Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread: Navigating a sea of mountains - Gaspésie 2017

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48

    Default Navigating a sea of mountains - Gaspésie 2017

    Not much have been said about Gaspésie on EXPO, therefore I am sharing my trip report. I went on a 2 weeks solo overland trip in September:

    Lead Image by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    Born and raised on the east coast of Canada, I used to admire the mountains of Gaspesie across from the Baie-des-Chaleurs as a kid. I knew that one day I would go explore that area and stand on one of those mountains. I grew up on a very flat land and the mountains were calling me. Unfortunately, life got in the way and this adventure was put on hold for a while. This summer however, I decided that it was time for me to go explore Gaspesie and left on a two weeks overland trip to do just that. I would travel solo and would be camping alone for the first time ever; I was excited but at the same time, a little nervous for doing this on my own. Would I get bored, would loneliness kick in after a while? There was only one way to find out, sometimes taking the decision to just go is the hardest part.

    I did not have a fixed itinerary but I planned to see the major points of interest (POI) along this trip: Gaspesie National Park, Forillon National Park and of course, that big rock in Perce.

    Leaving from Ottawa, I decided to stop halfway at Bic National Park, which is a beautiful park, located in the St. Lawrence Estuary. I planned to be on the road for about 7 hours until I would reach Bic so this sounded more reasonable instead of driving about 12 hours to get to Gaspesie National Park. I have done long trips like that plenty of time before but you don’t get to enjoy the ride much after a few hours and besides, with all those moose on the loose it is safer to stop and set up camp before dusk rather than to keep driving.

    Pathfinder1 by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    The Societe des etablissements de plein air du Quebec (SEPAQ) manage Bic National Park along with 24 other national parks located all across Quebec and this also includes Gaspesie National Park. I have visited a few of these parks before therefore I knew that my stay there would be enjoyable as I found these parks to be well managed (e.g. clean facilities) with friendly staff. I could have planned to stay for free on crown owned lands but since I was traveling solo, I preferred to stay at campsites and see other human time to time and did not have to worry about finding a campsite at the last minute every day. I went on my trip at the beginning of September just after the regular tourist season so I did not have to worry about reservations and would also enjoy some privacy at campsites with fewer visitors at that time of the year.

    Bic is a rather small park but still, it has so much to explore. I was missing the sounds and the smell of the sea so I definitely got my fix when I got there. I stayed there for 2 nights and then left for Gaspesie National Park, which really was my main POI. I drove on road 132 along the St. Lawrence, which has beautiful scenery and then got close and personal with Gaspesie’s mountains by taking road 299 that travel across Gaspesie from north to south. I remember seeing a wall of mountains somewhere on the way, which was higher than any I had ever seen in eastern Canada, my mouth just opened, it was spectacular!

    Once I arrived at the park, I booked a campsite for two nights and went on with my exploration. Since I had an injured foot that was still healing I settled for one of the easiest hikes that would bring me at the top of a mountain, Mont Ernest-Laforce. Although it is not the park’s highest mountain, the view from the top was amazing. I was finally standing on one of Gaspesie’s mountain a dream just came true. I chatted with some French tourists, took tons of pictures and then went down to eat some snacks and plan my next micro-adventure.

    View from M. Ernest-Laforce by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    Since I was on an overland trip, my objective was also to do some backcountry travel and drive on some gravel roads. Instead of returning on road 299 to get back on the 132, I drove east across the Chic-Chocs Reserve, as it would also lead to the 132 eventually. I left on a foggy morning, which made for beautiful scenery in the reserve.

    Chic-Chocs1 by Matt Godin, on FlickrChic-Chocs2 by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    After getting back on road 132 I finally arrived at Forillon National Park after driving a few hours through the fog with not much for visibility. I booked a campsite for two nights once again and drove to the picnic area at Cap-Bon-Ami. The view at Cap-Bon-Ami was stunning although it was still quite foggy.

    Forillon by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    The next morning I hiked up to Mont Saint-Alban’s lookout tower that gives you a perfect view of Land’s end. The view from the tower was breathtaking. I then went to Cap-des-rosiers to visit Canada’s highest lighthouse (37 m). I had the privilege to have a tour as the sole visitor for the 2:00 pm tour. It was fascinating to learn about the history of this lighthouse and how its whole system used to work.

    Land's end by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    Lighthouse1 by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    Land's end2 by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    Before leaving for Perce, I hiked the 8 km (round trip) Les Graves trail to Cap-Gaspe (Land’s end) that is also part of Forillon National Park. At the end is a beautiful lighthouse and you are now as much east as you can get in Gaspesie. At that point, the Appalachian Mountains disappear in the Atlantic Ocean before re-emerging in Newfoundland.

    Cap-Gaspe by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    To be continued...
    Last edited by Path06; 11-14-2017 at 11:46 PM.
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    When I arrived in Perce, I booked one night at the local camping cote surprise. I would get the best campsite with a direct view on the Perce Rock. For the first time on this trip, I slept in my tent instead of the back of the pathfinder. The night was cold and humid but it was suddenly all worth it when I woke up and looked at the sunrise.

    Sunrise by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    The Geopark of Perce had recently opened their new suspended glass platform that is located on a cliff of the Mont Saint-Anne. The platform provided with a great view of the Perce area and its big rock. At the end of the platform was a glass floor where you had to remove your shoes if you wanted to experience walking on it and looking at the tip of the trees below you. It was quite an experience as I usually don’t like height. Some other visitors were also struggling with their fear of height but after a few encouragements from each other, most got to experience walking on that glass floor, it was really cool.

    Perce by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    The mountains were calling me once again; I had to get back to Gaspesie National Park. I drove west and then got back on the 299 but this time from the South. I arrived late in the afternoon so decided to treat myself to some luxury since I had been sleeping at the back of my truck for a week. I booked a room at the Gite du Mont Albert, a magnificent four- star hotel managed by the SEPAQ at the heart of the park. I spent the night all cozy in a real bed, I know this was kind of cheating but I was on a vacation after all. Now I was ready to “rough it up” for the other week of sleeping at the back of my pathfinder. I decided to spend my last week of vacation there where I stayed at most of the different campsite’s location within the park so I could explore more of the area.

    Cascapedia by Matt Godin, on Flickr

    I left Gaspesie with beautiful memories. I could finally check that one off my bucket list but I know that one day I will return. I have now seen with my own eyes those mountains that were so mysterious to me when I was a kid. Now, I am wondering where my next big trip will take me next year. Labrador and Newfoundland have been on my list for quite some time now and I feel that this trip in Gaspesie has prepared me for other extended trips to explore more of eastern Canada.
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Prescott
    Posts
    392
    Beautiful country! Thanks for sharing
    Next chapter in the adventure of life...
    Stick and Brick people for now.

    http://www.365camper.com/fulltimervliving/

    www.365camper.com Our wanderings and adventures...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Escoumins and Petite-Riviere-St-Francois, Quebec, Canada
    Posts
    954
    Always nice to see that beautifull landscape. Did you see any wood caribou or moose?
    Luc L., Paramedic, ski patroller, Charlevoix, Qc, Canada, 95 Wrangler, 1987 Honda Transalp

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    14
    Nice photos of a beautiful area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Cummins_expo View Post
    Beautiful country! Thanks for sharing
    You're welcome!
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky j View Post
    Always nice to see that beautifull landscape. Did you see any wood caribou or moose?
    I did not see a single moose or caribou on this trip lol Although Mount Ernest-Laforce is apparently one of the best spot within Gaspésie National Park to get to see moose, you would have a better chance to see them at dawn when they are more active, I went on my hike there middle day, same as most of my other exploring of the area.
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by ridendude View Post
    Nice photos of a beautiful area.

    Thank you! I agree eastern Canada is quite beautiful
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,329
    Beautiful country up there! I've spent some time exploring Ontario. Now this thread is motivating me to get over into Quebec.
    2011 4Runner Trail: Stock (Hopefully this changes soon)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
    Beautiful country up there! I've spent some time exploring Ontario. Now this thread is motivating me to get over into Quebec.
    Do it!! You won't regret it, Gaspesie is really awesome. Gaspesie National Park is a place I know I will return. If I did not go on this trip during the beginning of hunting season I would have explored more of the Chic-Chocs Reserve, thats too bad...
    2006 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4X4 | 2''Bilstein Suspension lift | Rocky Road Supersliders | 265/75/16 Goodyear Duratrack | BajaRack
    Follow my adventures Instagram

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •