When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
The Matapédia Valley is one of the 5 natural regions of the Gaspé Peninsula. It is not bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, but has many other assets such as mountains that are part of the Appalachian chain, vast forests, and lakes and rivers teeming with salmon. You will also find magnificent ancestral homes, churches, historic sites and covered bridges. The valley was settled by indigenous people more than 2500 years ago. Today, there remains only a community of a few thousand people of Aboriginal descent, grouped in isolated reserves. The name Matapédia means “place where the rivers meet” in Mi’kmaq. It is the perfect destination for anyone seeking contact with nature in its purest form.
Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site
Take a trip back in time, or more precisely, to 1760 when France and England were fighting for possession of North American territory. At Battle of the Restigouche National Historic Site it is possible to relive the last naval battle between the two great European powers. For over 200 years, the wreck of the Machault, a 26-gun military sailing vessel charged with protecting French merchant ships from the British, has remained under water. It is one of only three 18th century French frigates discovered to date in the world.
Open from mid-June to mid-September, every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Snorkeling with the Salmon
Here is an original way to observe salmon: visit them in their natural habitat with a mask and snorkel! This unique experience lets you dive and swim among these fascinating fish. You will visit pools at the base of waterfalls on different rivers and small rapids. Plan on a full day. Departing from Adam Park. Nature Aventure also offers several other excursions, such as canoeing or kayaking down the river with or without a guide, stand-up paddling on the river and many options for hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Visit their website for more details about the different packages available from late June to late August. Every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations are necessary.
Chutes à Picot waterfall
Distance (round-trip): 2 km
Time: 45 minutes
A short, easy 2 km hike (round-trip) with no significant inclines leads to Chutes à Picot, with a height of about 10 metres. The trail begins in the forest and then follows a stream until it reaches the falls. It is well maintained and includes a footbridge and a series of wooden stairs. Tables and small benches are also provided. It’s a nice spot to take a break, have a picnic, or even go for a dip at the base of the falls. In St-André-de-Restigouche, turn onto 4e Rang from Rue Principale. A road sign indicates the path to the falls.
Route du 4e rang, St-André-de-Restigouche
Chute à Philomène waterfall
At a height of 33 metres, Chute à Philomène waterfall is another natural attraction in the Matapédia area. Two trails let you admire it from every angle. A picnic area is provided, as well as a suspended platform overlooking the falls! The site offers several information and nature interpretation signs and is accessible at all times. You can also make a short stop in the village of Saint-Alexandre-des-Lacs.
Seigneurie du Lac Matapédia regional park
Parc régional de la Seigneurie du Lac Matapédia is relatively unknown to tourists, although it is home to a lovely network of hiking trails offering stunning views of Matapédia Lake and the valley. The 7 hikes are all of an easy to intermediate level. The Trois-Soeurs and Les Crêtes loops are the most popular. There are also several mountain bike trails, as well as lovely sandy beaches. Guides provide plant and animal interpretation activities during tourist season. The site has benches and picnic tables.
Where to eat
- $ Inexpensive
- $$ Moderate
- $$$ Upscale
- $$$$ Fine dining
Restaurant Auberge la Coulée Douce ($$-$$$)
This former Brothers’ residence, located at the confluence of the Matapédia and Causapscal rivers, is home to Auberge la Coulée Douce since 1984. The restaurant serves excellent regional cuisine featuring local and regional products. The house specialty is the Atlantic salmon. In fact, you may see salmon fishermen in the salmon pools where the two rivers meet. The dining room, complete with piano, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a warm and welcoming family atmosphere. The patio is open during the summer.
Open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
*** Hours may vary ***
- Very Favourable