9 Ways to Enjoy Summer at Bishop’s

Stunning nature, so close to home

Bishop’s is situated in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, meaning that the surrounding landscape overflows with stunning natural vistas. Luckily, you don’t have to go far from campus to enjoy the best that nature has to offer. The Massawippi and St. Francis rivers run right next to campus and are banked by gorgeous green walking trails for you to enjoy. There are many spots where you can go down to the St. Francis’ water and, in the hot summer days, enjoy a light dip in the river. The trails are located on Rue Samuel-Gratham and St Francis Street, the latter of which leads you to Atto-Beaver Park and many walking trails that go in and out of the waterside woods.

The biking trail that goes by the Massawippi is the Route Verte 1, found on Rue Massawippi. You can take the trail all the way to North Hatley (about a 45-minute bike ride) and stop by the Capleton Mine, the Rivière Nice hiking area, and the North Hatley Dam on the way!

Lennoxville alone boasts some great walking areas within walking distance, including the Ascot-Lennox Forest with innumerable winding trails. Its trailhead is at the end of Rue Academy and the trails lead all the way to Sherbrooke. At the end of Rue Mount is another small forest that has great trails/paths  that eventually lead to rubble plateaus that overlook the highway and much of the town. Even walking through the streets of Lennoxville in the summer, you notice how green it is, how the many animals jump from tree to tree, how the hawks circle above, and how the sun beams off the water.

The Johnville Bog and Forest Park, just ten minutes away, is another place you can go to enjoy some of the Eastern Township’s variously beautiful nature. Here, you can discover ecosystems that are uncommon in the area by exploring the Park’s 5.8km of interpretation trails: The Pond, The Bog, The Esker, and the Fauna. Admission is free!

On the Massawippi shore.

Hikes upon hikes upon hikes

Of course, the Eastern Townships is synonymous with lovely hikes and awe-inspiring views from mountain peaks, of which there are many only within an hour from Bishop’s! Mont-Orford National Park, a student-favorite skiing destination in the winter, offers many great hiking trails and mountain biking paths, among other things. The mountain is a mere 30-minute drive away!

Some further landmark mountains include the classic hike of Mount Pinnacle (40 minutes away), a longtime favorite of Bishop’s students that offers an undeniably breathtaking view of Lac Lyster. The Parc des Sommets in Bromont (an hour away) offers over 140km of hiking trails that lead up to wide lookouts and peaks. Likewise, the Mont-Mégantic National Park that has 20km of hiking trails leading up to two summits of over 1’000m in altitude is only an hour away. The majestic Mount Ham has a dazzling 360 degree panoramic view over three regions, and the hiking trails there total 18km of routes for hikers of all levels. The mountain is within an hour drive. Owl’s Head mountain (an hour away), another great skiing destination in the winter, offers many hiking trails that overlook lake Memphremagog and the American border.

The view from atop Mont Pinnacle

Great courses and opportunities

The Spring/Summer semesters offer great opportunities for you to take interesting courses that may be outside of your usual field of study. Many hands-on courses, such as (capitals rationale? ) biology courses Organic Gardening and Sustainable Organic Agriculture or fine arts courses Sculpture 1 and Painting 1, are riveting ways to immerse yourself in the field. Many professors also offer unmatched research positions for students who decide to stick around, many of which are remunerated for their work. Internships are also offered in the University’s many departments and offices, giving you the opportunity to get priceless experience in your field!

The Lennoxville and Sherbrooke areas, as well as the University itself, are also ripe with job opportunities for students who are interested in sticking around town for the summer and work. Here’s a tip if you’re planning to stay around for the summer: start looking for opportunities early!

An education student partaking in a course on-campus.

An immersive cultural scene

Nature, hikes, and spring courses just aren’t your thing? That’s all right! Lennoxville and Sherbrooke also boast a great cultural scene from museums and art galleries to festivals and shows alike. The Sherbrooke downtown, just a ten minute drive away (and accessible by bus or bike), is a vibrant urban center with a real whirlwind of culture stemming from its rich, 200-year history and bilingual population. There, you can visit museums, walk around the artistically rich streets of downtown, loaf in the many green areas, watch the river water thunder down the dam, and grab a delicious lunch or dinner. There are also countless bars that offer a great variety of ambiances and drinks alike. The Granada Theatre, in the heart of downtown, offers a wide variety of shows and events for crowds of all ages and interests.

In Lennoxville alone, the new Square Queen is the location of several outdoor events and shows, and the town also puts on the yearly Lennoxville Street Festival in August on Queen St. The Uplands Cultural Centre offers art exhibits, both indoor and outdoor, and tours of the historical house, and even a traditional and authentic English tea experience! As well, the Foreman Art Gallery, right here on campus, always has some grappling exhibits featuring the best that art has to offer. Also, around the city, community poetry boxes have been placed where passersby can write or draw whatever they want and express themselves with art, and one of them is found in Square Queen!

Sherbrooke downtown. Credit: Simon Duquette

An abundance of terraces, bars, and delicious food

Of course, summer means great restaurant food, relaxing terraces, and gathering with friends at the hippest bars. Fortunately, Sherbrooke and Lennoxville have a great selection of places for you to unwind on any evening or afternoon and watch the summer days pass by with a cold beverage in your hand or a delicious meal on your plate. Some local favorites in Lennoxville include the unmissable Golden Lion Pub (the first microbrewery in the province!), Sebby’s Pub & Grill, and the new Bekkah’s Bakery. In downtown Sherbrooke, some essential restaurants include the classic Siboire microbreweries, the Louis Luncheonette with its legendary poutines, La Buvette du Centro and its amazing vegan food, and the OMG Resto with its unbeatable vibe and terrace.

Whatever kind of meal or experience you’re looking for this summer, rest assured: you don’t need to go to a big city to get gourmet foods and stunning terraces, you can find almost anything in the area!

The Coaticook Gorge

As a major tourism contributor within the Eastern Townships region, the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook offers yearly outdoor activities such as: Foresta Lumina, hiking, camping (summer and winter), mountain biking, and more. Having received several awards and recognitions, the Parc is a must for any Bishop’s student. There are several hiking trails for you to choose from that bring you to sights such as the amazing suspended footbridge, hydroelectric power station, a cave, a covered bridge, round barn, floral garden, waterfalls, observation towers, ponds, and more. That’s a lot of beautiful sights.

Foresta Lumina is an otherworldly experience, a multimedia nighttime experience along Coaticook’s Canyon that introduces fictional characters and storylines with sophisticated and ethereal lighting, mapped media, and original soundtracks. A variety of theatrical effects are offered to create a moody, magical setting.

With these activities and more, the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook, only 25 minutes away, is a location you just can’t miss while you’re here.

The suspended bridge at the Coaticook Gorge

Farmers markets galore

The area is also home to many farmers markets and public markets, making their appearance throughout the town during the sunny summer months. Part of the local experience involves eating locally grown foods made and cultivated by passionate producers. At these markets, you can sample, savor, and purchase local produce, and these festive gathering spots are the perfect places to connect with locals while discovering the variety of foods the Townships have to offer.

The Marché de la Gare de Sherbrooke is an indispensable stop with its lovely location at the site of an old train station on the shores of Lac-des-Nations. North Hatley’s Farmer’s Market is another must-visit, with its fresh produce and many organic options. The banks of Lake Massawippi, just a step away, make for a great picnic spot to soak in the sun and eat fresh, local foods. Here in Lennoxville is another market and great way to spend a Saturday afternoon: go to Square Queen and pick up fresh ingredients for your dinner or a delicious lunch! The market runs every Saturday, 10am to 1pm, between June 19 and October 16.

There are also several local farms where you can go pick your own fruits and berries, notably Ferme Donabelle in Compton, barely 15 minutes away.

At the Lennoxville farmers market

The Burroughs Falls at Ayer’s Cliff

Just a half-hour drive away, in the town of Ayer’s Cliff, you can find the stunning Burroughs Falls, a series of small waterfalls and natural pools you can dip yourself in during a warm summer day. There are a few walking trails that lead to different sections of the falls, and the spot, despite its immense popularity on weekends, always seems to have room for you and your friends.

Nearby, after a few hours spent soaking up the sun and river water, you can enjoy a delicious snack or lunch from Wood’s Snack Bar, a famous canteen that has a great selection of cheap and classic fast food. Just down the road from Wood’s you can find the Ayer’s Cliff Beach with its remarkable view of Lake Massawippi and the Eastern Townships green hills. The lake is also the perfect swimming place, with water that’s usually warm enough to be comfortable but cold enough to be refreshing.

Burroughs Falls

North Hatley, a place like no other

North Hatley, the beautiful village just fifteen minutes from Lennoxville, has plenty of activities and natural vistas for you to enjoy. Situated on the northern shores of beautiful Lake Massawippi, the charming little village features elegant heritage residences, cozy Bed & Breakfasts, quaint boutiques, lakeshore parks, bistros and coffee shops, historic churches, and sweeping views of the surrounding hills.

Founded in 1897, the village of North Hatley is known as one of the most beautiful small towns of Quebec. Its landscapes offer breathtaking views, its architectural heritage and its olden-day village center all have an undeniable charm.

Over the years many sumptuous, century-old homes have transformed themselves into charming inns, B&Bs and restaurants. The quality of the services offered are well known. The art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, and cafés such as the Café de village and Saveurs et Gourmandises make for a great experience for you and your friends during the warm summer months.

Visit the North Hatley beach, Dreamland Park, Scowen Park, the Super Market antique shop, or the golf course for a day well spent. There’s even a vineyard with sparkling wines from Québec and an alpaca farm!

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