Nature Challenge
Forillon National Park

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    Forillon National Park Located at the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula the park encompasses an area of stunning natural features. Sheer cliffs drop down to meet the oceans waters, and provide nesting sites for huge colonies of birds. Pebble beaches shift with the rythm of the rolling waves as you make your way along the base of the cliffs. The shoreline contrasts sharply with the mountainous and heavily forested regions of the park's interior. Wildlife is bountiful and comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes reflecting the diversity of habitat in the park. Shoreline walks will expose you to the wonders of the inter-tidal zone. Beavers work the creeks while kittiwakes ply the cliffs and bears roam the forests.  
 
 

Campers have the choice of three front country campgrounds as well as wilderness sites, if they've brought thier backpacks, sleeping bags and hiking boots. There is also a group camping area. Winter camping is also possible in the park.

 
 
    Sea kayakers have miles of coastline to explore and the chance of seeing one of the seven varieties of whales that are found in these waters. Seal colonies are also accessible (from a distance of course) to kayakers. Scuba is another of the parks marine activities with wonderful sites to explore off the park. There are even facilities for gearing up and rinsing up when you're done.  
 

Hikers and mountain bikers will find trails available in the park. Cyclists can take advantage of the park's roads as well.

Camping

Front Country Camping

There are three campgrounds in the park. In the north area of the park you'll find Cap-Bon-Ami which has 41 unserviced sites. The Des-Rosiers campground is also in the north area and has 155 campsites, 42 with electricity as well as an amphitheatre where a variety of persentations take place. At the campgrounds entrance you'll find a dumping station. The Petit-Gaspé campground in the south area of the park has 171 camp sites, 35 of which have electricity. There is also a dumping station, an amphitheatre, laundromat, swimming pool and restaurant available in the area.

Reservations can be made through the parks website via Parks Canada

Group Camping

Group camping is available at the Petit-Gaspé in the south area. There are limitations on group size and eligabilty. Reservations are required. Contact the park through thier website for details.

Wilderness Camping

Both the Les Crêtes and the Les Lacs trails have wilderness sites along route. There are basic facilities available. Registration is mandatory. Contact the park for details.

Winter Camping

There are two designated winter camping areas in the park.  The first is located at the Petit Gaspe group camping area. You have to make your way into the site on snowshoes or skies (2km). Vault toilets are available but there is no kitchen shelter. The second site is 1km from the access point and provides vault toilets as well as  a day use shelter with a woodstove and picnic tables. Fees and registration are required.

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Nature

Forillon National Park unique location ensures it has an interesting mix of marine life, land animals and birds. You'll find seven species of whales in the areas waters, along with harbour and grey seals. Sea urchins, crabs and a wide host of other charecters inhabit pools of the inter-tidal zone. The areas seabirds include, double-crested cormorants, black guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, gulls and razorbills. In the park's forests you might encounter the larger mamals such as moose and black bear or some of the smaller animals, include beaver, red fox, coyote, snowshoe hare, porcupine, woodchuck, mink, ermine, eastern chipmunk and red squirrel. If you're very lucky, you might even see the rarely sighted lynx. Whale and bird watching cruises are available in the park.

 
Hiking

There are approximately 60km of trails in the park set a side for hikers.

Prélude à Forillon - 0.6km, loop, easy

The trail follows along a wooden boardwalk and has universal access.

Une tournée dans les parages - 3km, loop, easy

The trail allows you to explore the Grande-Grave historic area taking you to the Hyman building as well as Anse-Blanchette.

La Chute - 1km, loop, easy

The trial follows mixed terrain and includes boardwalks and stairs taking you to a 17m waterfall.

Les Graves - 8km (departure from Anse-aux-Amérindiens) or 15.2km (departure from Grande-Grave), return trip, intermediate

Includes shoreline walks and a hillside route to Cap-Gaspé allowing you access to observation points to look for marine mammals.

Mont Saint-Alban - 7.2km (departure from the beach at Petit-Gaspé) or 7.8km (departure from Cap-Bon-Ami), loop, intermediate

The trail showcases the sea and the surrounding cliffs and includes some steep sections. You'll fine an observation tower on route with an exceptional view.

Le Portage - 10 km, one way, intermediate

This mixed usage trail provides a north south crossing of the parks peninsula/

La Vallée - 9.2km, return trip, intermediate

Another mixed usage trail, La Vallée follows along the Anse-au-Griffon River.

Brochures on the trails and topographical maps are for sale at the reception centre and the toll kiosks.

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Backpacking

The backcountry campsites are located on Les Crêtes and the Les Lacs trails. The sites have picnic tables and access to dry toilets. You must pre-register at the parks reception centre or at the toll kiosks before setting out. Ask for brochures and maps on the parks trails.

Les Crêtes - 16.3 or 18.2km, one way, expert

The trail takes you into the parks forested mountains and provides for some wonderful vantage points. The wilderness campsites are situated on route.

Les Lacs - 16.8 or 17.6km, one way, expert

The trail takes you into the parks highlands and to the shores of wilderness lakes.The wilderness area is situated on route. The trail is the park's access to the spectacular International Appalachian Trail.

 

Sea Kayaking

Forillion provides wonderful opportunities for sea kayakers with cliff side bird colonies, incredible scenery and plenty of marine life. The whole peninsula is open for you exploration if you have experience with open ocean paddling. For paddlers with less experience you should definately hire a guide. The areas waters are exposed to the broad Atlantic and the water's temperatures pose a significant hazard if you capsize. Weather can change quickly so make sure you check the forcast before you go.

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Mountain Biking

La Vallee and Le Portage Trail are open to mountain bikers (these are multi-use trails so ride with caution). You can also take advantage of the parks minor roads. The trail to Penouill Beach can also be ridden. All other trails are out of bounds. Rentals are available, contact the park for details. 

Cross Country Skiing

The park has over 40km of groomed cross country ski trails in the winter.  There are day use shelters and vault toilets along the trail network. There are three access points, at the portage parking lot, la Vallee parking area at L'Anse-au-Griffon and the Castor parking area at Cad-des-Rosiers. There are rentals available, contact the park for details.

La Vallee - 9.2km return Follows along the L'Anse-au-Griffon River it connect to the Portage Trail.

Le Ruisseau - 9.6km loop A fairly easy trail through rolling countryside.

La Cedriere - 11.2km loop Climbs into the parks mountains

Le Castor - 7.6km loop The trail follows through the parks lowlands

Le Portage - 20km return Through woods and fields the trail connects into the La Vallee and the Cedriere

Penouille - 2km one way, not groomed A warming hut with basic amenities is located at the end of the trail

Backcountry Skiing

The north end of the park has a 5.4, trail which will take you into Cap-Bon-Ami. A day use shelter with a woodstove is available along route as is a vault toilet. In the south you'll find an 11.3km trail which follows along the sea shore to the tip of the peninsula. A day use shelter, woodstove, picnic tables and a vault toilet are available on route.

Horseback Riding

The Vallee and the Portage trails are open to horses but be aware these are multi-use trails. There are other trails for riders in the parks south.

Diving 

The area offers wonderful opportunities for divers,you'll find over a dozen established diving spots. Grande-Grave, Petit-Gaspé and Anse-Saint-Georges are designated areas.Contact the park for more information.

 
 

Interactive Map of Forillon National Park


View Larger Map

 
Underwater World
 
Forillon Whale Watching
 

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Resources

   

Getting There

From Montreal head to Quebec City, then take the bridge to Levi on the south shore (or stay on the south shore if you came that way)  and head east on the 20. Just passed Riviere du Loup, the 20 turns into the 132. Keep going along the coastal highway and work your way around the spectacluar north end of the peninsula to the park, which is located at the very tip. The park is about 350km passed Quebec. From New Brunswick follow the 11 north passed Campbellton and pick up the 132 along the south shore of the peninsula.

 
 

Resources

Tourism Gaspesie - Official Tourism Site
Town of Gaspe
Quebec Tourism

Park Weather - From the Weather Network

Balienes Forillon - Whale Watching

Accommodations

Auberge Internationale Forillon
Camping Gaspe

Related Links

Links of Interest

Canadian Geographic
Conde Nast Traveler

Islands Magazine
National Geographic
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
Outside Magazine
Sunset Magazine
Travel and Leisure Magazine
Wavelength Magazine

 

Out-There's Destinations

 

 


Forillon National Park
122 Gaspe Boulevard
Gaspe, Quebec
G4X 1A9

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