When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Gaspesie National Park, in the centre of the Gaspé Peninsula, is a vast sea of mountains and a paradise for hiking enthusiasts.
Because of the varied climates and morphology of the region, Gaspesie National Park hosts a tremendous diversity of wildlife that is unique to Québec, including the mountain caribou.
The park contains more than 25 peaks that rise above 1,000 metres, several of which are the highest peaks in Quebec. The spectacular scenery of the Chic-Chocs makes this mountain chain a preferred destination for lovers of the great outdoors!
GASPESIE NATIONAL PARK
Season: The park is open year-round, but the period during which services are available varies according to sector.
Entrance fee: $8.90/adult/day and free for youth aged 17 and under.
Distance (round-trip): 17.8 km loop
Time (round-trip): 6-8 hours
Elevation gain: 870 metres
Mont Albert has a unique ecosystem, with its harsh climate, its alpine tundra and its reddish soil rich in serpentine, a rare orange mineral with a high calcium and magnesium content. The summit is a vast plateau where a herd of caribou can often be seen grazing.
At 17.8 km (6 to 8 hours) and with an elevation gain of 870 metres, the Tour-du-Mont-Albert hike is classified Expert, but it is one that you won't soon forget! It offers a combination of steep climbs, lookout platforms with exceptional views and trails that follow a stream.
The trail climbs steadily right from the start. One third of the way up, the Belvédère de la Saillie lookout platform offers the first spectacular view of the Sainte-Anne river valley below. The trail then continues to rise towards the summit of Mont-Albert, where hikers can take a break at the Rabougris rest stop before carrying on to Belvédère du Versant. An even more scenic but no less difficult trail then follows Ruisseau du Diable through the beautiful Vallée du Diable , where you can take a break at the Serpentine rest stop just before reaching Lac du Diable. The trail then follows Rivière Sainte-Anne back down to the Visitors Centre. This hike is a must if your fitness level allows.
Departing from Gaspesie National Park Discovery and Visitors Centre from mid-June until late September.
Distance (round-trip): 8.2 km
Time (round-trip): 4-5 hours
Elevation gain: 465 metres
If you only plan to take one hike in the area, and you are physically fit, it should be Mont Jacques-Cartier. At 8.2 km round-trip, or 4 to 5 hours of hiking, this excursion is perfect for those who want to see wild caribou and who like a challenge. A complete change of scenery guaranteed!
A rocky trail leads straight up to the summit of the second highest peak in Quebec, and an exceptional site for caribou sighting. The summit, which is often snow-covered even in summer, offers a spectacular landscape of alpine tundra at an altitude of over 1,000 m.
At the top, you can take the free "Vivez le Grand Nord" educational hike with a park warden/naturalist, which lasts around 45 minutes (certain days only).
A shuttle leaves the Discovery and Visitors Centre at 9 a.m. (arrival at the trailhead at 10 a.m.). The same shuttle leaves Mont Jacques-Cartier at 4 p.m. (arrival at the Visitors Centre at 5 p.m.). This is a challenging but well-maintained rock trail and has an elevation gain of 465 metres.
Possible from late June to late September. Other departures available from the Mont Jacques-Cartier Campground on Route 16.
Distance (round-trip): 2.6 km
Time (round-trip): 1½ hours
Elevation gain: 80 metres
If you are travelling with children and are looking for a short hike, we strongly recommend Lac-aux-Américains. At 2.6 km (round trip), this easy hike takes about one hour. Lac aux Américains is located in the centre of a glacial cirque and is an exceptionally beautiful site. A must-see!
Possible from early May to the end of November. Departing from the Lac-aux-Américains parking area on Route 16.
Distance (round-trip): 4.6 km
Time (round-trip): 2 hours
Elevation gain: 155 metres
This trail, classified Intermediate, is perfect for families who would like to introduce their children to the joys of hiking. At 4.6 km long with an elevation gain of 155 metres, the trail leads to the top of Mont Ernest Laforce, where you will have a spectacular 360° view of Mont Albert and the surrounding mountains. It will take you about 2 hours to complete the loop trail, which begins at the Mont Ernest-Laforce parking lot, in the Monts-McGerrigle sector. Keep your eyes open, you are in the heart of moose habitat!
ECOTOURISM SEA EXCURSION
If you would like to experience an ecotourism sea excursion, Ste-Anne-des-Monts is your destination. For a first contact with the St. Lawrence River and to witness the hauling of waved whelk and rock crab traps, choose the "Discover the St. Lawrence" excursion (duration: 1.5 hr; departing daily at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.).
Possible from early June to end of August, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (by reservation from early September to early October).
What should you bring for your hike?
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Microbrasserie le Malbord ($$)
Le Malbord is a friendly brew pub where you can enjoy refined beers, brewed on site, that reflect the culture of Haute-Gaspésie. The brewery's bistro offers pub fare that showcases local products and changes with the seasons. Food and beer pairings to discover!!
Open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to midnight and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.
La Broue dans l’Toupet ($$-$$$)
Located in the heart of downtown Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, La Broue dans l’Toupet restaurant offers a varied menu that changes with the seasons and features local and regional ingredients. House specialties: grilled meats and seafood. The modern, friendly atmosphere and excellent service contribute to a memorable dining experience.
Open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and every evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Délices de la Mer ($$-$$$)
This Gaspé fishmonger is also a café and a delicatessen offering a good choice of products: cheese, seafood, fish, ready-to-eat, beer, organic products, etc. You will love the décor as much as the food. It's the perfect place to stop for lunch or to stock up on groceries.
Open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Restaurant du Gîte du Mont Albert ($$$)
Chef Jean-Alexandre Dubé will welcome you to the friendly dining room of Gîte du Mont Albert for his renowned table d’hôte with its fine gourmet dishes prepared using the best local and regional products. You can even have a picnic lunch to take with you when you visit the national park (order the day before!) Note that dinner is by reservation only.
Open daily from mid-June to early October. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Auberge Château Lamontagne Restaurant ($$$-$$$$)
This magnificent inn is the former home of Madame Blanche Lamontagne, Quebec's first female poet. Perched on a rocky headland overlooking the sea, the building itself is listed as a historical monument and is worth a detour. The restaurant prepares tasty fish, seafood, lamb, beef and foie gras dishes, combining local products and world flavours.
Open in high season, Sunday-Monday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
Where to sleep ?
Fête du vol libre (hang-gliding festival)
Dates: late July 2021
Dozens of hang-gliding and paragliding pilots from around the world gather in Mont-Saint-Pierre, between sea and aky. In addition to watching the colourful air show, visitors can enjoy the many outdoor activities and music events and sample local products.
- Very Favourable
again a great park but we didn't have enough time to fully enjoy
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