Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac is a forest locality in the Middle-Mauricie located in the Laurentian Shield, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, in the regional county municipality of Mékinac, in Mauricie, in Quebec. This municipality has a territory of 155.5 kilometres (96.62 mi) where 438 inhabitants reside.
The municipality split in two by the Saint-Maurice river. This municipality has experienced several economic activities derived from the forestry industry and recreational tourism activities.
In Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac, the lumber industry has been dominant in local history. Excluding the current Arbec sawmill, there are eight sawmills in local history: Moulin JA Rouleau, Moulin Georges Vaugeois Fils, Moulin Michel Matthieu, Scierie GL, Moulin Clément Trudel, Moulin Camille Mongrain, Moulin Groleau & Fils and the sawmill Gérard Crête & Fils.
Route 155 linking Grand-Mère to La Tuque generates significant traffic, especially in summer. Consequently, jobs are turning to the offer of recreational tourism activities (vacationing, hunting & fishing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, swimming, camping, etc.).
Bishop F.-X. Laflèche, bishop of the diocese of Trois-Rivières, visited on August 16, 1887, the site of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac. The canonical erection took place on August 5, 1905. The civil erection was promulgated in 1905 by detaching part of the territory of Saint-Jean-des-Piles. The territory of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac covers part of the former seigneury of Batiscan and the canton of Radnor. The first settlers’ settlements date from 1880. According to the 1887 accounts of Father Napoléon Caron, a great 19th-century traveller in remote corners of the Mauricie, the Mékinac mission already numbered 131 souls and 25 families, including three heads of family designated farmer.
The locality of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac proved to be a relay station for the transport of provisions and goods on human backs. The first boarding house in the village was near the mouth of the Mékinac river (it is now Auberge Mékinac). In the past, the Saint-Maurice River was the only outward traffic route. Nevertheless, the development at the end of the 19th century of the road between Saint-Tite and Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac generated access to the capital of the region, namely Saint-Tite.
The village of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac is located on the east side of the Saint-Maurice River, facing the Mauricie National Park, and facing Île du Nord and Île aux Pins. Route 159 (linking Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac to Saint-Tite) contributed to the economic development of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac.
Being located on a promontory, the current village of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac offers a panoramic view of the Saint-Maurice valley. The old village site has been submerged since the construction of the Grand-Mère hydroelectric dam (1914-1916). Along the east bank of the Saint-Maurice River, the breathtaking cliffs are admired by tourists, boaters and motorists. When the forests are adorned with leaves of leaves in warm colors in autumn, the valley offers a natural and magical spectacle.
The Saint-Maurice River has its source at Gouin Reservoir, in Haute-Mauricie. It flows on 560 kilometres (350 mi) in a north-south direction and displays a drop of 405 metres (1,329 ft). The segment of its east shore in the territory of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac is 16.3 kilometres (10.1 mi) against 14.7 kilometres (9.1 mi) for its west shore.
The village of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac is accessible by road, snowmobile, all terrain vehicles or by river.
- From Montreal (200 km (120 mi). Time: 2 hr 15 min. take highway 40 (north shore) eastbound, to Trois-Rivières; take highway 55 (northbound) to Grand-Mère, which becomes route 155 and then cross the Saint-Maurice river bridge; take road 155, to the village of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac.
- From Quebec City (145 km (90 mi). Time: 1 hr 50 min. Take highway 40 west ; take road 359 (northbound) passing through the village of Saint-Luc-de-Vincennes, then Lac-à-la-Tortue; then take route 153 (eastbound); take road 155 (northbound), crossing the villages of Grandes-Piles up to the village of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac.