Top 10 Sutton summer activities

by Lynda on May 17, 2013

I love summer in Sutton. There is loads to see and do, including doing nothing, so to help you pick and choose here is my top ten list :

Hike on the Sutton massif. There are over 250km of trails and circuits of all types of difficulty and length. Trails are managed by a number of different organizations including PENS and Réserve naturelle des Montagnes-Vertes. Day passes are required which can be bought at the trail head, the Tourist office in the village or here at the B&B.

Visit a vineyard. Sutton is located on La Route des Vins – a signposted route linking 18 vineyards. Each has their own particular attraction but I particularly like Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoise for its beautiful outdoor sculpture exhibition, L’Orpailleur for its wine museum, Domaine Bresee (right on our doorstep) for its delicious rosé and Chapelle Ste Agnès for its breathtaking location.  During the week it is worth checking the opening hours.

Cycle the Mont Sutton circuit. With its rolling hills Sutton is not for the faint of heart but keen cyclists flock to Sutton for the challenge of the Mont Sutton circuits and the Jay Peak circuit just over the US border. La Vie Dehors in the village has good bike rentals.

Drive the Townships Trail. This sign posted route will take you through some of the Townships loveliest scenery and lead you to some of its prettiest villages. From Sutton you can follow the Trail through Mansonville to the Abbaye de Sainte-Benoît-du-Lac  where you can listen to the Gregorian chanting and buy some cheese! Afterwards continue on to Magog and return via Lac Brome (Knowlton).

kayak on river missisquoi

Kayaking on the Missisquoi river

Kayak the calm waters of the Missisquoi River. No experience is needed to spend a day floating along this beautiful river at your own pace.  Kayak & Co as well as Au Diable Vert arrange day trips and I can help with reservations.

Relax at a Nordic spa. Spend an afternoon or evening enjoying a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. The Spa des Chutes de Bolton is a 40 minute drive and Balnea a 30 minute drive. Alternatively we have some excellent massage therapists here in Sutton.

Pedal through the trees. If you have a head for heights the treetop aerial adventure at the brand new attraction VéloVolant  is not to be missed. Pedal a recumbent bicycle along a 1km suspended cable high in the treetops.

Shop for a picnic. In the middle of Sutton’s rue Principale, speciality store La Rumeur Affamée has a wonderful selection of local cheeses, cold cuts, breads, pies and pastries.  Alternatively Chez Matis (inside the Atelier Bouffe kitchen store) has excellent pre-prepared dishes. Wash it all down with a bottle of wine from Domaine Bresee or try Domaine Pinnacle`s ice cider. Finish with some Belgian chocolates from chocolaterie Belge Muriel.

Visit an art gallery or exhibition. Sutton has a huge number of artists. You can see their works at the galleries along, and just off, rue Principale. In July the Tour des Arts gives you a chance to visit many local artists at home in their workshops. If you like sculpture don’t miss a visit to Domaine des Cotes d’Ardoise’s summer exhibition  of sculpture in the vineyard.

Do NOTHING! Good places to do nothing include the terrasse of Le Cafetier, the rocks by the Witches Cauldron, the picnic tables at Domaine Bresee plus, of course, the verandah and pergola here at the B&B.

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Winter hiking around Sutton

by Lynda on November 3, 2012

Not everyone is a down hill skier but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the fresh air and snow in Sutton this winter. There are all sorts of possibilities for snowshoeing and winter hiking regardless of the conditions.

Snowshoeing in Parc Sutton

50km of snowshoe trails at Parc Sutton

If the snow is good then head to pleinairsutton.coop (previously Sutton En Haut). Best known for its cross country trails, people may not know that there are also 15km of  beautiful forest trails for snowshoeing and hiking plus access to Lake Mohawk - a terrific hike if you have at least 4 hours available. Check their website for opening hours and conditions but they are normally open daily except for Mondays and Tuesdays. Located on Maple half way between the village and Mont SUTTON they have good equipment rental too.

Continue up Maple and bear left onto Real to get to Parc Sutton. This important environmentally protected zone offers around 50km of trails for hiking and snowshoeing. Their trails are primarily on the flanks of the Sutton massif i.e. you are nearly always climbing or descending so small snowshoes or crampons plus hiking poles are a really good idea.

On the other side of the mountains towards Mansonville and about 15 minutes from Sutton is Au Diable Vert. Good hiking and snowshoeing trails plus the possibility of cross country in open forest that is mainly level. Note that the final section of the access road is very steep so unless you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle you should plan on using the lower parking lot (clearly indicated) and walking the 10 minutes up to the lodge. They have snowshoes for rent. Call in advance to reserve at weekends.

Continue 20 minutes on past Au Diable Vert, turning left at Dunkin, to reach Reserve naturelle des Montagnes-Vertes. As yet little known, this beautiful area offers 3 hiking circuits of increasing length and difficulty mostly using former logging trails. Terrific for a full day out but take snacks etc as you will almost certainly be there on your own. On weekends a mountain shelter plus snow shoe rental is available at Camp Ruiter Brook – speak to Frank on 450 538-4052.

When there is fresh snow it is just a delight to snowshoe, but once trails are packed down crampons really come into their own especially when conditions are icy - even on level terrain. On a day out last year with my friends Micheline and Dan at they were firmly attached to the ground by their crampons whilst in my boots I was slip sliding all over the place and ended up with a large bruise on my shin to prove it. As a result I have bought crampons for my own use and also to rent to guests at the B&B.

So, whether or not we are up to our noses in snow, there is no excuse for staying at home. Get out in that fresh air! Hiking is also cheap – a daily access ticket to the places above all cost $5 or less. Here at the B&B I have day passes and winter hiking packages for all four locations, The Sutton tourist information office at rue Principale opposite the Town Hall sells Parc Sutton tickets and has good information and maps.

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Best Sutton ski deals winter 2012-13

October 8, 2012

I often joke that it takes a university degree to make sense of all the various deals available to ski at Mont SUTTON. The good news is that I have done the research for you! Here are my top tips for getting the best deals for skiing at SUTTON this winter bearing in mind that [...]

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An easy and delicious cake for afternoon tea

September 22, 2012

I don’t know if nice people choose to stay in B&Bs or if there are just more nice people in the world than we realize. Regardless, we have lots of really nice people who come to stay here at Vert Le Mont . A case in point are Edward and Agata who regularly come to  [...]

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Walking Sutton’s back roads

June 26, 2012

Here in Sutton we are almost spoiled for choice when it comes to mountain trails but I find that walking the backroads is the best way to discover the true beauty of the Townships. Old barns, babbling brooks, towering trees, wild flowers, vistas and views are all waiting to be discovered. Roads are wide making [...]

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Easy home made fruit compote

April 25, 2012

Here at Vert Le Mont B&B I do my best to make as much of the things that we serve for breakfast myself  using, whenever possible, local ingredients. One of the things I make that people seem to love is a fruit compote and the good news is that it is really easy to do [...]

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© Lynda Graham, Vert le Mont B&B Sutton, Quebec