Family Travel in Québec Maritime – Ferme 5 Étoiles Family Farm is a must-see – 2023 UPDATE

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There is much to see here at this family-run resort with plenty of activities. Group 5 Etoiles is a collaboration between four companies from the village of Sacré-Coeur, on the edge of the Saguenay Fjord, just 15 minutes from Tadoussac on the Cote-Nord (North Shore of Quebec). It provides centralized reservations for the various services offered by the companies of La Ferme 5 Étoiles, Fjord Aventure, Domaine de l’ours noir and Auberge mon Coin de Pays. The Ferme 5 Étoiles Family Farm is also affiliated with a hostel in nearby Sacre-Coeur – Auberge Mon Coin de Pays offers budget-friendly accommodations.

I returned again with my family in the fall of 2021 and was so happy to be back in one of my favourite family vacation resorts in Quebec Maritime. We arrived at the end of the season and the weather kept us from our black bear encounter with Domaine de l’ours noir and unfortunately, we are no longer able to visit inside the wolf enclosure.

On a previous visit, we were lucky enough to visit inside the enclosure with Jacob the Grey wolf but alas, government restrictions no longer allow close contact with these beautiful beasts. You can still see the wolves in their enclosures and the lecture was just as interesting (albeit all in French).

Due to inclement weather, we had to cancel the kayaking tour. My children were very disappointed but the replacement activity we had planned was also cancelled for us. Our whale-watching tour ran late and we were unable to make it in time to start the bear observation activity. As a side-note: make sure that you update the resort if there is a delay beyond your control.

Ferme 5 Etoiles Moose 2021 DownshiftingPRO scaled e1686713805845

As fall closes in on winter, I await the time when we will be able to travel again safely. Travel planning for next year had me looking back on previous road trips. I found pictures from my trip to Ferme 5 Étoiles (F5E) family farm and resort just 15 minutes from Tadoussac, Québec. Situated in the Saguenay Fjords, where the Saguenay River empties into the St. Lawrence seaway, I know Ferme 5 Étoiles will be a stop on our family travel in Québec Maritime in 2021.

Jacob the Grey Wolf Family - Travel in Quebec Maritime - at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO

This family-owned farm is not a simple ‘rural stay’ but an experience including adventure, ecotourism and family travel in Québec Maritime. With a variety of accommodations choices, year-round activities and an ideal location, you cannot go wrong with a stop here. Located 3.5 hours northeast of Québec City, this is your gateway to the breathtaking Saguenay Fjords.

This region provides a plethora of activities which can include whale watching, kayaking, hiking, climbing (including a via Ferrata nearby), fishing and camping.

During the winter months may be an ideal time to take advantage of lower pricing and less people if you are concerned about social distancing. Following all COVID-19 protocols, F5E have taken precautions with increased cleaning, self-check in, mandatory mask-wearing while indoors and encouraging activities outdoors.

Family Travel in Quebec Maritime - snowshoeing with the family at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO

Also consider, there is a 40% reduction in the price of their winter activities pass (in collaboration with the Government of Québec). You may want to call for more info on the multiple activity pass being offered at this time.

6 Reasons to Visit Ferme 5 Étoiles

Unique Accommodations

There are plenty of unique accommodations in Quebec Maritime and you will find no shortage of options at Ferme 5 Étoiles. You have a choice of staying in a motel, condo apartments, cottages (some with a view of the Saguenay Fjord), luxury suites, a heritage home, a trapper’s camp (log cabin), yurts and campsites. Although we stayed in the condo apartments, in the summer, I would recommend a cottage with a view of the Saguenay Fjords.

Family Travel in Quebec Maritime - condo accommodations at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO

Our 2 bedroom accommodations were perfect for family travel in Québec. We had plenty of room with a sitting area, dining table and kitchen in the condo unit. It has a lovely view of the farm and the grazing bison! It was close to all the activities and easy parking out front.

If you are looking for more of a nature-lover experience, the yurt or trapper’s log cabin may be more of what you desire. With a wood-burning stove in the cabin and a fire pit outside the yurt, you will find this oh, so cozy in the fall and winter months.

During the summer months, you can also camp or stay in a cottage. There are so many options, you’ll be pressed to figure out which one you want!

Yurt Ferme 5 Etoiles family farm in Tadoussac Quebec Maritime
Cozy Yurt at Ferme 5 Étoiles family farm 15 minutes from Tadoussac, Québec
Photo Credit: Ferme 5 Étoiles

If you are looking for the exact opposite of roughing it, rustic, luxury suites are located in the relaxation centre, between the deer and wolf pens. These may be the best option if you are planning a 💖 romantic 💖 weekend away.

Winter Activities

Ferm 5 etoiles Marc Loiselle Loizodotcom family snowshoeing
Looking towards the Saguenay Fjords
Photo Credit: Ferme 5 Etoiles website – Marc Loiselle

Ferme 5 Étoiles family farm near Tadoussac is an all-year-round family resort. There are activities to enjoy throughout the year but winter can be especially fun. You can go snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and even dog sledding.

Basically, a walk in the woods in snowy conditions is done with snowshoes. Follow marked trails with your own pair of snowshoes or rent a pair. You can also upgrade for a guided tour of flora, fauna and animal tracks as you make your way through the wooded area. Snowshoeing is a great family travel activity.

Dog sledding is done with a dedicated dog shredder. You will learn how to drive and brake with the energy of the sled dogs. Your interaction with the dogs will include instructions on how to harness and drive the dog sled through trails. If you don’t want to drive, you can always just go along for the ride.

You can also tackle trails on a snowmobile (or ski-doo). This activity includes the rental of a snowmobile for one or two people, gasoline, oil, a helmet, a driving lesson, a professional guide, access permit to the Trans-Québec (marked trails for snowmobiles in Québec). They can also provide appropriate clothing should you need it.

Snowmobiles CanvaPro

Ice fishing includes a guide and necessary fishing equipment and they will help you drill a hole in the ice for your white water fishing experience. Access to the lake is included with your stay at F5E.

Right now is an ideal time to plan a visit as they have a 40% discount on their activity pass. You can benefit from three different activities during the winter months – mid-Dec. to mid-March. Although the pass details are in French on the website, you can certainly call 1-866-236-4551 and request information in English. I did!

The Relaxation Centre

Although you come for a nature experience, you may want some time away from the family and visit the Relaxation Centre. With limited spa treatments, sauna and cold shower options you can enjoy a bit of pampering. Although these services are extra, after a day of snowmobiling or snowshoeing, you may welcome a relaxing massage and body wrap to soothe your tired muscles.

ferme5etoiles detentespa Josianne Dufour

Please note: at this time, due to government COVID-19 restrictions, massages and body wraps are not an option but you can still use the sauna and hot tub. I will update this post once those restrictions are lifted.

Sugaring off – The Sugar Shack

Growing up in Québec, as a school outing, you would often go ‘sugaring off’ and visit a sugar shack in the spring. It was a rite of passage to learn about how maple syrup is made and then watch as they poured hot maple syrup onto snow so that you could roll it onto a popsicle stick. Yum, yum…

Along with this sugary tradition, you’ll have a hearty meal sitting at long communal tables in a hall filled with music and laughter. Later on, you’d likely go on a sleigh ride. This was a whole day affair of fun at a sugar shack!

Rolling maple syrup onto sticks CANVAPRO image

At Ferme 5 Étoiles the Sugar Shack Package (available between mid-March and late April) includes one lunch OR supper, a night’s accommodation with a hearty breakfast the next day all at the sugar shack. Included are activities related to the sugar season: a sleigh ride, a visit to the maple grove and instruction on the making of maple syrup. Finally, the children and grandchildren of the Ferme 5 Étoiles perform traditional music. Of course, the highlight of the day will be the rolling maple syrup toffee on snow.

I remember sugaring off fondly and think it’s one of the most fun activities for family travel in Québec. Having a sugar shack right on the premises makes this another good reason to visit Côte-Nord in Québec Maritime.

Animal encounters

Don’t let the title make you think that you will be coming across a ferocious bear or a pack of wolves. Since 2000 F5E has had a special permit for the observation of wildlife, which also bestows the role of a refuge for wounded or abandoned wildlife found in nature. With that in mind, you will see some familiar animals on the farm.

Ferme 5 Étoiles is a working farm and has a variety of farm and wild animals for you to visit. Whether it’s the barnyard type (chicken, goats, horses, Highland cow) or wild (llama, porcupine, raccoons, silver fox and lynx), you can take a walk around the property and visit.

Family Travel in Quebec Maritime - Bison herd at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO

There is a small herd of bison and two moose that roam around in pastures on the property. They are so very big and so very majestic and you can appreciate them from a safe distance.

Family Travel in Quebec Maritime - Poules Polonaises at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO

There is a chicken coup with a variety of fancy chickens, (Polish hens), roosters and other birds. We had a guided tour but you can take a self-guided tour to learn a little bit more about these beautiful creatures. They laid some pretty beautifully spotted eggs. This is a great way to introduce your kids to farm animals.

We also took a ten-minute walk to the back of the property where you can visit the sled dog kennels. Request a guided tour, well worth the trek across a large field, to see these beautiful husky and malamute dogs. Our guide took us when it was feeding time and we were able to assist with this task. If you love dogs, you will love this tour!

Family Travel in Quebec Maritime - dog sled kennel at Ferme 5 Étoiles = @DownshiftingPRO
Take a guided tour of the dog-sledding dogs on our Girl’s Getaway tour

Jacob, Luna and Phao

You will need to meet two Arctic wolves and a big beautiful grey wolf while touring this region. On our trip in 2018, we were permitted to visit Jacob and Luna in their enclosure. With the aid of an expert animal specialist, we were permitted to pet and observe Jacob the grey wolf. Just over 18 months ago a 20-day-old Arctic wolf pup was introduced into the Ferme 5 Étoiles family. Phao now keeps Jacob company and is a great addition to the farm.

Please note: The wolf encounter has now been discontinued. However, you can still see them from the other side of the enclosure. The keeper has plenty of information to guide you. You can watch my Facebook Live video of our encounter with Jacob end Luna. Seeing these majestic wolves is a highlight because it’s unlikely you’ll safely meet a wolf up close in nature.

Phao the Artic Wolf at Ferme 5 Etoile in Cote Nord Quebec Photo credit F5E
Phao the 18-month-old Arctic Wolf – Photo Credit: Ferme 5 Étoiles

I cannot say enough about Ferme 5 Étoile. I enjoyed my visit greatly. It was fun and relaxing and certainly, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet Jacob and Luna. I know in the winter months it would be a completely different experience. This is a great location on the perfect trip for family travel in Québec Maritime. Start planning now.

Whale Watching in Quebec Maritime 2

Disclosure: I was the guest of the tourism boards of Québec Maritime and CôteNord, Saguenay and Lac St. Jean regions as part of a Girl’s Getaway FAM trip. I’m happy to partner with these regions for you to get to know more about them. I hope this includes family travel in Quebec Maritime in the future. All opinions are my own and held without reservation or prejudice. 

Whale Watching in Quebec Maritime

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for and other online media outlets.

4 thoughts on “Family Travel in Québec Maritime – Ferme 5 Étoiles Family Farm is a must-see – 2023 UPDATE”

  1. Ferme 5 Étoiles looks like a wonderful spot for a family adventure. I love the idea of staying on a working farm and getting to see all the animals, as well as the animals in the wild. Making the maple syrup candy in the snow sounds so fun!

    • It is so much fun to come here as a family. I am hoping to return in May 2021 for a visit with my family! Thanks for dropping by the blog. I’ll have more accommodation suggestions this month.

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