When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Bic National Park is a peaceful territory of picturesque capes, bays, coves, islands and mountains. You will pass sea, forest and prairie as you travel along the banks of the St. Lawrence River on your way to the park.
Thousands of seabirds come to nest in the park, including the common eider. Rare plants bloom on its rocky capes, and seals bask in the sun near the shore.
Seal watching is one of the park's major attractions. Grey seals and harbour seals, the park's emblem, can be watched from the shore as they lounge on the rocks.
The best places for seal watching are the Pointe-aux-Épinettes observation area from half tide to high tide, and the Anse aux Bouleaux observation area at low tide, in the Rivière-du-Sud-Ouest sector of the park. Stop off at the Visitors Centre for information about tide times.
Possible all summer until early fall.
The Cap-à-l’Orignal sector offers a total of 8 kilometres of short (900 m to 2.9 km) hiking trails for exploring the cape. The network of trails covers a total of 8 kilometres.
Consider bringing a picnic lunch, or visiting the area at the end of the day for what may be one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see in your life!
Pick up a trail map at the Cap-à-l’Orignal Visitors Centre, where you can also ask a park ranger any questions you may have about the park.
Mid-May to Thanksgiving (2nd Monday in October).
BIC NATIONAL PARK
Season: The park is open year-round, but the period during which services are available varies according to sector and season.
Entrance fee: $9.00/adult/day and free for youth aged 17 and under.
PORTES DE L'ENFER CANYON
The Portes de l’Enfer Canyon (Hell's Gate Canyon) stretches for nearly 5 km between dramatic steep mountainsides. A network of walking trails, from 1 km to 14 km long, leads through unique landscapes and stunning scenery. The trails are well maintained and not difficult to navigate. You can walk across the highest suspended footbridge in Quebec at 63 metres high, and even take the "Descent into Hell" hiking trail whose 300 steps lead down to the Rimouski River. There is a snack bar on site.
Open from mid-May to early July and mid-August to mid-October from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from early July to mid-August from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Onondaga, a 90-metre behemoth, is the only submarine in Canada that is open to the public. From 1967 to 2000, it criss-crossed the North Atlantic with a crew of 70 men aboard. The audio-guided tour takes you to the life on board, control room, engines, torpedo room and more.
It is possible to spend the night aboard the Onondaga, for an unforgettable experience as a submariner. The Empress of Ireland museum is also worth seeing with its 4 immersive zones and more than 200 objects recovered from the wreck. Gift shop and restaurant on site.
Open daily in summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with reduced hours in low season.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Cantine de la Mer ($)
What could be a more typical Quebec experience than eating at a casse-croûte ? For several years, Cantine de la Mer has been serving up a varied menu of gourmet fast food from the sea: crab and lobster club sandwiches, fried clams, popcorn Matane shrimp, breaded scallops, etc. The food is always fresh and skillfully prepared. A must-try!
Open daily from May to October, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Le Bien, le Malt ($$-$$$)
If you find yourself near Rimouski and are in the mood for a good craft beer and a bite to eat, Le Bien, le Malt microbrewery is the place for you. You will find a menu of beers brewed on site, a selection of scotch, ciders and local gins and more. Also serves appetizers, fish rillettes and grilled sandwiches.
Open daily from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Auberge du Mange Grenouille ($$$-$$$$)
Auberge du Mange Grenouille, a gem of a restaurant, is worth a trip for its spectacular setting as well as for its fine dining. The menu emphasizes local meat, fish and vegetables and artisanal bread. A memorable meal in a theatrical setting!
Open Wednesday-Sunday for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. In high season, the inn's guests are given dining priority for dinner.
Chez St-Pierre ($$$$)
The restaurant's owner/chef, Colombe St-Pierre, will take you on a sublime culinary voyage, aided and abetted by a wide range of quality seasonal and organic ingredients sourced from small local farms. Her dishes contain sea vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, vegetables and a variety of sprouts, all produced in this lovely corner of Quebec. The menu varies with the seasons.
Open daily in summer from noon to 8 p.m. (closed between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.). Wine and oyster bar from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Reduced hours in low season.
*** Hours may vary ***
Where to sleep ?
Festival Concerts aux îles du Bic
Dates: mid-August, 2022
Description: Known for its repertoire of chamber music performed with freshness and authenticity, this festival offers a major concert series and special events in an enchanting site. The encounter of talented performers, combined with the beauty of the concert venues and the proximity of nature, has become the trademark of this little-known and unique festival.
Festi Jazz International de Rimouski
Dates: early September, 2022
Description: This friendly jazz festival, which is held over the the Labour Day weekend, attracts jazz lovers to a unique musical experience between sea and mountains. A leading cultural and tourist event in Eastern Quebec for over 35 years, the festival seeks to make jazz music more accessible to the general public.
- Very Favourable
Great trails and scenery
Nice park and location next to river/sea. Also a little bit more “crowded” than the other parks, but not disturbing.
Nice walks (and morning run) and good opportunity to observe the phoques - what noise they can make!
The day of leaving we added ourselves onsite a sea kayaking of 2,5 hours - somethig we really can recommend!