I ventured out of town yesterday to check out the nature reserve at Mont St Hilaire. It took us less than half an hour to get there from the city, but it is worlds away. The place is special. According to the website: “At the core of the reserve is the mountain, the last remnant of the magnificent primeval forests that once covered the entire Richelieu River valley, home to nearly 1,000 species of plants, mammals, birds and reptiles, over 50 of which are rare or threatened.” We saw some frogs, chipmunks, squirrels and insects. It was wild to catch a peregrine falcon (fastest bird on earth) cruise by. But most interesting to us was the plethora of mushrooms. We saw dozens of varieties (of which I know nothing about) which lent the whole experience a certain magic. But don’t take my word for it, take a drive and hike the trails for yourself. The center is open every day and costs $4 for adults to enter. There is no potable water on the mountain (nor at the visitor center as they are under a boil water warning) so you’ll have to bring your own. You can check out all the details and get directions to the park here. It’s a great way to spend a day. Afterward, make sure you check out some of the “vergers” (apple farms) on the road out of the park area. We picked up some cider and pie. Yum!