On the way to Rivière-au-Tonnerre, plan to stop to see Manitou Falls. A walking trail will take you straight to this 35-metre (115-foot) high wonder. Continue your drive to Rivière-au-Tonnerre, one of the most picturesque villages in Côte-Nord. Visit the historic semi-cathedral wooden church. Built in the Norman style, the church has an 8-metre (26-foot) vault and is decorated with hand-carved motifs. Next, make your way to the foot of the falls the village was named for. Take in a photo exhibit at the Maison du Tonnerre, then head over to the Maison de la Chicoutai (Cloudberry House) to sample products made from these local wild berries.
After breakfast, your journey will take you through Magpie and Rivière-Saint-Jean. At Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, join an excursion to the western sector of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, where you can watch seabirds and explore Île aux Perroquets (Parrot Island).
On the way to Havre-Saint-Pierre you can visit the Innu community of Ekuanitshit. Once you reach your destination, stop in at the charming Maison de la Culture Roland-Jomphe (a cultural centre) and the Maison des Artisans (a craft centre). In the afternoon, discover the strangely shaped monoliths in the central sector of the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.
Before leaving Havre-Saint-Pierre, you may want to drop by the Portail Pélagie-Cormier reception and interpretation centre to rent the audio travel guide (CD) Sur la route de Natashquan (available in French only). You can also stop at the Montagne Ronde lookout for a unique view of the harbour. Continue to Baie-Johan-Beetz where the Johan-Beetz House, locally known as the “Castle”, offers incredible photo opportunities of this spectacular location. From here, continue on to Natashquan.
While in Natashquan, visit the Bord du Cap interpretation centre, the Les Galets heritage site and the Vieille École, a schoolhouse that has been transformed into a museum showcasing the work of famous Québec poet and singer/songwriter Gilles Vigneault.
Visit www.voyagescoste.ca for help planning your trip to Minganie.