Kenauk: Combining Adventure and Conservation

By visiting this unique territory, you’re doing more than enjoying a weekend getaway

By Shana Cesaire

Image: Kenauk Nature

As adventurers, we’re always wanting to explore new places that will connect us to the natural land we live on. Unfortunately, with the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult to take those adventures beyond our local limits. Luckily for those of us in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, we seemingly have an endless number of natural spaces in our own backyard that continually help us keep that connection to nature.

For example, located halfway between Ottawa and Montreal, there are 65,000 acres of immaculate forests that boast over 60 lakes and an abundance of plants and wildlife. This territory is known as Kenauk, found in Montebello, Quebec and home to one of our awesome sponsors, Kenauk Nature

Kenauk Nature works hard to ensure the protection and maintenance of the land, while encouraging adventurers to come out and experience all that it has to offer. The company primarily does chalet rentals in the Kenauk territory as well as provides access to different outdoor activities year-round, such as paddling, canoeing, kayaking, recreational fishing, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and ice fishing. 

Image: Kenauk Nature

“Our mission as a business in the tourism industry is to minimize our impact, and the goal is to really keep this land as-is,” says Carl Simoncelli, Marketing Manager at Kenauk Nature. “We want guests to have the most natural experience possible.”

When you come to Kenauk, you’re not only staying in an eco-friendly chalet run by solar power in a secluded natural area, but you also have access to untouched land and forest. Almost every chalet includes a private lake and access to thousands of acres for outdoor activities, so, unlike a national park, you will not find yourself hiking with dozens of others on the same trail – it’s really just you and nature.

Understanding the beauty and the uniqueness of the territory, and wanting to keep it that way, Kenauk Nature had long been advocating for the conservation of the land. They decided that the most logical way to progress in this goal would be to create an institute – the Kenauk Institute.

Image: Kenauk Nature

The Kenauk Institute coordinates research on the land to better understand the territory and how to protect it. Kenauk is considered a wildlife corridor – a protected route that allows wildlife to move safely between areas of habitat. The Kenauk Institute aims to protect that corridor and the species that travel within it. 

In 2013, the Kenauk Institute began working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to get the territory fully protected. Together, they have a long term vision of protecting the land and conserving the species who call it home.

The Kenauk Institute works with several local schools to both advance research and promote environmental education. They work with 24 universities and organizations, making the institute a key establishment for ecological studies, hosting students, researchers and botanists alike. They are currently working on over a dozen research projects in partnership with various organizations and institutions, all of which they document on their website. One of those research projects is the Landscape Scale Wildlife Corridor Project, a collaboration with Concordia University and NCC to identify how roads and developments are affecting the Adirondack – Laurentians Ecological Corridor and what can proactively be done to conserve it.

Image: Kenauk Nature

If you want to support the protection of Kenauk, all you have to do is visit! 

“The minute a guest steps foot on the property, they’re contributing to something that is bigger than them,” says Carl. “You aren’t just hiking, you are helping us conserve the land and support our research projects.”

Every adventurer should strive to protect the land that they recreationally use. When you come stay at Kenauk Nature, you are helping preserve this rich piece of historical land for future generations to come.

If you want to support Kenauk further, you can make a donation directly to the Kenauk Institute here.

Visit Kenauk Nature’s website to see what kind of accommodations are available for your next adventure! Plus, with our new OAFF membership, you can get 10% off at Kenauk Nature. Click here to find out how you can become a member today!