Piopolis and the Lake

The Dock and its Marina


The Heart of the Village

Lake Mégantic played an important role in the history of Piopolis. When the church was relocated near the Lake, Piopolis settled on its shores to become the picturesque and lively village it is today. From a historical point of view, the lake had important advantages for transport, food, tourism and more.

The Lake as a Touristic Attraction

Today, the lake still attracts people from the region and elsewhere to Piopolis. Whether for camping, fishing and hunting, water activities or simply to relax, the lake knows how to charm.

The lake also brings sporting and outdoor events to Piopolis.

In May, the Piopolis Great Sea Kayak Gathering attracts kayakers from across Quebec for workshops, games and fun on the lake.

Every year in August, the swimmers of the Traversée internationale du lac Mégantic leave the camping beach to swim the 10 km that separate them from the finish line, at the Parc des Vétérans in Lac-Mégantic.

The Canada Man/Woman, an extreme triathlon, also passes through the legendary hills of Piopolis in its bike course, after a good swimming in the lake in Lac-Mégantic.

The Wharf through the Years

Formerly, a small warehouse allowed liner boats to store their goods in case of bad weather. 

The quay is decorated with a small lighthouse, made as part of the centenary of Piopolis in 1971. An improved replica has been made of it. Today, the lighthouse is mostly a distinctive element that contributes to the seaside atmosphere of Piopolis.

The Ferries

From 1893, the wharf was used to transport people, mail and goods by steamers. The Lena, Campania  and  Jubilee used to sail between Victoria Bay, Piopolis, Woburn, Trois-Lacs and Lac-Mégantic.

Several companies also had their own boat such as Stearns’ Natanis.

Pierre Lafontaine, who owned the General Store back then, would also sometimes go with his boat in Lac-Megantic to pick diffferent goods for his customers.

There were also cruise ships, such as laurier Gauthier's legendary Capitaine Cap, and later Captain Cap II (among others).

Two Boats in Piopolis

The Campania  (left) and the Lena (right) at the Piopolis quay. On the left, we see the famous priest Choquette from Lac-Mégantic, who is holding an umbrella.

Stream Driving

To meet the needs of the then booming wood industry, the lake Mégantic was used for stream driving. Several men from Piopolis took part. In spring, they left for several weeks; tents were set up and the men followed - and guided - the course of the wood. The logs were transported on the lake to sawmills.

There have been several sawmills in Piopolis. The most important was probably that of Henri Grenier which was located in the bay of Piopolis, near the municipal campground. Even today, remains of logs and wood chips sometimes wash up on the beaches of the bay in spring, vestiges of that time.

Log Drivers in Action

The log drivers guided the flow of wood, jumping from one log to another and sometimes fighting against raging currents.

Text Version

Here you are on the Piopolis wharf, which overlooks the magnificent Lac Mégantic. The quay and its marina are one of the busiest places in the village. In summer, the children jump into the water, the older ones relax on the benches and visitors come from everywhere.

It is probably because of that calming view of Maine's Blue Mountains straddling the border line. The mountains that surround the lake and the lake itself were formed by the passage of glaciers a long time ago.

The lake occupies an area of 27.4 square km and is 73 meters deep. Its length is 16 km and at the other end, we find the town of Lac-Mégantic.

Its large size, location and excellent water quality make it a lake teeming with fish: brown trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon, yellow perch, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and even pike.

It is to this particularity that Lac Mégantic owes its name. It comes from the Abenaki Namesokanjik, which means “place where fish abounds”.

At the beginning of the century, there was commercial fishing and the fish were sold as far as Boston. Even today, the lake is a popular place for ice fishing in winter.
 
In summer, in addition to fishing, the lake attracts vacationers for all sorts of reasons. Boaters from the region come to enjoy the marina. They moor their boat at the visitor quays for the time to get a pizza from the canteen or to spend some good time on the terrace of the local restaurant.

Kayaking, paddleboarding and water sports enthusiasts meet there, with the possibility of renting equipment on site.

The Piopolis Marina is also a natural resting point for cyclists going around the lake, a very popular cycling route in the region. With its 60 kilometers long and its 600 meters of elevation gain, this route quickly becomes a little challenge, while remaining accessible for most.

In addition to all these activities, the lake remains above all a place of contemplation, with its rich fauna and flora and its soothing environment.

Moreover, this bay where you are now, Piopolis Bay, was once called Moose Bay, because if you were lucky, you could sometimes see a moose there.



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Excerpt of
History of Piopolis | In the Footsteps of the Pioneers

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