Gaspe Peninsula Attractions Gaspésie
Top Tourist Attractions in Gaspe Peninsula
The Gaspé Peninsula (250 km (155 mi.) long and 100-140 km (62-87 mi.) across), on the Gulf of St Lawrence, is more or less cut off from the rest of Québec Province by Lake Matapédia and the Matapédia River.
Inland, Gaspésie is a mountainous, wooded wilderness, and the only sizeable settlement has grown up around the copper mine at Murdochville.The highest point on the peninsula is Mont Jacques-Cartier (1268 m (5162 ft)), part of the Schickshock Mountains, geologically the northern terminal of the Appalachians.The peninsula has a wild and rugged north coast, where the people live in small villages and depend partly on fishing for their livelihood.The south coast, on the other hand, is gentler and not so steep, and has some farmland as well as the usual timber. Tourism plays a role too, with arts and crafts such as weaving, wood-carving, and making model ships providing another source of income.Not least of Gaspé's attractions is its excellent cuisine, which is in the best French tradition, especially the game and fish (including trout, Atlantic salmon, lobster and other seafood).
This island of Île Bonaventure is a bird sanctuary, and its about 4 sq. km (11/2 sq. mi.) is North America's largest gannetry, with about 50,000 birds here in summer. The eastern side of the island is an ideal nesting site with rocky clefts and ledges. Besides the gannets, there are cormorants and other seabirds, with a nature trail so that visitors can see them better.From the top (320 m (1050 ft)) of this gleaming red rock mountain there is a magnificent view of Percé and the surrounding region.
Forillon National Park
At the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, this scenic park, Forillon National Park of Canada, extends into the Gulf of St Lawrence. Its northern coast is wild and rugged, with mostly limestone cliffs. The southern coastal strip is less grand, but just as impressive, with opportunities for bird watching and for whale watching trips by boat. For anyone wanting to know more about the wildlife of the area there is an information center at Cap des Rosiers.Further on, at Cap Bon-Ami, a narrow path leads down to the beach and there is a magnificent view of the cape and the cliffs.
Gaspé, the main town of the peninsula and the administrative and commercial center, is on a hillside overlooking the York Rivière, which runs into Gaspé Bay. The town owes its fame to Jacques Cartier, since it was here that he first set foot on the continent of North America in July 1534, fashioned a wooden cross under the gaze of the local settlers and took possession of the land "in the name of the King of France".Nowadays Gaspé is a community based on fishing and the fishing industry.
The modern cathedral of Gaspé, built almost entirely of wood and containing beautiful stained-glass, is well worth a visit.
Musée de la Gaspésie
The local museum, Musée de la Gaspésie, tells of Jacques Cartier's voyages. It also gives an account of the Anglo-French struggle for power over this region, and depicts the lives of those early settlers.Visitors will learn about the social and cultural history of the area through a large collection of artefacts and fine art.
Croix de Gaspé
The legendary wooden cross was replaced in 1934 by the stone cross near the city hall.The original wooden cross was one of two erected by Jacques Cartier in the maritimes.
Matane River, Canada
The small industrial center of Matane lies on the Matane River, famous for its salmon. Between mid-June and October a nearby path around a dam is a good viewpoint for watching the salmon on migration.
Parc de la Gaspésie
The road from Matane to Parc de la Gaspésie leads up into a hilly, wooded area before the park gives way to the broad valley of the Ste-Anne River. This area contains the highest points in the Shickshocks, including Mont Jacques-Cartier, Mont Richardson and Mont Albert, with, between them, spacious valleys, while, around Gîte du Mont Albert, the proportions are positively alpine. The trails here include one to Mont Cartier, and a Nature Interpretation Center for the Gaspésie area.
The road to Ste-Anne-des-Monts is typical of the rocky coast, running through impenetrable terrain, either at the water's edge or along the cliff tops, and passing through many little fishing villages with relatively large churches, and nothing but waves, white horses and seagulls as far as the eye can see.
The slate cliffs surrounding Mont-St-Pierre Bay are particularly spectacular.The town makes a good base for those interested in exploring the nearby mountain of the same name, where there are hiking and biking trails.
The village of Grande-Vallée still has a covered wooden bridge, dating from 1923.The town is beautifully situated between rolling hills and stretches along the ocean.
A river leads through Gaspésie's most important fishing center, Rivière-au-Renard, before circling round the Forillon Peninsula where the land is highly cultivated.
A road on the south side of the Gaspé Peninsula leads to Anse-aux-Sauvages, from where a path goes to Cape Gaspé, the eastern tip of the national park.
The whole of the coast around Percé is a magnificent natural spectacle, providing many opportunities for photography, with rocky outcrops, and towering cliffs, often bare, or only sparsely covered with turf.
Formerly a remote fishing village, its wonderful setting has made Percé a great attraction for visitors, especially in the summer months. It has plenty of good restaurants and cafés, and there is even an open-air theatre.The town gets its name from a heavily eroded rock, which is pierced (percé in French) by a large hole at one end.All the natural beauties of the Gaspé Peninsula are to be found in and around Percé within a very small area, and it is a good place to see the effects of the forces that have shaped the landscape (the rising and falling in geological periods, erosion).The interpretive center above Percé to the south gives an account of Percé's wildlife, heritage and local history.
Pic de l'Aurore
From the "Belvédère" there is a good view of the Pic de l'Aurore, looking like a giant tooth, and of the Grande-Coupe range of hills.
Cap Barré - Trois Soeur
Cap Barré has a view of the offshore rocks known as the "Three Sisters", the Trois Soeurs.
From Mont-Joli there is a view of the Trois Söurs, Cap Barré and, inland, the red cliffs of Mont Ste-Anne and a sculpture-like block of limestone which resembles a ship at anchor. The rock meanwhile has broken up, the remains forming a kind of obelisk joined to Mont-Joli by a sandy spit.
A path from the Gîte de Gargantua along the western slope of the 426 m (1398 ft) Mont-Blanc leads to a precipitous chasm known as "Grande Crevasse", although this is a walk for experienced ramblers only.
Gaspe's South Coast
Gaspé's south coast has a considerably less rugged landscape than the north, much of it farmland but there is also all kinds of economic activity. Each small bay has its fishing village. On a clear day it is possible from many observation points to see Acadia over the other side of the Baie des Chaleurs.
This little holiday place is on a bay, and was founded by Acadians fleeing here to escape deportation.Located on the Gaspé Peninsula, Bonaventure gets busy during the summer months when visitors flock to this region. This small town features an Acadian museum, a church noted for it's architecture and paintings, a zoo, and an interpretive center.
Carleton is on a bay with an offshore sandbank. The scenery here is dominated by Mont St-Joseph, which is just under 600 m (197 ft). From Carleton a small road leads up to the top from where there is a magnificent view over the Baie des Chaleurs.
The Miguasha Peninsula marks the beginning of the Baie des Chaleurs, or the end of the estuary of the Restigouche River.
The village of Matapédia is in a lovely setting amidst green hills between famous salmon rivers.The town and area are popular with fishermen and hunters. The surrounding hills show a fabulous display of color during the fall.
Musée de Miguasha (Parc National de Miguasha)
Cap-Chat is known for it's electricity producing wind mills. The town also has a light house and a rock in the shape of a sitting cat for which the town is said to be named for.
Causapscal is located at the confluence of the Matapedia and Causapscal rivers. There are outdoor activities to be enjoyed here year round including hiking, swimming, fishing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Port-Daniel, situated on the south shore of the Gaspé Peninsula, has a number of heritage homes and good views over the bay. Visitors can enjoy a number of activities in the area including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and boat excursions.
Sainte-Angèle-de-Mérici is a small town in the Lower Saint Lawrence area of Quebec. It offers pleasant views of the surrounding farmland.
Sayabec is a small town with beautiful old homes. The town is located inland on the Gaspé Peninsula in the countryside.