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Activities permitted on public land

Below is a brief list of the main recreational activities that are permitted on public land.

Hunting, fishing and trapping

Everyone has the right to hunt or to trap on public land and to fish in bodies of water, in accordance with the law and with the rules in force in Québec:

During the hunting season, the structures you install must be temporary and collapsible and must be removed after the activity.

Since public lands are accessible to all, a rough shelter lease (100 m²) or a vacation lot lease (around 4,000 m²) does not give the right to an exclusivity on a hunting or trapping territory.

In case of obstruction, you can report the action.


Camping is permitted on some parts of public land without the need to obtain permission. It is an activity of temporary residence and the equipment used must have been designed for this purpose.

If you camp on public land, you must comply with the following rules:

  • You must use mobile, temporary camping equipment that is not attached permanently to the ground.
  • You must avoid installing camping equipment or parking a vehicle in a road, trail or drop-off zone that may impede traffic flow.
  • You cannot stay at a campsite for more than seven months in the same year.
  • At the end of your stay, you must dismantle your camping equipment, collect all garbage and restore the site to its original condition.

The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Antoine-Labelle, Témiscouata, Portneuf, Sept-Rivières, Pontiac and Matawinie RCMs all have by-laws with different provisions. You should approach these RCMs directly for information. See the list of delegate RCMs for contact information.

Camping is prohibited on île au Bœuf, île au Cochon, île aux Crapauds, île aux Hérons, île Sainte-Thérèse, île aux Vaches et île au Veau, which are part of the territory of the City of Varennes. 

The gouvernement du Québec does not have a map of public land where camping is permitted.

Other activities

A variety of rights may be issued on public land, not just for vacation stays and rough shelters, but also for recreational use and farming. The same applies to the right to construct, develop, maintain or operate motorized or other recreational trails (e.g. ATV trails and pedestrian, snowshoe or cross-country ski trails).

In addition, you should know that the fact of operating a recreational trail on public land does not grant the operator any lease or ownership rights.

You may hike, snowshoe or practice mountain biking on public land, with due respect for the natural environment and any rights of occupation, provided these activities are not prohibited by a law, regulation or by-law. However, you cannot claim damages or interest due to faulty road construction, development or maintenance.

Organizing an event

Events and activities can be organized on public land. However, to do this you may need to obtain a temporary occupation permit.

Get help on public land

Last update: December 16, 2022


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