When it comes to Canada, British Columbia and Western Alberta often get top billing as the nation’s top outdoor destinations. Yet, there is so much more to Canada. It’s the world’s second-largest country in terms of area but is sparsely populated. It’s really an outdoor junkie’s dream.
One of Canada’s most distinct regions is the Province of Quebec. Home to Montreal and Quebec City, the province is famous for having French as its official language and also has more than its fair share of spectacular outdoor landscapes. The mighty St. Lawrence River runs through the entirety of Quebec, connecting Lake Ontario and the Atlantic Ocean. It also includes several picturesque mountains, thriving wetlands and protected forests.
5 Outdoor Places to Visit in Quebec
For some of the best outdoor places to visit in Quebec, check out the locations below. Just be aware, if you do continue reading you’re likely to spontaneously purchase a round-trip ticket to Quebec next summer.
Montmorency Falls is a short drive from Quebec City and is surrounded by Montmorency Park, which is protected land. Though it’s nowhere near as wide, Montmorency is actually 30 meters taller than Niagara Falls. It’s, of course, on the Montmorency River, which flows into the St. Lawrence.
There is plenty of excellent hiking in the area, especially during the summer months. You can actually walk from the waterfall to the St. Lawrence. Perhaps, one of the coolest things you can do at Montmorency Falls is zip line over it. The Canyon Sainte-Anne is a pretty quick trip, but it gives you an phenomenal view of the falls and only costs $25 in Canadian Dollars.
The Gaspé Peninsula is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and runs into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which becomes the Atlantic Ocean. The area’s most dominant geographic feature is jagged cliffs that run along its coast. These cliffs provide never-ending views of the sea and the surrounding cliffs. They are also perfect for hiking, bird watching and exploring.
One of the main features of the Gaspé Peninsula is the Parc National De I’lle-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Perce. The national park is located on Bonaventure Island and was initially established as a bird sanctuary. It features five hiking trails and plenty of boat and kayaking tours.
Gatineau Park was intended to be Canada’s first national park outside of the Rocky Mountains, but unfortunately, the large plot of land never received that designation. However, the 361-square-kilometer park is still an excellent place for outdoor activities.
The park includes campgrounds, hiking trails, beaches, parkways and picnic areas. Its Camp Fortune also has zip line courses and treetop obstacles. In the winter, the park is famous for cross-country skiing. The best feature of the park is its expansive hiking trails. This includes part of the Trans Canada Trail, which claims to be the world’s longest network of recreational hiking trails.
Parc National de Mauricie
Way up north, Parc National de Mauricie is one of Quebec’s most remotely located national parks. Wildlife in the park include bears, moose and beavers. Its dozens of lakers are perfect for swimming or kayaking, although, you’ll have to portage in order to get to all of them. Its best feature, though, is the Chutes de Weber. It’s one of the most beautiful sets of waterfalls in the world. It looks like a set of rocky, staggered staircases with fresh river water running down it. The base of this waterfall is also a great place to jump in for a swim.
Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier
Running through the majority of the national park is the Jacques Cartier River. This river is excellent for fly fishing, especially when it comes to catching brook trout. The park also has great hiking trails that run through its mountains and river valleys. Many of the trials are perfect for mountain bike rides.
If you do travel to Quebec, be prepared to do a bit of driving. It’s the size of many small-sized countries. This means you’ll have to make sure that you have quality travel credit cards and that you learn to read french road signs — you don’t want to get pulled over for speeding in a construction zone or miss your exit.