Here is a suggested itinerary for a 4-day road trip in the Chaleur Bay sector, in Gaspésie, in the fall. From the sea to the mountains, through over 400 years of history, discover the beauty of an environment that shapes the natural and cultural landscapes of one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Day 1 – A trip back in time at the Paspébiac National Historic Site
Visit the Paspébiac National Historic Site. Dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, it bears witness to the establishment of the two largest Jersey Island companies to export dried salt cod around the world. Open until October 7.
Other options for activities: visit the Cascapédia River Musem (until September 15)
Local flavours to try: Be sure to try salted brill, a tasty white fish available in fish markets and on the menus of many restaurants.
Paspébiac National Historic Site. Photo: Mathieu Dupuis
Day 2 – A memorable and educational wildlife observation experience
The Bioparc de la Gaspésie is a wildlife park that shelters some 40 native animal species in a setting that resembles their natural habitat. Encounter Québec’s wildlife during discovery activities and observe them feeding!
The amphibian and reptile pavilion will help you discover this mysterious world through an exhibition combining live animals and digital imagery. Be sure to also visit the insectarium, which features an impressive collection of living and naturalized insects. Open until October 9.
Other options for activities: visit the Musée acadien du Québec, hiking or mountain biking at the Station touristique Pin Rouge (resort), Atelier boutique Verre et Bulles
Local flavours to try: Be sure to sample the famous strawberry wines made by Ferme Bourdages Tradition in Saint-Siméon. They offer many products made with delicious fresh strawberries, which are picked and hulled by hand.
Cougar, Bioparc de la Gaspésie. Photo : Roger St-Laurent
Day 3 – Hiking or mountain biking on Mount Saint-Joseph
Overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Mount Saint-Joseph enjoys a unique geographical position. With a vertical drop of 555 metres and only 5 km from the coast, this mountain is an accessible place for hiking with over 35 km of trails for all levels. Mountain bikers in search of adrenaline will be delighted with the 20 km of intermediate and advanced trails on the mountain. The parc régional du Mont-Saint-Joseph is a popular attraction with historical charm that is the pride of the people of Carleton-sur-Mer. Discover this beautiful mountain as you refuel in the fresh air! Open until October 9.
Other options for activities: Centre d’artistes Vaste et Vague (art centre), sea fishing with Pêche sportive Baie-des-Chaleurs or Rats de Marées - Fishing Guide (until September 30)
Local flavours to try: Try the many craft beers made by Microbrasserie Le Naufrageur in Carleton-sur-Mer.
Parc régional du Mont-Saint-Joseph. Photo: Benoit Daoust
Day 4 – Fascinating fossils and impressive lookouts
Parc national de Miguasha is renowned for its wide variety of fossil species. This diversity has made it possible to identify the terrestrial and aquatic components of a 380-million-year-old ecosystem. The Evolution of Life trail offers a 3.5-km loop hike along a cliff. Along the trail, a dozen panels recount the history of life on Earth, so you can learn as you walk. Open until October 13.
The Route des Belvédères scenic route offers visitors three superb lookouts overlooking unique and changing landscapes. Two are wooden structures that are worth seeing for their distinctive architecture! Open until October 9.
Beginning at the mouth of Chaleur Bay, the Matapédia-et-les-Plateaux area is home to bucolic agricultural landscapes, two legendary salmon rivers and a very welcoming community. As a bonus, you may have the opportunity to admire an explosion of colours in the forest!
Other options for activities: Bird-watching trails in Pointe-à-la-Croix, canoeing with Nature Aventure (until September 30), Chute à Pico (waterfall) in Saint-André-de-Restigouche
Local flavours to try: Be sure to stop at Chez Casimir, an inn and restaurant located in Matapédia, to enjoy a culinary experience featuring local flavours.
Route des Belvédères. Photo: La Semelle Verte
Please note that this itinerary is intended for information purposes only; it is not a package. It is meant to inspire you and may be modified as you wish.
This blog post is written in partnership with the MRC Bonaventure and Avginon.
Experience the pulse of Chaleur Bay this fall!
For more ideas for your fall vacation, read the following blog posts: