The village of Grandes Piles, overlooking a broad, calm stretch of the St-Maurice, was an important staging point for men and merchandise heading for lumber shanties upriver. A sense of 19th century lumberjack life is nobly recreated in a unique roadside theme attraction called Village du Bûcheron. The site consists of a reconstructed lumber camp, complete with traditional outbuildings. Open from May till October. Village du Bûcheron: Toll-free: 1 (877) 338-7895

LA TUQUE (pop. 13,300)

The stark beauty of the Laurentians and the hardy souls who inhabit this paper-mill town inspired Québec troubadour Félix Leclerc to pen his famous coming-of-age novel, Pieds nus dans l’aube. Begun as a colony of lumberjacks and trappers, the settlement of La Tuque swelled in 1908 after the Brown Corporation built a mill and hydro-power dam. A number of English-speaking managers and their families formed the nucleus of La Tuque’s tiny English-speaking colony. A number of homes and buildings along Beckler Street and rue St. Maurice (formerly, rue des Anglais) recall this Anglophone heritage: St. Andrew’s Anglican Church (1911), La Tuque High School and the Brown Community Club (1916), a company-built recreation centre declared an historic monument in 1988. Société historique de La Tuque: (819) 523-6070.   For more: http://www.Qué