Canadian Park Hound

Outdoor Trips & Tips With The Novice Bushwacker

One week, Four parks. Gaspé to New Brunswick. July 2011 Pt. 2/5 (Gaspé coast to Forillon Nat’l Park)

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Tuesday July 5th, 2011 (Le Bic -> Forillon)

9:30 am. Break camp at Le Bic after a cup of coffee and we begin the first day of really driving the Gaspé. Wow. In a word, that’s all you need to know.

The long version though, is this:

Gaspésie is one drive that every Canadian should make in their lifetime. The north coast of Gaspésie is right up there with driving the Cabot Trail. The main difference between the two is sea level. On the Cabot Trail, you’re high above the water. In Gaspésie, you’re right on the water.

We had idyllic weather and a fantastic view of the St. Lawrence, but I can imagine that the warning signs should not be taken lightly in bad weather. You’re completely exposed to the water on one side and have a sheer cliff on the other. Thrilling! And unbelievably beautiful.

Our first stop for food was in Sainte Maxime-du-Mont-Louis. There is a town in every bay that provides a natural harbour. Their borders are dictated by the landscape. It’s quite the sight to see. You can’t help but smile when you come around a corner and see a little town that looks just like the last one. Guess what they must do for a living?

We pulled over for a lunch of lobster poutine. Fries, cheese, béchamel & lobster. Yes.

From this point, it still took us the better part of 5 1/2 hours to get to Forillon National Park. The highway is two-lane, often under construction and follows the coast. Leave lots of time and enjoy the journey. Forillon is located right at the north-east tip of Gaspésie with the southern border of the park following along the Gaspé harbour.

We were hoping to get a campsite at Cap Bon Ami, which has sites right by the water, but unfortunately it has been closed for the entire season due to cliff erosion. We couldn’t even hike the area, it was closed off. Instead, we stayed at the Des-Rosiers campsite (A-16, for those keeping score).

As with all car-camping, you don’t have a ton of privacy between sites, but Forillon is the best I’ve experienced to date. Our site was tucked back from the road a bit, and had good tree cover between the car and tent. The tent pad itself was grass, which is a nice change from the dirt and/or limestone pads that you usually get.

The facilities were well-kept and clean, if a little dated (though, that doesn’t matter to us at all). The communal building in our loop was big enough to hold at least 10 families if necessary and provided a good place to sit and eat in bad weather or play games at night if you didn’t want to be stuck at your campsite for whatever reason.

After setting up camp, we walked down to the beach and did what everyone else seemed to be doing: watch the sunset with a bottle of wine.

Part Three: Forillon, Day Two

Part One

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Written by canadianparkhound

August 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm

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