The Maritime Parks of the St-Lawrence
The St. Lawrence is a river, an estuary, as well as a gulf of considerable length. Eight parks grace its trajectory and provide admirable protection to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
• On the North Shore, one section of the St. Lawrence is blessed with so many natural resources (and large marine mammals) that a national park was established there: the Saguenay-St.-Lawrence Marine Park. This park highlights an exclusively marine environment, and covers a section of the estuary and Saguenay fjord. Spring and fall bear witness to the migration of hundreds of thousands of snow geese, who stop annually on the river’s banks, gathering mainly at Montmagny and on Isle-aux-Grues, and at Cap Tourmente, near Québec City.
• In the Duplessis region, the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve (Duplessis) is a fascinating stop for visitors. Step into an incomparable universe created by the unique landscape of these islands, imposing natural monuments scattered out in the gulf near the shore. It is as if nature herself carved objects, animals and human faces from the natural limestone bedrock!
• Set in the middle of the gulf, Anticosti National Park is the kingdom of the white-tailed deer. This unparalleled natural Garden of Eden, measuring 222 kilometres (138 miles) in length (17 times larger than the Island of Montréal) is decorated with impressive sea cliffs, waterfalls, canyons and rivers. At the centre of the island you can visit the majestic Vauréal Falls, rising 100 metres (328 feet), a truly spectacular sight.
• On the South Shore, the Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé is home to the largest colony of Northern Gannets in North America, and the famous Percé Rock, which is without a doubt Gaspé’s tourist emblem, a colossal mass of rock measuring 433 metres (1420 feet) long by 85 metres (278 feet) in height.
• At the tip of Gaspé, the sea cliffs of Forillon National Park offer dizzying vistas where one can admire majestic mountains, the sea, and beautiful beaches.
• In the Baie des Chaleurs, the Parc national de Miguasha, listed as a UNESCO National Heritage Site, is a unique paleontological site. There you can find 23 species of fossils dating back 370 million years.
• Famous for its mountains, Parc national de la Gaspésie is the only place in Québec where caribou, moose and white-tailed deer live together. The park includes no less than 25 mountain summits rising more than a thousand metres, including the highly popular Chic-Chocs.
• Lastly, not far from Rimouski, the shoreline of Parc national du Bic offers dramatic landscapes: spectacular peaks, sheer cliffs, peaceful bays, and innumerable rock formations. The area is renowned for bird and seal watching, and for hiking and sea kayak excursions.