GENERAL NOTE FOR ALL BEACHES: For all information, rates (if applicable), reservation details, and more, make sure to visit the official website BEFORE going. Water quality, maximum capacities, and staffing issues change often and may affect openings.
(This was originally written in 2015, though we’ve been a few times since then. Still a beautiful beach!)
One of my favourite parts of doing this website is looking around for new places to visit and then finding spots like THIS. This is a long review and there are a ton of pictures because there was so much to do!
I was kind of apprehensive to take both boys on my own as it looked big and…you know…water. But we had a FANTASTIC time and the park itself makes it easy. Lots of bathrooms and snacks, play areas, and a great beach.
I haven’t been out to Valleyfield since I did my driver’s license test about
twenty years….a long time ago, and I cannot believe how pretty it is.
From Pointe-Claire we took the 20 and then looped onto highway 30 south, and it took us exactly 29 minutes from our door, including going through the very exciting toll booth.
“What is this for? Why do we have to pay? How much is it? Why are they making us pay????? I can see a silo! I see a water dam!!!!!!!!” I hardly even needed the GPS as the park is super easy to find with lots of highway and street signs to the parking lot.
I wanted to get to the park reallllllly early so that we could take pictures, and even though the beach itself doesn’t open until 10am, the park opens at 8.
And we were the only ones there! We parked (for free) and then followed the paved path along the water towards the beach. There are tons of signs and maps all over. We brought the wagon for our ridiculous amount of food, water, sand toys, towels, extra socks, sunscreen, extra-extra socks etc, so we stuck to the path even though there are trails through the woods. There are lots of picnic tables and benches along the way and my 2-year old easily did the walk while exclaiming at all the exciting sights.
They were just grooming the sand when we arrived and it’s a very wide and long beach with such a pretty view. I mean, seriously, it’s super nice. Like, “how did I not know about this place it’s so pretty!” nice.
We trotted up to the AMAZING playground which is situated just up from the beach. Fairly new, it has everything. AND, it’s wheelchair accessible! There are a couple of sections of ramps, and at seated height are drums and things to spin, and coming off the ramp are some small slides.
The elaborate climber by GameTime is great for toddlers AND big kids. There are multiple stairs, high “leaf” and “branch”& steps, ladders, high slides, low slides, telescopes; ground level activities like the super-duper cute house, mirror balls and spinners; and big and little mountain walls to climb.
There is also an adapted swing, but just one baby swing and NO big-kid swings.
There is however a tire swing, a huge multi-sided climbing wall and a climbing structure shaped like a honeycomb! New in 2018 is a fantastic zipline from ESKair aménagement which we got to try out (over and over and over) when we came to the park for Mother’s Day 2019.
This is actually one of my favourite playgrounds that we’ve seen ALL YEAR. I was expecting maybe a couple of slides and some swings, but they really went all out.
The beach was still not open so we went for a walk east to Île-des-Frères. Again there is a paved path that follows the fast flowing river, it is gorgeous and has great views. We passed the spot where dogs are allowed to swim (poop bags provided!), and read all the DANGER signs about the fast water and dangerous currents.
We came to the CUTEST bridge, and then, we had an island all to ourselves! The boys were excited to be the “first ever explorers” and we wandered through the forest on the NOT stroller friendly path. This is really secluded and quiet with no benches or tables. It’s really like a deserted island!
And then……while telling the boys to “HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS, IT’S WINDY!!”, to my kids’ horror, my lovely Tilley hat flew off my head, over the bridge, and into the river, to be carried quickly away.
(2023 edit: my kids are STILL talking about this hat).
So I spent the rest of the day hatless. Once we got back to the beach we surprisingly found a nicely shaded spot in the sand (close to the big chalet), saw that the lifeguards were out and the beach was open! Note that later in the day there will be NO shade on the beach area, so bring your giant umbrellas or shade tents. And while it was empty when we arrived at 8am, by the time the beach opened there were day camps, and around noon when we left it was getting very busy.
The boys quickly got out their sand toys and got into the warm water. The bottom of the river? lake? is all sand and very shallow with a gradual incline. The 2-year old had no problem walking and he puttered around making castles and putting sand in his hair. Sigh.
We had our lunch, went back to the playground and then it was time for naps (not mine, poop). We had a great time and I can’t wait to come out this way to explore some more.
New in 2016 were the Hippocampe SAND accessible wheelchair that you can rent for no charge, as well as the Boîtes à lire where you can give or take a book.