The Fjord RouteLarger-than-life and forged by glaciers
Unique in North America, the Saguenay Fjord dazzles visitors with its northern beauty, immense rock face and dizzying capes. Discover both shores of this phenomenon by following the signs of the Fjord Route! Winding through the heart of this colossal natural amphitheatre is the Saguenay River—a waterway feeding into the St. Lawrence that constitutes a veritable sea, complete with imposing tides, salt water and some 54 species of fish and marine mammal, including the Greenland shark and the beluga.
A site of exceptional natural beauty
A section of the Fjord Route called the “Vallée de la Biodiversité” stands out in Québec for its great variety of wildlife, from belugas and Atlantic salmon to moose, waterfowl, black bears, brook trout and various amphibians. A prime opportunity to encounter the animal kingdom! In general, the fjord’s lands, waters and wildlife are protected by two entities: the Parc national du Saguenay, which encompasses most of the fjord’s shoreline, and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, which covers its waters. Both parks offer up a range of activities—cruises, sea kayaking, fishing and more—that let you maximize your enjoyment of the surrounding natural beauty. The area’s many snowshoe and cross-country ski trails are also well suited to hikes of any length.
Stopovers with a view
Each town and village lining the route has something special to offer, too. Two of them, L’Anse-Saint-Jean and Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, belong to the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec network. You can also pull in to Baie Sainte-Marguerite to spot the belugas from a lookout point, go ice fishing, scale the treetops or the rocky ridges of Cap Jaseux, or dip into the cultural dynamism of Chicoutimi (City of Saguenay). For a jaunt back in time, head for the Site de la Nouvelle France to experience a recreated Huron village and much more; or take in La Nouvelle Fabuleuse, a large-scale extravaganza that lets you relive the high points of the region’s history from 1603 to the present day. Lastly, to demystify the ecosystem formed by the fjord and the Baie des Ha! Ha!, a stop at the Musée du fjord is a must!
The 235-km (146-mi.) route circumnavigates the fjord, from the village of Petit-Saguenay (Highway 170) to Sacré-Cœur (Highway 172), with stops at L’Anse-Saint-Jean, Rivière Éternité, Saint-Félix-D’Otis, the City of Saguenay (La Baie and Chicoutimi boroughs), Saint-Fulgence and Sainte-Rose-du-Nord. Chicoutimi is where you cross from one side of the fjord to the other.