The Québec maritime Blog

6 Picnic Spots in Côte-Nord
  • Havre-Saint-Pierre, Côte-Nord
    Éric Marchand

6 Picnic Spots in Côte-Nord

A renowned whale-watching destination, Côte-Nord also offers a diversity of landscapes to admire. Finding a good picnic spot is easy since there are so many beautiful parks and rest areas throughout the region. Set off on a road trip adventure along the Whale Route and let yourself be guided by your instincts. You’ll find all the picnic fixings you’ll need in the lovely shops you’ll come across along the way. Now all you need to do is get ready to hit the road!

Rest area in Tadoussac

Near Tadoussac, you’ll find a great spot to stop for a picnic in good company. Just east of the village, turn onto Rue du Bateau-Passeur from Route 138 to discover this hidden gem. Thanks to the altitude, your meal will be accompanied by a breathtaking view. Admire the panorama spread out before you in this enchanting setting: the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, the bustling village of Tadoussac, and the comings and goings of the ferry. What’s more, this rest area provides all the essential amenities, such as picnic tables and restrooms. Looking for a little peace and quiet? This is the place to stop!

  • Foodie stop: Before leaving the village of Tadoussac, drop in at the À l’Emportée bakery, which offers a variety of baked goods suitable for picnics at any time of the day, including breakfast pastries, breads, sandwiches, salads, quiches, desserts, beverages and more.

Base Plein Air in Les Bergeronnes

If you’re looking for a less-frequented location, you’ll particularly appreciate the outdoor recreation centre in Les Bergeronnes. Offering an elevated viewpoint from which to observe the horizon as well as picnic tables, a volleyball court and plenty of space to stretch your legs, this site is well worth a visit. Want to spend more time here? The local beach is very close by. Follow the trail and enjoy!

  • Foodie stop: On the way to your picnic spot, you’ll pass the La P’tite Cochonne artisan bakery, a great place to purchase breads, brioches, cheeses and rillettes to add a touch of decadence to your picnic!

Parc des Pionniers in Baie-Comeau

Want to enjoy a picnic by the water? Parc des Pionniers is sure to delight you! Not only is this park an ideal place for a picnic, but it also offers a multitude of amenities and attractions: a bike path along the water, a hiking trail through the woods, a waterfall, outdoor workout modules, Champlain Beach and more. You can even enjoy a delicious ice cream from the park’s dairy bar. This site offers you the opportunity to commune with nature—if you’re a marine mammal lover, be sure to head to the wharf and keep your eyes peeled! This is definitely a great setting for a leisurely lunch.

  • Foodie stop: Want to add some seafood to your picnic? Visit Pêcherie Manicouagan, a fish market and restaurant in Baie-Comeau. You won’t find fresher seafood anywhere else in town!

Parc de la Rivière-aux-Rochers in Port-Cartier

If you’re a nature and water lover, you’ll want to visit Parc de la Rivière-aux-Rochers, which has so much to offer! For a stunning view of the falls in the Aux Rochers River and to watch salmon anglers in action, all you have to do is head to the end of Rue Luc-Mayrand in the centre of town. Enjoy a picnic at one of the tables in the park and admire the rushing water as you eat. The sound will relax you! Afterwards, walk off your meal by exploring the rest of the park. You can also head over to Patterson Island: on the northern side of the island, you’ll find Parc de la Taïga, which offers 2 km (1.2 mi.) of easy walking trails (as well as another view of the falls), while the south side of the island provides a view of the vestiges of an old bridge.

  • Foodie stops: Visit Poissonnerie Fortier & Frères, a fish market in Sept-Îles that offers fresh, frozen and smoked seafood as well as delicious takeout dishes, including poke bowls and cod cretons. End your picnic with a touch of sweetness by stopping for an exquisite dessert at Ma Mie, a bakery and pastry shop in Port-Cartier.

Cap Ferré in Havre-Saint-Pierre

Just off the road and inaccessible to recreational vehicles lies a little gem: Cap Ferré. A popular spot for observing cliffs resembling those found in the Mingan Archipelago, this site is home to many rare plants and exceptional geological features. The sight of waterfalls cascading down colourful cliffs will definitely be one of the highlights of your visit. After a short walk, take a seat at one of the picnic tables right next to the falls—you won’t find a better place to enjoy your sandwich!

  • Foodie stop: Before you head to Cap Ferré, be sure to stop at the Chez Julie boutique, where you’ll find lots of food items made in the region (including salsa, onion confit, jellies, hot sauces, spreads, condiments and more) as well as many prepared dishes with which to fill your picnic basket!

Beach in Natashquan

Since Côte-Nord is full of beautiful, sandy beaches, we’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend at least one as a picnic spot. So why not visit the beach in Natashquan, the birthplace of Gilles Vigneault, a legendary Québec poet and singer-songwriter? Offering 7 km (4.5 mi.) of fine sand, it’s the ideal place to spread out your blanket and savour a meal while listening to the sound of the waves! You can also go swimming and kitesurfing at this beach. After so many hours of driving in this maritime region, you deserve some time to unwind in such a beautiful location.

  • Foodie stop: Stop at the Fumoir Le Goynish smokehouse and restaurant in Aguanish for some delicious smoked salmon, which you can add to a salad or have on a bagel with cream cheese. While you’re there, you can also treat yourself to their home-style cuisine.

The beauty of Côte-Nord means you can enjoy picnics in idyllic settings throughout the region. Whether by the water, in a wooded clearing or at the foot of a waterfall, each location promises moments of pure wonder. All that’s left to do is set off on your road trip!

Author Annick Beauchemin

A native of the Montérégie countryside, Annick Beauchemin grew up near the St. Lawrence River and has always felt very attached to this waterway. In addition to her love of water, she has a passion for all things having to do with Québec. In fact, she set herself the goal of visiting all the province’s regions, an achievement she will soon reach. Since 2020, she has been publishing Bouche à Oreille, an online magazine that promotes Québec culture. It features her favourite themes: local products to taste, places to explore and works of art to discover. As a freelance writer, she also loves collaborating with organizations that reflect her values and interests.

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