Gaspé Things to Do Tips by snaab Top 5 Page for this destination
Gaspé Things to Do: 100 reviews and 242 photos
Our abused Saab: 140,000 miles and counting!
Our trusted conveyance, which delivered us 4800 miles (7725 km) in three weeks, including 600 miles (965 km) between paved roads in Labrador. I must say I questioned the wisdom of taking a decade old car on such a trip, but it all worked out remarkably well!
According to the Parks Canada website: Forillon National Park is located at the extreme northeast end of the Gaspé peninsula, 435 miles (700 km) from Québec and 218 miles (350 km) from the New Brunswick border. Yep, its a drive. We snapped this shot near one of the lighthouses in Forillon. You'll notice the wildflowers, too, which you'll find throughout the park.
I know its not really an informational tip, but an homage to the trusty vehicle was necessary. :)
Address: Forillon National Park
The view from Mont des Pics
Heres a view from the summit of Mont des Pics, overlooking the area of our campground. A quiet spot to eat lunch and gaze over at rounded 1270m (4167 ft) Mont Jaques Cartier.
I surmise that the rounded shape is due to glaciation, responsible for carving out the Saguenay Fjord near Tadoussac, Quebec across the St. Lawrence River. This fjord is the southernmost in the Northern Hemisphere, and due to the local geography a haven for whales, including minke, fin, and beluga. I'm sure there's already plenty of informative tips on the topic so I'll leave it at that.
While you need to take a bus to the top of Cartier (there are a few each day to limit the impact of visitors on the caribou herd at the top), we were happy to look from our vantage point in solitude.
Moonlight, before the aurora borealis
Located south of St. Anne des Monts on Rt 299, if you're heading to the busier Forillon make a stop here for a few days. We saw only 1 other USA plate in our three days, and only a few non-Quebec cars. We camped in the Mont Jaques Cartier campsite, 26 miles (42 km) from the park's main center. Only 21 spots, clean, quiet, lots of space. There are other campsites closer to the center of the park, and a hotel. But we were lucky enough to see moose and deer each night at dusk as we drove back to our campsite after hiking. Cool temps kept the bugs down, too.
In the background is Mont des Pics, our first hike, with a thin single file trail to the summit (4-5 miles, or 6.5-8 km, total).
Address: Mont Jaques Cartier campground
Marmots emerge when the tourists depart
Marmots enjoying the sun at the Grande-Grave Heritage Site! There are a number of restored historical buildings within the park, dating back to the early 1800's when the area was an important, yet isolated, cod fishery. A nearby site included the cod warehouses, where fisher's penciled arithmetic marks the walls, and old shipping manifests are framed.
But late in the day (this picture was taken at 7 pm) on our return from the tip of Forillon, we shared the site only with three curious marmots.
Address: Grande-Grave Heritage Site, Forillon
Fantastic views overlooking the ocean
This lighthouse sits atop Cap Gaspe, where the ancient Appalachian Mountains finally drop into the northern Atlantic. This site also marks the beginning of the International Appalachian Trail, which winds 520 miles to Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine and onward via the Appalachian Trail to Springer Mountain, Georgia. The trail passes through the Park de la Gaspesie in the center of the peninsula on its way.
Address: Cap Gaspe, Forillon National Park
Gorgeous wildflowers abound
These wildflowers were waist high, and stretched along long spans of the trail to Cap Forillon. The slanting rock strata gave the area a sense of fluidity, truly giving the impression that the land was slipping into the sea.
Sharing a sunset with the gulls and terns
We sat on nearby rocks and watched the sunset, until the incoming tide drove us back onto the beach. Wonderfully relaxing!
Well worth the trek
Twin trails (by foot or by bike) reach the tip of Forillon, pictured here from a watchtower about 8 km away on the park's highest point (itself reached by numerous short trails). On the way back towards camp from the end of the point, we saw a couple of whales from the trail, a couple of hundred feet down. There are numerous whale watching boat tours available, but this was a wonderfully gratifying experience.
Address: Forillon National Park
A gorgeous mountain lake to cool your feet in. This lake, and a waterfall further up the trail, could also be reached by hiking our circuit in reverse. The trail is flat and well tended in this direction, so you can enjoy the sight without heading over Mont Albert. There really is hiking to suit all levels in the park.
Does anyone know the name of this flower?
I loved all the wildflowers growing in the tough rocky landscape.
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