expensive) to fly into Bagotville (near Chicoutimi), then head west by road.
There is intercity bus service westward from Chicoutimi-Jonquière through the region to Chibougamau-Chapais.
The region as a ring around the lake is followed by Route 169, a circle route which branches off Route 175 (the main road from Quebec City to Chicoutimi) to enter the region at Hébertville. In counterclockwise order, the route goes through Alma, Péribonka, Mistassini, Saint-Félicien, Roberval, Val-Jalbert, Chambord, Métabetchouan and back to Hébertville and Saint-Gédeon. The full circle is 200 km (100 mi) in circumference.
There are marinas at various points on the lake, including Roberval and Alma. These are inherently seasonal on this cold, fresh-water lake.
- Club Nautique Roberval, 854 rue Arthur, Roberval, ☏ . Marina with docking for 135 boats (including 10-12 visitors), Internet, dairy bar (Crèmerie La vache Copine), restaurant (L'Ancre à l'eau, +1 418-275-9990), cycling, travel info, boat launch ramp, pumpout, power and potable water on dock, showers, toilets, fuel.
The Trans-Québec trail [dead link] system covers the eastern portion of the region from Roberval through Alma to Mistassini; there are also local and regional trails which fill the remaining gaps. Snowmobile repair is available from dealers (Arctic Cat, Skidoo, Polaris) in Alma.
- Véloroute des Bleuets, ☏ . mid May-mid Oct. 256km of paved cycle trails around Lac-Saint-Jean
- [dead link] Vélos Bleus, 1200 boul. St-Joseph, Roberval, ☏ . Bicycle and kayak rental
- Tobo-Ski (Centre de vélo de montagne St-Félicien), 500, rang Petit, Saint-Félicien, ☏ . Bicycle tours, mountain bike rentals, d’Arbre en Arbre treetop zip lines and campground in summer. Skiing in winter.
- Roberval City Hall, 851 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, Roberval. A National Historic Site of Canada. A late interpretation of the Second Empire style, it was built in 1928-1929 to demonstrate the increasing importance of the town as an administrative centre and regional capital in the Lac Saint-Jean region.
- Autodrome St-Félicien, 2365 Boul. Du Jardin, St-Félicien, ☏ , fax: . Stock car racing.
- Moulin des Pionniers, 4205, chemin des Pionniers, La Doré, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . mid June-mid Sep. Working pioneer sawmill and museum. Restaurant, hiking trail, dormitory camp. $16/person.
- [dead link] Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh, 1787, rue Amishk, Pointe-Bleue (Mashteuiatsh), ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Mid-May to mid-Oct: daily 09:00-18:00, M-F only the rest of the year. Aboriginal history museum and meeting facility for 30-80 people. $10/person.
- 1 St. Félicien Zoo (Zoo sauvage de St-Félicien), 2230, boul. du Jardin, St-Félicien, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . May-Oct: daily 09:00-17:00, Jul-Aug: daily 09:00-18:00 or later. Nordic and boreal wildlife in its natural habitat. Nature Park Trails, Great Aviary, Kids Garden and Interpretation Centre. Boréalium welcome centre includes movie theatre, exhibition hall, discovery room and laboratories. $41/person.
- 2 Val-Jalbert ghost town, 95, rue Saint-Georges, Chambord, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . June-early Oct: daily 10:00-17:00, 09:00-18:00 in high season. Preserved tourist ghost town on the Ouiatchouan River, between Roberval and Chambord. A former Ouiatchouan Falls mill site where fibre for paper was produced mechanically as the town's sole industry. The mill became obsolete as rival manufacturers devised chemical means to turn wood fibre into pulp and paper. Overnight lodging is available in the general store building or in restored 1920s period houses for $280/night (double occupancy, including meals and park admission). 172-site campground with wi-fi, ice, RV hookups, cottages, outdoor pool. Restaurant du Moulin at mill and café terrasse / snack bar at general store. Cable car (extra cost) and guided tour available. $23/person.
- Go-Karts/Karting St-Félicien, 2223, boul. du Jardin, Saint-Félicien, ☏ . Go-kart track, miniature golf course adjacent.
- Le mont Lac-Vert, 173, chemin du Vallon, Hébertville, ☏ , toll-free: . Alpine skiing, snowshoeing. Restaurant and bistro bar Le St-Bernard.
- Musée du fromage Cheddar (Cheddar Cheese Museum), 148, avenue Albert-Perron, Saint-Prime, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Take a step back in time to 1895, when Perron's cheese factory first manufactured its hand-made local cheeses. One hour guided tours.
- Musée Louis-Hémon, 700, route 169, Péribonka, ☏ , fax: . Oldest museum in-region, established 1938 to recall the era described in Louis Hémon's book Maria Chapdelaine.
- Pointe-Taillon Park, 835, rang 3 Ouest, Saint-Henri-de-Taillon, ☏ , fax: . June-mid Oct. Marine shuttle for pedestrians/cyclists and campers from Péribonka Marina to Pointe-Taillon park, Pointe-Chevrette and l'Ile Bouliane (late June to Labour Day). Snack bar and patio/terrace, beach with lifeguard, cycle path, campground, store with clothing and souvenirs. Short-term rental of bicycles, canoes, beach chair and umbrella, kayaks, pedalboats. Public transport in Alma (25km). $6.50/person (day use), additional $20/night to camp.
- Festival du Bleuet, 105, avenue de l’Église, Mistassini, ☏ . Annual festival with live entertainment, games for kids and an enormous blueberry pie, August. $5-37/person.
- [dead link] Festival Western, 30, de la Friche, Mistassini, ☏ . Rodeo, dance, country music and poker.
- Les Régates de St-Félicien. first weekend in August. Hydroplane competition, live entertainment. Bring your own refreshments (no alcohol or glass bottles). A Saturday dinner is available at the marina at extra cost. $10-25/person.
- Traversée internationale du Lac-Saint-Jean, 1130, boul. Saint-Joseph, Roberval, ☏ , fax: . Annual swim meet, late July. Live entertainment, fireworks.
- Chocolaterie des Pères Trappistes, 100, route des Trappistes, Mistassini, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Chocolate-covered blueberries are a local treat, widely available in-region in late summer and distributed as far afield as Montréal, Québec City and the Eastern Townships/Estrie.
- Fromagerie Médard, 10, chemin De Quen, Saint-Gédéon, ☏ , fax: . Dairy farm with specialty cheese made on-site.
- Vignoble Couchepagame, 1328, rang Sainte-Anne, Métabetchouan/Lac-à-la-Croix, ☏ . Jul-Aug: W-Su 11:00-15:30. Winery, free 20-minute tour.
Blueberries are usually in season in mid to late August, weather permitting, with plenty of opportunities to pick your own berries.
- Bleuets Fortin et Fils, 555, rue De Quen, Mistassini, ☏ . Daily in season: 09:00-16:00. Pick your own fresh blueberries on the farm or get them from a kiosk near the Bleuets Mistassini frozen packing factory.
- La Magie du Sous-Bois, 801, 23e Ave, Mistassini, ☏ . Pick your own blueberries in the fields.
- Capitaine Bob, 1702 boulevard Wallberg, Dolbeau, ☏ .
- Chez Greco Restaurant, 979 Boulevard Marcotte, Roberval, ☏ .
- La Dolce Vita, 870, ave du Pont N, Alma, ☏ . 6am-3pm. Breakfast/lunch, bring your own beer and wine
- Restaurant Pub L'Amaretto, 867 boulevard Saint Joseph, Roberval, ☏ .
- Resto 3F, 1500 rue des Érables, Mistassini, ☏ .
- Resto Des Copains, 191 de Quen, Mistassini, ☏ .
- Resto Roberto, 11, rue Scott Est, Alma, ☏ . Chicken, salad, pizza, beef. Breakfast. $7-25/person.
- Brasserie Chez Noël, 1231 Bd Wallberg, Dolbeau, ☏ .
- Marco's Pub, 1128, boul. Saint-Félicien, Saint-Félicien, ☏ . Restaurant and bar. $14/main course.
- Microbrasserie du Lac-Saint-Jean, 120 rue de la Plage, St-Gédéon, ☏ . Summer: daily 11:30-00:00, closed M Tu off-season. 84-seat bistro, microbrewery and boutique.
- Microbrasserie La Chouape, 1164, boul. Sacré-Coeur, Saint-Félicien, ☏ , fax: . Daily 15:00-00:00. Microbrewery. Local beers, patio, wi-fi.
- Resto Bar Chez Henri, 1470 Bd Wallberg, Dolbeau, ☏ .
Alma is the easternmost point in the region, where the lake drains into the Saguenay River.
- Camping & Plage Belley, 100 Chemin Belley, Saint-Henri-de-Taillon, ☏ . Beach and campground, 24km WNW of Alma, near Pointe-Taillon provincial park.
- Centre de villégiature Dam-en-Terre, 1385, chemin de la Marina, Alma, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Riverside campground, beach, condos and cottages. Equipment rental and lake tours. $125-190 (condo), $30-43/night (camping).
- Hôtel Universel, 1000, boul. des Cascades, Alma, ☏ , toll-free: . Hotel with indoor pool, "Le Bordelais" restaurant.
Mistassini is at the far northwestern corner of the region.
- Auberge de la Diligence, 414, av de la Friche, Mistassini, ☏ .
- Hotel du Boulevard, 1610, boul Wallberg, Mistassini, ☏ . 11 rooms, refrigerators, wi-fi. $65-115/night.
- Maison Blanche, 218, 7ième ave, Mistassini, ☏ . 18 units, refrigerators. (10 with kitchenette)
At the western edge of the lake, near the zoo.
- Hôtel du Jardin, 1400 boul. du Jardin, Saint-Félicien, ☏ , fax: . Eden Bistro-Bar, lunch from $8. Disco. Dining room, spa, massage therapy, indoor pool, 85 rooms, wi-fi, meeting rooms for 10-500 people.
Métabetchouan, Chambord and Roberval are on the south side of the lake, near the Val-Jalbert ghost town and the road to Trois-Rivières.
- Camping Villa des Sables, Route 170 Est Chemin #10, Métabetchouan/Lac-à-la-Croix, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 177-site beachfront campground, horseshoes, swimming, beach volleyball, access to Véloroute des bleuets cycle path.
- Chalets et Spa Lac-Saint-Jean, 96, chemin du Parc-Municipal, Chambord, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Lakeside cottages and condos, open year-round. Hot whirlpool, massage therapy, cycling, kayak.
- Château Roberval, 1225, boul. Marcotte, Roberval, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Hôtel with restaurant ($13-30/main course).
- Gîte La Brise du Lac, 493, rue Brassard, Roberval, ☏ , fax: . Five-room bed and breakfast in 1940s doctor's house.
- Motel L'escale, 15, route 155, Chambord, ☏ , fax: . Route 155/169 crossroads motel with restaurant and filling station.