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Parc national de la Gaspésie. Photo : Mathieu Dupuis

Gaspésie Tour: Outdoor Family Fun

Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Here is a suggested itinerary for a 7-day trip around the Gaspé Peninsula that includes hiking, sea excursions, canoeing, camping… in other words, fun for the whole family!

Orignal dans la réserve faunique de Matane.
Moose in Matane Wildlife Reserve. Photo: SÉPAQ

Day 1 – Moose photo safari in the Réserve faunique de Matane

Duration of drive: 40 minutes from Matane to the wildlife reserve’s registration centre

Board a shuttle bus and go on a photo safari accompanied by a naturalist guide in the Réserve faunique de Matane to observe moose and learn more about these majestic animals.

Accommodations: Extend the fun by renting a cabin or campsite in the wildlife reserve.

Other options for activities: Reford Gardens, Centre d’art Marcel Gagnon

Local flavour to try: Be sure to sample local northern shrimp, which are available in fish markets and on many restaurant menus.

More lodging and activities options in The Coast.

Parc national de la Gaspésie
Parc national de la Gaspésie. Photo: CHOK Images

Day 2 – Hike in Parc national de la Gaspésie

Duration of the drive: 2 hours from the wildlife reserve to the park

Parc national de la Gaspésie is a must for hiking enthusiasts. As a family, discover Lac-aux-Américains and Mount Ernest-Laforce. If you are looking for more of a challenge, hike up Mount Albert or Mount Jacques-Cartier!

Accommodations: In addition to the Gîte du Mont-Albert and nearby cabins, the park also offers campsites and glamping (“ready-to-camp”) options. You can also find seaside campgrounds in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts and the surrounding area.

Other options for activities: Valmont Plein Air , Exploramer, Mount Lyall agate mine

Local flavour to try: Savour forest chocolates from the Couleur Chocolat chocolate economuseum.

More lodging and activities options in Haute-Gaspésie.

Cap-Bon-Ami, parc national Forillon.
Cap-Bon-Ami, Forillon National Park. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Day 3 – Hiking and beach fun in Forillon National Park

Duration of the drive: 3 hours from Parc national de la Gaspésie to Forillon National Park (take Route 299, then Route 132 to avoid driving on gravel roads)

Mount Saint-Alban and the Les Graves trail, which leads to the Land’s End lookout, are among the must-see hiking spots in Forillon National Park. End your day in the Penouille sector where you can bike, paddleboard and have fun at the beach.

Accommodations: The park offers campsites as well as glamping options, including the new Ôasis units in the shape of water droplets. The Petit-Gaspé sector, which features a recreation centre and swimming pool, is ideal for families. There are several other campgrounds near the park.

Other options for activities: Site historique Pointe-à-la-Renommée (historic site), Centre socioculturel Manoir Le Boutillier, Cap-de-la-Madeleine Lighthouse

Local flavour to try: Stock up on local produce at the Marché des Saveurs Gaspésiennes.

Plateforme vitrée suspendue du Géoparc mondial UNESCO de Percé.
Suspended glass platform, Percé UNESCO Global Geopark. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Day 4 – Forillon National Park and Percé UNESCO Global Geopark

Duration of drive: 1.5 hours from Forillon National Park to Percé

In the morning, continue your exploration of Forillon National Park during a whale-watching cruise or sea kayaking excursion, or stay on dry land and visit the park’s heritage sites.

In the afternoon, visit the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark. Discover the unique geology of this area through the Tektonik multimedia experience, hiking trails, a suspended glass platform and a zipline.

Accommodations: The Geopark offers campsites. You can also find campgrounds, hotels, etc. in Percé.

Other options for activities: Musée de la Gaspésie, Micmac Interpretation Site of Gespeg, Birthplace of Canada Historic Site.

Local flavour to try: La Maison du pêcheur offers a fisherman’s platter featuring local lobster and other fresh fish and seafood. You can also order seafood in many other restaurants in Percé.

Parc national de l'île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.
Parc national de l’île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Day 5 – Northern gannets at Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé

Duration of drive: 40 minutes from Percé to Chandler

Home to the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world, Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé offers hiking trails as well as interpretive activities (in French only).

Accommodations: Located in Chandler, Camping Bourg de Pabos offers campsites in wooded areas or on the beach only a stone’s throw from the Nova Lumina multimedia experience site, which will allow you to enjoy this evening activity.

Other options for activities: Magasin général historique authentique 1928 (authentic general store), Parc du Bourg de Pabos, historical walking tour of Percé.

Local flavour to try: Savour Pit Caribou beers at the pub of the same name in the heart of the village of Percé or on a magnificent patio overlooking the sea at the microbrewery in L’Anse-à-Beaufils.

More lodging and activities options in Land’s End.

CIme Aventures
Canoeing on the Bonaventure River with Cime Aventures. Photo: Cime Aventures

Day 6 – Adventure on the Bonaventure River with Cimes Aventures

Duration of drive: 2 hours from Percé to Bonaventure

Go canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding down the crystal-clear Bonaventure River with Cime Aventures. Take advantage of a stop at the Le Malin rapids to go for a swim. A zipline and treetop trekking are also available on site.

Accommodations: Sleep on site in a teepee, cottage, riverside cabin or ecolodge on stilts! Camping is also available.

Other options for activities: Paspébiac National Historic Site, Musée acadien du Québec

Local flavour to try: Savour freshly picked strawberries at Ferme Bourdages Tradition or stock up on their many other treats: pies, jams, wines and more!

More lodging and activities options in Chaleur Bay.

Chute à Philomène
Chute à Philomène. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie

Day 7 – Salmon observation at the Site des Chutes et Marais  

Duration of drive: 2 hours from Matapédia to Bonaventure

At the Site des Chutes et Marais, a salmon observation site, you can learn more about salmon and observe these fish swim in the river in real time via a giant screen. A hike in the falls sector will allow you to see them jumping up the waterfall.

Along the way, stop at the spectacular lookouts along the Route des Belvédères scenic drive and at the suspended lookout over the Chute à Philomène waterfall to admire amazing views!

Accommodations: Located on the shores of Lake Matapédia, Camping Bois et Berges in Val-Brillant offers glamping units and yurts as well as tent and trailer sites.

Other options for activities: Nature Aventure, Site patrimonial de Pêche Matamajaw (fishing heritage site)

Local flavour to try: the chocolates and frozen delicacies of Chocolaterie BelJade.

More lodging and activities options in The Valley.

Please note that this itinerary is intended for information purposes only; it is not a package. It proposes a tour of the Gaspé Peninsula starting on the south side (and going counterclockwise around the region). This itinerary is meant to inspire you and may be modified as you wish.

Use this selection of activities to inspire your own itinerary around the Gaspé Peninsula! Be sure to also check out our Family Discoveries and Outdoor Adventures itineraries. For more ideas for your outdoor family vacation, read the following blog posts:

To make sure you savour every moment, plan your stay at! #gaspesie

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