The Québec maritime Blog
Located on the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Haute-Gaspésie area is a popular destination for nature lovers. Bordered by the sea on one side and the highest peaks of Québec 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 Haute-Gaspésie.
1. Drive between sea and mountains
Driving along Route 132, in Haute-Gaspésie, is an experience you’ll never forget! 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 views! To really soak up the scenery, stop in the many rest areas along the way.
2. Climb the highest vertical-axis wind turbine in the world
As you drive along Route 132 in the Cap-Chat sector, you’ll soon notice the wind turbines that dominate the landscape. There are 76 of them in all at Le Nordais, one of the largest wind farms in Canada. Visit Éole Cap-Chat, a wind energy interpretation centre where you can tour the highest vertical-axis wind turbine in the world! Climb the tower with a guide and admire the spectacular view from 100 metres (330 feet) above the ground. During your visit, you can also learn more about wind power, a green energy source.
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, where you can learn more about life in the St. Lawrence. Handle rock crabs, starfish and sea urchins from the touch tanks and learn many of the secrets of Québec’s underwater world in the centre’s exhibits 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’kmaw 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 adventure! 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 4-star accommodations, opt for a stay at the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs, which is perched 615 metres (2020 feet) above sea level. If you’re interested in trekking for several days, you can take on 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 in its natural habitat
During a hike in the Chic-Chocs, you are very likely to encounter local wildlife. In addition to small mammals and various species of birds, wouldn’t you like to see a black bear or moose? The Réserve faunique de Matane offers interpretive activities during which you can observe these two species in complete safety. And if you climb to the top of Mt. Jacques-Cartier in Parc national de la Gaspésie, you may encounter caribou from the only herd 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 a moment of harmony with nature!
So, what do you think? Which of these attractions will you visit in Haute-Gaspésie during your road trip along the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour?