The marvels of natureA heritage to be shared
Craters, fjord, canyons, waterfalls... Québec is brimming with magnificent natural wonders, many of which are located in national parks or sites recognized internationally by UNESCO. And despite the territory’s vast size, the great outdoors is always within reach. Just outside of Montréal, you can observe white-tailed deer against a backdrop of the city’s buildings. A mere 50 km (30 mi.) from Québec City, admire the spectacular migratory movements of the snow goose, and a two-hour drive away, the dance of the cetaceans in the Saguenay—St. Lawrence Marine Park!
Biosphere and world heritage
UNESCO has recognized four biosphere reserves on Québec’s territory: Charlevoix (Grands-Jardins and Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie national parks), Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Lac-Saint-Pierre and Manicouagan-Uapishka. What’s more, the organization has included the Parc national de Miguasha (Gaspésie) on the World Heritage List because of its fossil treasure trove. For their part, two natural districts located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence protect the fascinating monoliths of the Mingan Archipelago (Duplessis) and the celebrated Percé rock, which neighbours the impressive Northern gannet sanctuary on Île Bonaventure.
Among the thousands of rivers that run through Québec, two are particularly remarkable: the Saguenay, whose waters flow through a majestic fjord, and the Jacques-Cartier, whose steep valley is a delight to canoeing and rafting enthusiasts. The Rivière Observation, on Île d’Anticosti, cuts a magnificent canyon. A little easier to access are the Portes de l’Enfer canyon, south of Rimouski, and the canyon carved by the Rivière Sainte-Anne, next door to Québec City. These phenomena, like the Coaticook Gorge (Eastern Townships), reflect nature’s untameable character!
If you enjoy the roar of rushing water, we have plenty of falls and rapids, including three renowned waterfalls: the Montmorency and Chaudière falls, near Québec City, and the more remote Chute Vauréal, 100 m (330 ft.) high, on Île d’Anticosti.
Spectacular heights and depths
The Chic-Chocs, in the Parc national de la Gaspésie, boast 25 peaks over 1,000 m (3,300 ft.) high, making this imposing mountain range an adventure paradise. Sprinkled throughout the province are some 10 grottos and caves welcoming visitors looking to conduct an “in-depth” exploration of Québec! Geology buffs will be lured by the mines and quarries, and the chance to expand their knowledge of Québec’s gold, copper, quartz, agate or asbestos resources.
Set your course for the Far North
Nunavik is an immense territory replete with exceptional natural sites and phenomena, such as the Pingualuit crater, located in the national park of the same name, and its age-old, crystal-clear lake. Parks are also being considered in order to protect and promote Lac Guillaume-Delisle and Lac à l’Eau-Claire, as well as the majestic Koroc River, 160 km (100 mi.) long, and the Torngat Mountains, home to the highest peak in Québec: Mont D’Iberville (1,646 m / 5,400 ft.).