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5 Good Reasons to Visit La Haute-Gaspésie
  • Haute-Gaspésie area
    Roger St-Laurent/Tourisme Gaspésie

5 Good Reasons to Visit La Haute-Gaspésie

Located on the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula, the La Haute-Gaspésie sector is a popular destination for nature lovers. Bordered by the sea on one side and Québec’s highest mountains on the other, the area’s 130 km (80 mi.) of shoreline are dotted with charming coastal villages offering warm hospitality. Here are five good reasons to visit La Haute-Gaspésie.

1. Drive between sea and mountains

Driving along Route 132 in La Haute-Gaspésie is an experience you’ll want to have at least once in your life! It’s easy to see why this road trip is so popular: in several spots, the road is flanked by the St. Lawrence on one side and the mountains on the other, which makes for spectacular scenery! Along the way, you’ll notice several elements that dominate the landscape, including the bright red La Martre Lighthouse, which features an octagonal wooden tower. Stop to see it and take a few photos! In addition, in Cap-Chat, you’ll spot a wave of wind turbines in the mountains—this is where you’ll find Projet Éole, where you can visit the tallest vertical-axis wind turbine in the world!

2. Admire amazing scenery from different angles

In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Eskamer Aventure offers several activities that will give you a different perspective on the surrounding scenery! Go on a sea kayaking excursion on the St. Lawrence to contemplate the coastline and seabirds or try out canyoning for a thrilling experience that involves rappelling down waterfalls. You can also go ziplining over a canyon! In Mont-Saint-Pierre, the Station de montagne sur mer gives you access to the top of Mt. Saint-Pierre, where you can admire a breathtaking view of a bay and the surrounding mountains. (You can either hike up the mountain or take a shuttle bus to the top.) Be sure to also visit the observatory to learn all about the geological phenomena that shaped this natural amphitheatre.

3. Discover unusual marine species from the St. Lawrence

The St. Lawrence Estuary is home to many animal and plant species that are relatively unknown. In Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, visit Exploramer, a science museum where you can learn more about life in the St. Lawrence. Handle rock crabs, starfish and sea urchins in the touch pools and learn many of the secrets of Québec’s underwater world from the exhibitions or during sea activities. Did you know that many of these marine species are edible? Try them during the “Dare to Taste” activity, which features products certified by Smarter Seafood, a program that promotes sustainable development and the protection of biodiversity. This tasty activity is good for the environment!

4. Explore the Chic-Choc Mountains

The name Chic-Choc comes from the word sigsôg in the Mi’gmaq language, which means “impenetrable barrier.” The Chic-Choc mountain range, which includes 25 peaks over 1000 metres (3300 feet) high, is 95 km (60 mi.) long and 10 km (6 mi.) wide, making it an ideal setting for outdoor adventures! These mountains are a favourite destination for hikers, who can enjoy hundreds of kilometres of trails in Parc national de la Gaspésie. There are many peaks to explore: Mt. Jacques-Cartier (the highest!), Mt. Albert, Mt. Logan, Mt. Xalibu and Mt. Richardson are only a few of your options! After a long day of hiking, enjoy a good night’s rest in a tent, glamping unit, cabin or the renowned Gîte du Mont-Albert hotel. If you’d prefer an all-inclusive package that combines outdoor activities and accommodations in a mountain lodge, opt for a stay at the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs, which is nestled in the mountains at an altitude of 615 metres (2020 feet). If you’re interested in trekking for several days, you can follow the International Appalachian Trail, which crosses part of the Chic-Chocs. (Several packages are available.) Are you ready to hit the trails?

5. Observe wildlife species in their natural habitats

During a hike in the Chic-Chocs, you’re very likely to observe local wildlife, which may include small mammals and various species of birds as well as black bears and moose! And if you climb to the top of Mt. Jacques-Cartier in Parc national de la Gaspésie, you may even see woodland caribou, an endangered species, from the only herd found south of the St. Lawrence. Whatever species you encounter, make sure you remain calm and stay on the trail. This way you can ensure your own safety and avoid damaging the environment while enjoying an exhilarating moment of harmony with nature!

So, what do you think? Which of these attractions will you visit during your road trip along the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour? Be sure to book your accommodations in La Haute-Gaspésie in advance and enjoy your stay!

Author Anne-Josée Pineau

Born in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Anne-Josée Pineau loves this region and is delighted to introduce others to it. Never far from the sea, she’s fascinated by lighthouses and could live on seafood alone! On this blog, she likes to write about our regions’ unusual attractions, make your mouth water by describing local delicacies, and pique your interest by revealing some of the hidden beauty found in Québec by the Sea. In other words, she wants to provide you with lots of ideas for an unforgettable vacation!

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