Portneuf is still a purely rural county which economy relies mainly on farming and lumbering as well as some local factory. The region covers about 4000 km² for a population of about 35,000 inhabitants where the majority lives in the southern part of the county just by St-Lawrence River in one of the 18 organised municipalities. The county's northern part remains undivided public land and is reputed as a cottage country holiday area for the inhabitants of Quebec City.
Due to its proximity to Quebec City many villagers commute everyday to the city for work.
Even if the county is mainly known for its wilderness and remaining pristine landscapes, it remains a region untouched by mass tourism. Also, the southern towns, located by the shore of the St. Lawrence river are some of the oldest settlements in North America and carries the trace of the colonial history of Canada. The scenic Chemin du Roy trail goes straight through the county and those historic villages.
- ZEC Batiscan-Neilson
- ZEC Rivière-Blanche
- Réserve Faunique de Portneuf
Get in and around
With a few exceptions, there is no public transport in this rural county. A car is therefore required to ease the mobility to and within this rural county.
Portneuf County is easily reachable within 30 minutes of driving from Quebec City by heading west towards the A-40
Rivière-à-Pierre still has a functioning train station. The Via Rail trains head north through the Public Land to Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean.
Orleans Express serves the riverside towns along the A-40 on its service between Montreal and Quebec City, but the service is infrequent and unreliable.
Three main itineraries can be set to visit the different features of this county:
- North-West and Public Land (Wilderness Trail)
- Along the St. Lawrence (Historic Trail)
- The West (Colonisation Trail)
This rural county as an absolutely inexisting crime rate, in case of problems feel free to request helps to the nearest person or dial 911 to reach the local police station which is based in Pont-Rouge.
Remember that if you venture into the public land, you must register in a case you need a rescue. This advice is actually an obligation and responsibility to everyone who would venture in this vast untouched area. The nearest settlement and assistance can be hours away by car once in the northern wild part of county, letting the rescue service know about your whereabouts could be a paramount element.