This year, Quebec will be a popular destination, and people will flock to discover our beautiful province. Gaspésie will be on the envy list of many people. And that’s understandable! I consider it one of the most beautiful destinations in Quebec for its wide open spaces, the calm pace of life, the sea and the warmth of its people. But I also am a little biased because I grew up in this beautiful area!
In this article, I talk about some activities to do in the Haute-Gaspésie area, which I think are a must in the region!
Bic National Park
Located in the St. Lawrence Maritime Estuary near Rimouski, Bic National Park has everything to please nature lovers!
In this vast territory along the river, hiking, wildlife observation, sea kayaking and biking await you. The first light of day and sunsets are exceptional.
Since it rained during our stay at the end of most days, we could not watch the sunset, but we did not miss the sunrise with this pretty mist floating around in the morning!
Last summer, I stayed 2 nights in one of their Ready to camp at a cost of $139 per night before taxes for the weekend rate.
For 6 people, you will find everything you need to cook and have a good time with your family.
- Kitchen equipment provided
- Stove installed outside under an awning
- Small refrigerator (4 cubic feet)
- Auxiliary heating
- 6 garden chairs and a picnic table
- Sanitary block in the area. Very clean.
- Paid showers
- Water points near the site
- What to bring: warm bedding, food, cooler
Hiking : The Grand Tour
This one is accessible only at low tide, you must be well informed of the tide schedule before your departure. Since we left late because of bad information we were told, we didn’t hike the full Grand Tour. We didn’t want to run and risk getting hurt.
The Grand Tour is a rough trail along the ocean shore and I don’t recommend it for young children. I’ve had to ask for help myself a few times. I probably wouldn’t have liked my experience if I’d been alone. So I would advise to hike it if you’re at least with another person. A lady was following us and we assisted her during this walk through the rocky capes. She thanked us very much, she would have had a hard time doing it on her own.
- Distance covered: 8 km
- Duration: 3 hours
Here’s the path you’ll follow:
By not doing the full Grand Tour, we went to the top of the Michaud mountain, which was a small detour along the way. Nice little path with a beautiful view that is worth the effort!
The Grand Tour will give you the full view. As soon as you set foot on the rocky capes, you feel completely elsewhere!
After this magnificent pointed cape, you will arrive at the Anse à Mouille-Cul. That’s where we decided to stop the Grand Tour and go to Michaud mountain.
Stop at Cap-Chat
This town has 2,500 inhabitants, is located right next to Saint-Anne-des-Monts, and is well worth a look! This is where I grew up, so I definitely have a crush on this little village by the sea!
Cap-Chat owes its name to a rock shaped like a sitting cat. Unfortunately, lightning struck it and it lost its head!
This rock can be found at the Cap-Chat lighthouse. You can go there to see the lighthouse (or the cat-shaped rock without its head!) and walk along a small path leading down the cliff.
Accommodation is available on site: camping, yurt and rooms in the lighthouse.
- Price to access the site: voluntary contribution
- Official website: Cap-Chat Lighthouse
When you arrive by car in the village des Capucins, you will have a magnificent view of all the wind turbines of Cap-Chat. There are 133 in all.
The one with the vertical axis, the highest in the world, attracts a lot of attention! It hasn’t worked for several years. It’s too expensive to repair compared to the price of a small one. The small ones provide more energy than this one.
If you don’t have time to visit it, you can continue down the road a little further than the wind turbine and then take pictures from the road.
Official website: Éole Cap-Chat
Kayaking down the Cap-Chat River, paddle surfing or kayaking at sunset!
All these activities are organized by the company Valmont Plein-air and it offers a top quality service!
I strongly recommend the descent of the Cap-Chat River on a beautiful sunny day. On site, you will find an excellent restaurant as well as chalets for rent.
It is here in Haute-Gaspésie, particularly in Cap-Chat, that I have seen my most beautiful sunsets.
When you see such a display, nothing else exists anymore! We’re just living this unique moment!
Wildlife is everywhere, just look around.
Bring your binoculars; there are several species of birds in Gaspésie and it is not uncommon to spot seals resting on rocks.
Next, Saint-Pierre’s mount!
Few people stop in this small crescent-moon shaped village on Road 132. Few people dare to go up there. You’re missing out on some great beauty around here.
Yes, it’s a difficult hike because of the difference in elevation. There’s no respite, no plateau. It goes straight to heaven! Take your time and you’ll get there.
This must be the sixth time I’ve done it and I’m still amazed.
- Trail is part of the IAT
- 3.2 km round trip
- Duration: 3 hours with a 30-minute lunch break. It really depends on your pace, it might be faster.
- Height: 430 meters
- Difficult (very steep)
- Price: $1 per person, free for children.
- Price for a 4×4 vehicle + 1 person: $4. $1 for each additional person
- Departure: The small yellow hut at the end of the village on Road 132.
- Park in the lawn right next to it.
- IMPORTANT: do not try to ride in your car! 4×4 only! In the car, forget it, you’ll never get there!
After 1.6 km, you will finally reach the top.
Since the summit of Mont Saint-Pierre is also a place where you can go hang-gliding or paragliding, you might have the chance to see a jump! It is also where the free flight festival takes place at the end of July. Imagine jumping into the void over the ocean!
To learn more about jumping, visit Sky View.
Parc de la Gaspésie, a paradise where you can escape in nature!
Here are 3 suggestions for a hike in Parc de la Gaspésie.
To see all the possible hikes and activities offered, please visit the official SEPAQ website.
Mount Ernest-Laforce and Lac aux Américains
Mount Ernest-Laforce has without a doubt one of the most beautiful views in terms of effort/panorama ratio!
You could even meet moose there. It is not uncommon to see them!
- 4.5 km loop
- Height: 820 meters
- Height difference: 155 meters
- Level: Easy
- Duration: 2 hours
- Access fees: SÉPAQ
- Dogs are forbidden
Lac aux Américains is a glacier that is easily accessible and will undoubtedly leave you with a beautiful memory of the region! 2.6 km round trip, in 1 hour you are back to the parking lot.
Located near Mount Ernest-Laforce, you can easily combine the 2 locations in 1 half-day.
Mount Jacques-Cartier is the second highest peak in Quebec with a height of 1,270 meters. On the bare, rocky top, you’ll feel like you’re somewhere else.
Contrary to what one might think, I classify this hike as intermediate level.Accessible to all if you don’t do it on the run! Take the time to relax and take in the essence of the place.
Mount Jacques-Cartier is a protected ecosystem due to the presence of caribou on the territory. They are endangered in the region and there are unfortunately fewer and fewer of them.
To get there, you’ll have to take a shuttle bus. You can get on at the Parc de la Gaspésie reception desk or at the Mount Jacques-Cartier campground.
- Entrance to Parc de la Gaspésie: From there, it’s 41 km on a gravel road + 4 km from the Mount Jacques-Cartier campground. Negative point: Departure at 9 am and return at 4 pm. Timetable and rates here.
- Mount Jacques-Cartier campground: You have to drive 41 km on the gravel path + 4 km from the campsite by shuttle. Positive point: There is more flexibility in the schedule that you can consult here.
- 8.2 km round trip trail with the possibility of adding a 1 km loop, the Caribou Trail on one of the slopes at the summit.
- Height difference: 465 meters
- Duration: about 4 h
- Level: Intermediate
- The trail is open from about mid-June to the end of September. Make sure yo’re well informed.
- I recommend good shoes/boots with hard soles, because there are a lot of rocks.
- Dry toilets: start of the course, mid-course and at the summit
Mount Ernest-Ménard and Pic du Brûlé
During my last vacation in the region, I had to add a new mountain to my Gaspesian list. Since my mother was with me, I had to choose a mountain that wasn’t too difficult.
Mount Ernest-Ménard and Pic du Brûlé form a loop, but you can hike only one of the two summits and return. As you wish! However, if I had to choose between the two, Pic du Brûlé would be the winner.
- 14.4 km loop
- Intermediate level
- Height of Mount Ernest-Ménard: 850 metres
- Height of Pic du Brûlé: 790 metres
- Height difference: 430 meters
- Duration: 5h45 including breaks and lunch
- Trail open from early June to early September. Check the SEPAQ website for more information
- Dogs are not accepted
- Departure: Camping du lac Cascapédia (Road 11)
- I suggest you go counterclockwise. That’s the hardest part. The descent is quite easy in this direction.
Gaspésie Gourmande and lodging
It’s hard for me to give you good advice on accommodation and restaurants since I sleep at my parents’ house and eat my mom’s good food! I do have a few suggestions for you, though:
- In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, the microbrewery Le Malbord is a place not to be missed for beer lovers. By the way, this brewery is part of the Beer Route!
- Cap-Chat : For its excellent food, Valmont plein-air
- Hôtel & Cie, a quality lodging in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts with an on-site restaurant named La Broue dans L’Toupet, seems like a wise choice when staying in this area!
- You want to eat the best poutine with a huge amount of Matane shrimps on top? The best lobster club of your life? At Chez cantine Ste-Flavie’s, we don’t mess around with quantities! It is now a mandatory stop for me every time I go there!
- Are you planning to go to Gaspé? Why not cut the road and spend the night at Camping Chalets Mer & Montagne near Rivière-Madeleine! Only 1h30 from Forillon Park, you will be greeted by passionate owners who love their little corner!
- The Gaspésie Gourmande and Tourisme Gaspésie websites are a great source of information to find the type of activities to do in Gaspésie, there is no lack of choices here to awaken all your senses.
I dare you not to fall in love with this place! I wish you a wonderful vacation in this fabulous part of Quebec.
Here are credit cards recommended by milesopedia for this type of trip:
You will find below several credit cards that can be useful to save money when travelling in Gaspésie.
Credit cards for groceries
Credit cards for restaurants and bars
Credit cards for stopover hotels
Here are the different credit cards that milesopedia recommends for hotels:
- 5 points per dollar with the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card for bookings at Marriott’s hotels, with a nice welcome bonus
- 5 points per dollar with the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card for booking at Marriott hotels, with a nice welcome bonus
- 5 points per dollar with the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard for bookings at Best Western hotels, with a nice welcome bonus