Top 5 – Gaspésie on Land or Underground
Here are 5 activities to explore Gaspésie off the beaten path, on land or underground.
Hikes to Chute Hélène waterfall and Mount Nicol-Albert
These two little-known hiking trails are located in the Matane Wildlife Reserve. The one that takes you to the waterfall is an 8.2-km round-trip intermediate hike with long ascents followed by short downhill stretches. You will walk through stands of large trees (white pines, cedars, sugar maples, etc.) before arriving at the magnificent 50-metre waterfall. Experienced hikers will want to try out the second trail, up Mount Nicol-Albert, which is one of the toughest in Québec, with an elevation difference of 745 metres over 6.2 km! This very difficult hike (12.4 km round-trip) offers various lookouts, including views of the Cap-Chat River, the Beaulieu waterfall and rapids, a crevasse and a geological oddity in the shape of a face.
For a truly unique experience, go on a jeep safari with Extrême Chic-Chocs Safari in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. As a co-pilot or passenger in an off-road four-wheel-drive vehicle, you will discover the Haute-Gaspésie backcountry in complete safety. Professional guides will offer you a variety of itineraries to choose from. Depending on your expectations, they may recommend a quiet family excursion or an extreme adventure among friends! Each vehicle is ready for all conditions and has all the equipment required to ensure your safety.
The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) – Québec and GRA1 gives you the opportunity to trek across the region of Gaspésie on a 650-km trail! The only certified GR in North America, the trail begins in Matapédia, heads to Amqui and then goes through the Matane Wildlife Reserve. It then crosses Parc national de la Gaspésie (including the spectacular Mount Albert and Mount Jacques-Cartier), then descends towards Mont-Saint-Pierre and follows the coast all the way to magnificent Forillon National Park at the tip of the peninsula. The trail is suitable for walkers and trekkers of all levels: you can opt for 1- to 40-day itineraries on gentle to steep terrain. Several services are offered along the trail, including huts and supplies for trekkers. Access to the trail is free but you will need to pay a daily entrance fee in the two parks.
One of the oldest caves in Québec, the Grotte de Saint-Elzéar in Saint-Elzéar, will impress you with its many concretions: calcite flows, stalactites, stalagmites and more. A metal walkway will take you to the largest sections of the cave. In summer 2018, the more adventurous will have the opportunity to enjoy an unusual experience: a new cave will be accessible by crawling! You can also visit the deepest cave in Québec, Grotte Le Spéos de la Fée , in La Rédemption. Using the via ferrata (a steel cable to which you are secured), you can climb down to 46 metres below the earth. You can also hike the karstic trail (on the surface) and learn all about cave phenomena.
Cycling tour of the Gaspé Peninsula
Immerse yourself in charming coastal villages by exploring Gaspésie by bicycle! Since the region is mountainous, you will have to climb steep hills… but the spectacular scenery makes it worth it! With daily itineraries ranging from 50 km to 90 km , you can ride around the entire Gaspé Peninsula in 14 days, departing from Sainte-Flavie. For most of your trip you can follow the Route Verte cycling network, which is dotted with lodging establishments that are certified Bienvenue Cyclistes (Welcome Cyclists). During your tour, make sure to stop and chat with the locals, who are friendly and welcoming, and recharge your batteries daily by savouring seafood delicacies of all kinds!
Do you want to get off the beaten path and explore Gaspésie on land or underground? Visit tourisme-gaspesie.com to plan your trip!