Admittedly, when the booking was done for the luxurious Kenauk Nature I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, their website looked nice with its high-end cabin rentals and plethora of outdoor experiences. Seems very dreamy actually. Hectares of land rich in history – turned into an outdoor lovers’ paradise. Sigh, so lovely. Kenauk Nature even has the tag line is “Five starts. Four Seasons. A unique moment.” But was it really that good?
A million times YES.
Kenauk Nature, you’ve outdone yourselves darlings.
Side note: I’ll never write a bad review, but I’ll always write honest ones. If ever there is a horrible experience, that feedback goes back to the owners to address and they won’t have any space here. Which is why you know that what’s writen on GirlGoneGood® ….is actually good.
The Low Down
- Distance: An easy 90 km (roughly 1hr 20 min) drive from downtown Ottawa.
- Address: 1000 Chemin Kenauk, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0
- Directions: Hwy 417 East after St-Laurent, take the split to Hwy 174 East. Approx 8 kms past Orleans, at the lights, turn left from Hwy 17 to the Cumberland/Masson Ferry (24hrs operation, 10$ cash only per vehicle). Exiting the ferry, continue straight then turn right (east) on Main St. / Hwy 148 East. Drive through Thurso, Plaisance, Papineauville, and finally Montebello. Just pass Montebello, turn left (north) on Cote Angele. Follow signs for Kenauk Nature.
- Cellphone Range: At the main reception and high points only.
- Number of hiking trails: 6 + 1 trail that is 100kms + 2 short waterfall trails.
- Trail Distance: 1.6 to 8.5 kms
- Elevation Gain: up to 108m (trail #10)
- Crowds: Low traffic on trails during winter.
- More information: Visit the Kenauk Nature website for more information.
No doubt, I’ve lucked out when it comes to having the best of friends to take adventures with over the last few years. People who are full of life, are adventurous, and just a hell of a lot of fun to be around. I’m pretty sure Mel can pass as a younger sister in this pic, and by all accounts, the fast friendship feels just as close. We laughed more this last weekend then I remember laughing in a long time. Well it was more like uncontrolled silent wheezing on my part. Ha ha. Cheers to good friends and great moments!
Les Rapids Cabin
When Kenauk Nature boosts that it is a 5-star experience, it sincerely is. When my adventure buddy Mel and I walked into our cabin – we legit squealed and had a 30 second dance party. Normally that level of joy is reserved for mountain peaks. This cabin was everything. Pretty much this remote living loving gal’s dream home since we’re being honest. Simple. Clean. And with all the amenities.
- screened in porch
- wood fireplace
- modern kitchen
- heated floors
- comfortable furniture
- memory foam beds
- modern full bath
- patio/deck and bbq
- creek views
- fire pit by the creek
- no wifi, no cell service.
- complete serenity
And amazingly enough – this was the smallest of the luxury cabins. #wompwomp
Disconnect to Connect
There is cell service down by Papineau lake, and cell service and wifi at the welcome centre. But beyond that? Nada. So we turned off our phones for the weekend and just enjoyed the mini vacation.
Instead of screen time, we spent the weekend…
- playing cards
- journaling and creative thinking
- great conversation
- laughing until our cheeks hurt
We lost track of time and didn’t care. Went to bed when we were tired, woke when we were ready. Eat when we were hungry.
No tv, googling, or instagram.
It was great! And a little scary to realize how much screen time impacts our daily lives. I was more creative at the cabin. Focused. More calm and rested. Sleep came easier. It really made us evaluate our daily screen habits.
There are multiple trail systems within Kenauk Nature. The brilliant part is that the trail numbers correspond with how many kilometers the trailhead is from the welcome centre. For example, the trailhead for trail 10 is 10 kilometers from the welcome centre. Genius.
Both trail #1 and trail #10 have scenic observation towers.
Trails #2 and #6 are only 500m and have waterfalls.
Read through the Kenauk Nature Hiking Guide for more details on these trails and our experience with them.
Kenauk Nature Activities
Not sure if it’s even possible to list out all the activities that Kenauk Nature makes available?!
- clay shooting
- cross-country skiing (groomed trails)
- fly fishing
- hiking (two observation towers, one lookout, two waterfalls)
- ice fishing
- ice skating
- land rover school?!?!
- and more!
Oh, and let’s no forget the floating sauna that’s available and can be delivered to your cabin dock… #luxurylife
We all know that discovering, enjoying, and supporting local businesses are a staple for a really unique and immersive experience! So we didn’t want to miss out, especially after we found out that a) Kenauk Nature has it’s own beer at the local brewery and that b) they produce their own honey from hives on site.
- Beer: Les Brasseurs de Montebello is a small local brewery with plenty of charm. The Kenauk brew is a light honey ale. Beyond the beer there’s also a boat load of board games to enjoy and live music. Can’t miss this brewery, it’s the bright yellow building as you pass Montebello!
- Cheese: Le Fromagerie Montebello is also a must stop. They have four signature cheese; Rebellion1837, Tete a papineau, Manchebello, and Adoray. After a taste test, the clear winners for our palate was the Manchbello (sheep) and the Adoray (cow). I mean really, pair the Adoray with their red pepper jelly and I dare you not to love it.
- Chocolate: Sooooo, I have a sweet tooth. And there was local chocolate by ChocoMotive available at the grocery store. A multitude of flavour options but I picked up the dark chocolate and orange. It was perfect with evening tea.
Honestly couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, Kenauk Nature was the perfect mix of modern and remote living. Ok, maybe it could have been better if I remembered the snowshoes, ha ha, oh well. #postholing It’s amazing how good for the soul it is to leave the noise of the city behind. Like really, really good. We should do this more often for ourselves. It’s a treat sure, but give me a cabin in the woods over a hotel in the city any day.