Exploration Gaspe Peninsula
COMPLETED Summer 2006
Drive The Globe headed to Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula for their third trip to Canada’s Atlantic Provinces. This was an all camping trip at two areas: The Parc National de la Gaspésie, (a Quebec National Park); and the Forillon National Park of Canada (a National Park of Canada).
The Parc National de la Gaspésie is located in the ‘Upper Gaspé Region’ of the peninsula and is inland from the coast. It is a veritable sea of mountains located in the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula. Its varied climates and unusual geomorphology attract a diversity of plant and animal species that are unique in Québec. The park has 25 peaks over 1,000 metres high. Monts Chic-Chocs are well known to outdoor enthusiasts.
There are other activities including canoeing, trout & salmon fishing and interpretive trails. The town of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts is only a short distance from the Park on the St. Lawrence River.
The Forillon National Park is located near the town of Gaspé and is in the “Lands End’ area of the Gaspé Peninsula and located at its furthest reach.
Its majestic landscapes cover a 244 km2 (151+ miles²) area that is carved out of the sea, cliffs and mountains. Forillon protects a representative sample of the Notre-Dame and Mégantic mountain regions and certain elements of the Gulf of St. Lawrence marine region. The presence of ten different rock formations, colonies of seabirds and enigmatic artic-alpine plants give this park its unique character.
The town of Perce is only about 70 kilometers from Forillon National Park and the town of Gaspé. The Perce Rock is perhaps the most recognizable landmark of the area and you can walk to it during low tide.
The Parc de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé is located near by with its remarkable flora and fauna, including its world-renowned Northern Gannet colony, contributes to the Park's reputation as a must-see destination. This rocky bastion, a prolongation of the Appalachian Mountains extending into the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, has for its fortress Bonaventure Island, and Québec tourist emblem Percé Rock as its majestic vessel of stone. The island is alive with colors and heady fragrances of wildflowers spiced with the smell of the sea. Experience the tranquility of the forests and woodland flowers, and delight in the contrasts of sound and silence, color and shade.
Day One: Depart Hartford, CT for Houlton, ME where we’ll camp for the night (we’ll meet others along the way as needed). This will be a relatively long day so you’ll need to pack a lunch or grab a culinary delight at a rest stop along RT 95 (hmmmm good?)
Day Two: Depart Houlton for Parc National de la Gaspésie. This is a relatively long day as we make our way on RT 1 to Van Buren, ME and cross into New Brunswick. We’ll travel through New Brunswick’s interior to Campellton where we take the bridge to the southern area of the Gaspe Peninsula. The road is along the Baie des Chaleurs to RT 299 and then north to the Parc National de la Gaspésie;
Days Three & Four: We’ll use the Parc National de la Gaspésie as a base for our activities in the area;
Day Five: We depart for Forillon National Park. This is short & leisurely drive and we’ll take the northerly route from the Parc along the coast. This is very scenic and we may want to stop along the way;
Days Six through Eight: We’ll use the Forillon National Park as a base for our activities. This includes canoeing with the Micmac and the Perce Rock etc.;
Day Nine: We depart Forillon National Park for Houlton, ME. This will also be a long day on good roads along the coast & inland but not on limited access highways;
Day 10: We depart Houlton for Hartford and beyond.
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