Gaspé Things to Do

  • The Wharves,Rivière-au-Renard,Gaspe,Canada.
    The...
    by Greggor58
  • Well preserved fish fossil
    Well preserved fish fossil
    by GrumpyDiver
  • Forillon National Park,Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
    Forillon National...
    by Greggor58

Most Recent Things to Do in Gaspé

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    Percé Rock

    by GrumpyDiver Written Jul 28, 2012
    The classical view from the warf
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    Located just off-shore from the village of Percé, this giant rock with a hole in it is one of the main tourist attractions of the Gaspé Penninsula. It is one of the world's largesst natural arches sitting in water.

    We were lucky to go there in the afternoon as the sun was getting lower on the horizon. When we drove by again the next morning, the rock was hidden by a thick fog.

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    Reford Gardens / Jardins de Metis

    by GrumpyDiver Written Jul 24, 2012
    Flower wall near the garden entrance
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    The Reford Gardens were a project undertaken by Elsie Reford, when after surgery for appendicitis, her doctor advised her to take up gardening, rather than the more strenuous salmon fishing she used to do. She started planning and laid out the gardens in 1955 and the world went on for a number of years. The site was named as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995.

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    Parc national de Miguasha

    by GrumpyDiver Updated Jul 16, 2012
    Well preserved fish fossil
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    Parc national de Miguasha is a world famous fish fossil site on the Gaspé Penninsula. This is where scientists found conclusive evidence of fish changing from animals that lived in the seas to ones that could walk on land. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    In addition to a small, but beautifully done, museum, you can also visit the fossil beds location. The beds themselves are in the cliff along the bay and are not going to be of interest to everyone. There is a 3km / 2 mile walk, about half of it through a wooded area and down some stairs along the beach.

    You might get wet feet if the tide is in, as the rocky beach is quite narrow in some places. There are two access points to the beach. One is just south of the museum building, while the other is accessed from a path that heads west from the museum. I would recommned the western route becuase it lets you climb down a long set of stairs. Go the opposite direction, you would have to climb up them. The stairs at the museum access point are much shorter.

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    The Towns....Ville de Bonaventure...The CHURCH..

    by Greggor58 Updated Sep 28, 2011

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    Conveniently, there is a second noteworthy attraction just across the street from the museum, the Church of Bonaventure or as it is known locally “l'Église de Bonavanture”.

    The church is quite a large and imposing structure that you really cant miss while you’re visiting the museum. The size of the building itself is the first and foremost thing that you’ll notice, and in fact venturing inside will be very much worth your while.

    Officially inaugurated in 1860, this incarnation of the structure has been added onto and renovated over the years.

    The paintings of the vault that you see today were completed between the years 1895 and 1896 and were painted by a George Dorval. In any event we ventured into and marveled at the vastness of the interior. For such a small village, the structure and grandiosity are quite impressive.

    I found close to the entrance way, a series of scale models of what I determined to be community churches from around the Gaspe. The details are amazingly fine.
    I had to make this assumption because there really was no explanation that I could find anywhere in the church and sadly there was nobody around to ask. It’s the only logical explanation for them. There were tags with the names of the people that made them...but nothing to indicate where they were supposed to be from..

    Stop by the church and see for yourself what I’m talking about. If you're interested in doing some web based research about this church, good luck to you...I wasn't able to find anything really..

    La Ville de Bonaventure is probably more deserving of a whistle stop, but that wasn’t going to be my experience on this trip.

    If you're visiting the museum...take some time and check out the GREAT BIG Church… :o)

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    The Towns....Ville de Bonaventure...The Museum..

    by Greggor58 Updated Sep 28, 2011

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    First of all…..don’t confuse this with Bonaventure Island…La Ville de Bonaventure is something altogether different.

    We didn’t stop here long, basically a whistle stop to get out of the truck and stretch our legs.

    Many areas of this coastline, the south shore of Gaspe, particularly along the Baie de Chaleur you’ll find settlements that were originally founded by “les Acadies” or Acadians.

    These are and were a people of French origin that were kicked out of what is now Nova Scotia and P.E.I by the British in a type of “cleansing” of the Colonies that they had been granted in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. “Les Acadies” refused to swear allegiance to the British King and hence began the Grand “Dérangement” or Expulsion from these newly acquired British Colonies.

    You can read here about this tragic event in Canadian colonial history.

    Bonaventure hosts a well known museum that effectively illustrates the history of the Acadians that settled here in Bonaventure and in other small towns along this coastline of the Gaspe Peninsula.

    Musée Acadien du Quebec is the name of this museum..

    I wanted to see it while I was visiting the area and I was driving right by the door.

    The two story museum is easy to navigate, there’s an elevator to take you to the second floor if you’re mobility challenged and spending some time here will give you some insight into the history and culture of “les Acadies” in Canada and Quebec and to a small degree the USA also.

    As you maybe know, the Cajuns of Louisiana are also direct descendants of the same peoples that settled along these shores.

    The entire second floor is dedicated to the Acadians and includes interactive displays that were being used while I was there, small models of they’re homesteads, period furniture and artifacts, two large panels and exhibits illustrating the strong influence of the Catholic Church and its relationship with The Acadians. The entire museum is well placarded with clear and concise information.

    The main floor display area is taken up with a really interesting display about the American “Privateer” raids that occurred here in Bonaventure and along the coastline of Gaspe during the American War of Independence.

    This section of the museum was interesting to me also; I hadn’t known that the area was targeted by Americans during this struggle with the British.

    Morbid or not, certainly of some interest, there’s even a skull that’s enclosed in a glass box and an explanation of the mysterious story that lies behind the solitary human remains, no other bones were found to accompany the skull.

    Access to the museum in June of 2011 was $ 8.25 CAD and for current operating hours and pricing you can check they’re website.

    I hope you speak French... :o)

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    Lighthouses of Gaspe…

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Cap Gaspe,Lands End,Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
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    Lighthouses ALWAYS have an appeal to many people, including me; likely because of they’re obvious connection with the ocean and the associated traditions and dedication of the solitary lifestyle of the lighthouse keeper.

    I remember as child being intrigued watching an old black and white film in school about a lighthouse keeper and the challenges he faced maintaining the station, the howling wind, the vicious seas and the mission…to keep the lamp lit at whatever cost no matter what!!! When I get to visit either of Canada’s ocean shorelines I am ALWAYS on the lookout for these mysterious looking buildings.

    Along Highway 132, the perimeter highway around the Gaspe you’ll find a good many of these wonderful structures that are still in fact functional, many are open to the public to some degree and some are maintained and manned by volunteers.
    Nowadays the lighthouses are totally automated and so the volunteers you will meet will b there for you to guide you through the grounds and provide some background information about the particular lighthouse that you are visiting.

    We stopped to investigate more than a few of these architectural wonders including the advertised “highest” lighthouse in Canada, found at Cap-des-Rosiers, just outside the boundary of Forillon National Park.
    It’s advertised as being 37 meters high and has been standing on this location for more that 150 years. Honestly it didn’t seem to “feel” that high but THEY say it is…I hope someday you can see it and decide for yourself..

    The lighthouse on CAP GASPE is the MOST interesting lighthouse that we visited and is found within the boundaries of Forillon. The walk to get to see the Cap Gaspe lighthouse is an easy 45 minute walk along a gravel road way that skirts along the shore line of “Lands End” at the VERY tip of the Gaspe Peninsula. The scenery is stunning and for this reason alone you should try to visit this lighthouse. You want to do this hike on a sunny day although there’s NO guarantee that it won’t be misty or foggy when you get to the higher elevations of the Cape where the lighthouse is.

    LA MARTRE is the most visually appealing of them all and is a wooden structure painted red; most of the lighthouses that you’ll find along your journey here in Gaspe are constructed of brick or stone. La Martre is located between the villages of Sainte-Anne des Monts and Mont-Saint-Pierre and has a separate building housing a museum that runs films and maintains a permanent exhibit about the history of lighthouses in Quebec and the science behind how they operate.

    There is a brochure available at Tourist Information locations throughout the Gaspe entitled “Lighthouse Trail” available in English and French. Pick this up when you stop; it’s a pretty handy little guide.

    In conjunction with a map the brochure highlights each lighthouse along the coast and provides a brief description of each one including what if any public activities are available.

    Most that we visited were free to access the grounds with the exception of Cap-Des-Rosiers. There was a small charge, around $ 5.00 CAD, and this cost entitled you to a tour of the grounds and an explanation of some of the typical tools and warning devices and back up systems that have been used over time to ward off danger to approaching ships. Horns or sirens that would wail away if there was too much fog for the light to penetrate, or in some circumstances flares would be shot into the air, depending on weather conditions. All of these you could see here and at La Martre as well.

    We were not allowed to access the tower Cap-Des-Rosiers. The access to the stairway was blocked off and access was not possible. Mercury was used in the mechanisms and has not been modified for public safety.

    If you have any interest in lighthouses then you’ll be able to add to the list that you’ve seen while you tour Le Gaspesie.

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    The Towns...Percé...and the Rock..

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Waterfront Perc��,Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
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    We drove into town along Highway 132, coming from the town of Gaspe. The drive to get here was filled with some really nice vistas and the approach to the town of Percé itself was pretty exciting and unique I thought, the highway cut into the sides of some pretty dramatic rock faces, curvy road, and went through some serious elevation changes.

    The sidewalks of the town were busy, traffic flowed at a pretty constant pace down the main street, and there was a kind of buzz in the air. My first impressions after first visiting twenty years ago, Wow..I don’t remember it being this busy!!

    In lots of ways this scenic little “once upon a time” fishing village is a total tourist trap, with inflated restaurant prices, and almost every heritage building along the main drag is sadly converted to a store front to collect your cash.

    IF you can get your head around this fact and look for the charm and beauty that exists here than I think you’ll enjoy your time visiting in Percé.

    The village of Percé is quite pretty in fact.

    The setting is one of the National Symbols of the Province of Quebec, the image of le Roche Percé has been representative of tourism in Quebec for decades.

    Percé Rock being the central noteworthy attraction here has long guaranteed that fishing will only be a secondary economic force here, the ROCK is number ONE!!

    Percé Rock itself is a geologic wonder, it rises out of the water to a height of just more than 45 meters and is almost half a kilometer long and is composed of sandstone, siltstone and limestone with calcite veining. The name Percé actually means “pierced” and it’s the “arched” hole in the rock that is in fact the “piercing”.

    I didn’t overnight here, and I didn’t indulge in fresh and expensive sea foods.
    As you walk the sidewalks, you can see that many of the restaurants use “sandwich” boards to advertise they’re menu and prices, most if not all of the pricing is competitive to the next, and it’s all expensive.

    The first time through on this trip, we made two stopovers here; we made a straight line to one of the tour boat operators that take you over to Bonaventure Island. We forked out our $ 25.00 CAD each for the two way journey that includes a “drive by” of the infamous Percé Rock and a circumnavigation of Bonaventure Island itself to see the cliff side nesting sites of the Gannets and other sea birds that make Bonaventure home.
    During the entire voyage to end up at Bonaventure, there’s a narrative explanation of what you’re seeing and a list of facts presented to you.

    I didn’t hang out on Bonavanture for too long although the day was a perfect blue sky sun shine day. I ventured back to Percé to walkabout the town a little and see what it had to offer.

    I spent some time exploring, talking to the people in the Tourist Information building and I ended up checking out an art gallery that’s housed in a heritage building along the shore front, Le Chaufaud, once upon a time, in fact it was a fish processing facility.

    The second visit was even briefer; as we were leaving the area for good we puttered around on a grey rainy morning and did drive bys of some of the heritage buildings that are outlined on a map and brochure you get from the Tourist Info. Unfortunately, there is NO English content on this brochure and if you have limited or no understanding of the French language, you’re out of luck, its almost meaningless.

    We also made time to investigate the interior of the main church in Percé, St. Michael’s Church of Percé, a grand structure, constructed from a similar brown sandstone that the Rock is composed of.

    There are hiking trails that we DIDNT take time to investigate that you access behind this church that take up you up Mont Saint-Anne to an elevation almost 500 meters high that offer some pretty stunning views of the village and the infamous rock.

    Visiting Percé and the infamous rock is a unique experience for a tourist visiting this region of Quebec and so in spite of the touristy nature of the setting, don’t pass it by, just remember to keep your wallet close to your heart, and enjoy the beautiful setting that it is.

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    Rivière-au-Renard…Checking out the Fishing Fleet

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    The Wharves,Rivi��re-au-Renard,Gaspe,Canada.
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    This small coastal town is located a short 15 or 20 minute drive from the lighthouse at Cap-des-Rosiers on the eastern tip of the peninsula.

    Although it’s rumored to have been settled by descendants of the survivors of an Irish Immigrant ship “The Carricks of Whitehaven” that sank off the shore from Cap-des-Rosiers, from what I’ve been able to determine, those survivors that stayed in the region settled in an area named Douglastown, a little further south down the coast from the town of Gaspe.

    There has been some type of European settlement here since the late 1700’s and was settled as a fishing town..

    Rivière-au-Renard is perhaps not typical of the many smaller fishing villages around the Gaspe Peninsula because it’s the home of one of the largest fishing fleets that Quebec can boast.

    The largest revenue catch by far nowadays is derived from shrimp, lobster and snow crab, in 2008 the fleet based here brought in a total of $ 19.1 million in revenues for the residents that work in this difficult job. In that year shrimp made up about 75 % of that revenue.

    We only visited here briefly to wander around the docks and take a look around at the boats, most kept in immaculate condition, flying the Provincial Fleur de Lis flag.

    I had the idea to purchase something to take back to camp to cook up but the shop was closed when I went to investigate it. Look for the lobster sign that says “Poissonnerie Bureau” if you would like to purchase something fresh to eat from the ocean.

    Take a look around when you’re passing through the area…its kind of fun..and if you arrive at the right time watch for the boats as they’re offloading…just don’t get too close or in the guys way!!!

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    The Towns..Musée de la Gaspésie..

    by Greggor58 Updated Sep 27, 2011

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    Mus��e de la Gasp��sie,Ville de Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
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    I made it a point to check out this interesting museum that sits on the main road leaving town, Blvd.de Gaspé, which eventually becomes Highway 132.

    Set on a hillside overlooking the Baie de Gaspé this modern structure consists of two floors of artifacts, cultural displays, and even exhibits some interesting art created by a well known artist that was born and raised in the Gaspé region, Suzanne Guité. Her works are seen in various places throughout the Gaspé region and some of her sculptures are seen here.

    Included in the permanent collection is a display relating to the Battle of the St.Lawrence, a torpedo and other memorabilia relating to the role that the village of played during that conflict.

    Other prominent displays reflect the role of the Catholic Church in Gaspé and of course the fishing industry that drove the economic development of this region.

    Outside of the building you’ll find the Jacques Cartier Monument and National Historic Site, an assembly of large cast iron slabs symbolically shaped like flat pebbles, that are characteristic of the beaches here in Gaspé.

    The bas-reliefs seen on these stelae depict the most significant scenes of the first meeting between Cartier and the First Nations Peoples that greeted him on his arrival.
    Quotes from the log books of Cartier himself and from the journals of Father Leclerc, who accompanied Cartier, are also inscribed onto some of these stelae and record the “meeting” event as the birthplace of Canada.
    This significant monument was commissioned by Parks Canada in 1977 and was sculpted by a family of local artisans, the Bourgault-Legros families

    When I visited in June of 2011 access costs were $ 7.00 CAD for adults and the museum is open to the public during peak season (June 1- October 31) on a daily basis from 0900-1700.
    Off season access is Monday-Friday 0900-1200 and then from 1300-1700 and Saturdays 1300-1700.

    Best to consult they’re web site for more detailed and current information.

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    The Towns…La Ville de Gaspe..

    by Greggor58 Updated Sep 27, 2011

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    Waterfront,Ville de Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
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    Jacques Cartier was the first Euro visitor here at what is now a small town on the south coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534 and supposedly he set a wooden cross into the ground at a spot along the shore of Gaspé Bay. Today there is a reproduction of the cross erected here to mark the spot but in all honestly we didn’t look for it.

    Our first mission while visiting the town was to find a GOOD cup of coffee or an espresso, which we found at Le Café Des Artistes. There’s only so much camp coffee that anyone can endure. We had been and continued to make our base camping in Forillon National Park but for a change of pace we made the little trek into town to explore a little.

    We discovered another small restaurant that was operated in conjunction with the Motel Adams and here I enjoyed a decent breakfast on a couple of occasions as we made our way through town.

    We wandered around the main “trendy” street rue de la Reine, a number of renovated and attractive buildings from the late 1800’s caught our interest and here there are a number of placards illustrating some of the buildings histories. We did some quick shopping at the “mall”, one of the entrances for the mall was located on this same street just a little ways down from the Café des Artistes.

    Eventually we found our way to the waterfront where you’ll find that the sailing club is based with lots of sail boats docked in a really pretty setting; the local VIA Rail station is located just next to the marina along the Bay also.

    We discovered at a spot close to the War Memorial, another Memorial honoring a man called Jacques de Lesseps, made of marble, and surrounded by a decorative fencing, it was obvious that he had some significant role in the history of Gaspé.. As it turns out this man has quite an interesting story and you can read about his early 20th Century exploits here.

    We investigated the War Memorial and as well made time to explore the Musée de la Gaspésie which is in some ways the center piece of the town and hosts a large multi stone boulder that commemorates the discovery and arrival here in Gaspé by Cartier.

    You can read more about the museum further along if you would like …just keep going.

    When you’re in the area there’s enough going on here in the town to keep you busy for a little while. I hope you can stop here in the Village of Gaspé and “smell the coffee”.

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    Forillon National Park...The Gun Battery…

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Fort Peninsule,Forillon National Park,Gaspe,Canada
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    During the Second World War in September of 1942 during the Battle of the St.Lawrence the Canadian Navy established at HMCS Fort Ramsay a Gulf Escort Force here just outside of the town of Gaspé
    This escort fleet was tasked with protecting supply convoys that sailed between Quebec and Sydney, Nova Scotia or Goose Bay in Labrador.

    It’s a little bit unsettling to think that Nazi Forces had reached out this far in they’re quest to dominate the World, but its true, and a good number of ships were lost here in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River, many men lost they’re lives during this small but significant operation of the war.

    Still today there are remnants of some of the defensive positions of the base that are found within the boundaries of Forillon National Park, a concrete enforced gun emplacement and some tunnels and storage areas.

    It’s easy to find, the entrance is along Highway 132, the main road that brings you into the park from the town of Gaspe.
    The only entrance to the area also serves as a picnic area, the lawns manicured and a couple of tables are available to sit and hopefully relax in some warm sunshine.
    There are no additional fees to enter the site.

    You’ll find a number of placards on the site that provide some basic information about the Battle of the St.Lawrence and the role that these gun emplacements served in the defense of any possible incursion by German forces.

    The pathway winds itself down into a small assembly of damp concrete enforced tunnels eventually leading you to the gun that had a clear field of fire onto any surface ship that was considered a threat to the security of the base.

    Its interesting to a point I suppose, but really, the battery itself is as I mentioned kind of damp and a little on the grungy side.

    If you have any interest in World War Two history than this might a worthwhile stopover for you and if not, the picnic area itself is a nice place to get out of your vehicle and relax for a little while.

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    Forliion Natioanl Park...Cap Bon Ami…

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Cap Bon Ami,Forillon National Park,Gaspe,Canada.
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    Cap Bon Ami is an area within the park boundary that provides for you on a clear day some stunning views of “Lands End” and Cap Gaspe.

    If you’re visiting Forrilon than you really should include some time here, there’s a wonderful pebble and stone beach where you can walk or just sit and watch the tides move in and out.
    There are some pretty dramatic cliff sides that seemingly drop straight down to the sea here and the rock of the cliff face is layered and stands almost straight up.It’s really quite dramatic to say the least!
    From a vantage point above the beach you can watch sea birds that are nesting along the cliff sides just a short distance away.

    As I was walking down to the deck like viewing structure I saw a small pod of whales just off shore cruising by and we spent time there watching Razorbills flying back and forth from the cliff face to the sea and back again…over and over. It was kind of amusing to watch as they really don’t seem to have much space to manoeuvre on they’re perch. It really wasn’t an inviting environment for anything but they seemed quite at home.
    The Razorbill is a “cousin” in the genetic path of the extinct Giant Auk…hunted out by the middle of the 19th Century.

    This is also an access point to the hiking trails that will bring you to a few destinations… Mount Saint Alban, Grand Grave, and the observation tower on Mount Saint Alban. We didn’t do any hiking here on this day, going to the top for a view would have been pointless because of the low hanging cloud or fog.

    There’s a parking lot for “day use” and washrooms and picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy a little snack or a drink.
    I’m not sure why it’s placed here at this location but overlooking the water in the park like area just above the beach, there’s a placard placed here by the Historic Sites and Monuments of Canada commemorating the Battle of the St. Lawrence. I certainly know of the struggles with U Boats here and along the river itself but I really am not sure why the placard is at this spot.
    You likely know already that during World War Two Germany and her U Boat Fleet made incursions into the St.Lawrence River, penetrating as deep as 365 kms from Quebec City. The U Boat Fleet successfully sank a reported 26 ships in the river itself and the Gulf of St. Lawrence between 1942 and 1944.

    This is really a pretty spot even if the Cap is enshrouded in mist or fog and you really shouldn’t exclude this stopover if you’re visiting Forillon, Cap Bon Ami is really a must see experience.

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    Forillon National Park..Grand Graves Historic Site

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Hyman's General Store,Forillon,National Park.Gaspe
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    This Historic Site located within the boundaries of Forillon National Park at Grand Graves is in fact a General Store that acts as a small, two story museum and a waterside warehouse that adjoins the store and contains a fairly well presented display of how the cod fishery impacted the development of this region and the people that settled here.

    The General Store was originally built as housing for the owner William Hyman, who in fact was a Russian immigrant that came to Gaspe via the USA.
    Hyman had a propensity for business and he developed a fishing and export business that saw Cod fish from the area shipped to markets throughout the World.

    Eventually, by the early 1900’s the home was altered into a “company” store that served as a supply depot for the fishermen of the immediate area.

    The fishery was quite lucrative and the Hyman store was never short of business, extending credit to the locals, in the off season, and then reaping the financial rewards of the next seasons fishing bounty. The business was constant and the financial burdens this imposed on the locals created a sort of “indentured” kind of labor force that fed the economic stability of the Hyman’s and to a certain extent was critical in the development of the area.
    The fishermen couldn’t leave if they wanted to quit the fishery without cleaning up the debt first and they would naturally incur more debt and so were really kind of trapped in this isolated and rugged land.

    All of the buildings that you can see today are designed in period furniture and equipment used in everyday daily life here during the “heyday” of the community’s existence.

    Just a little up the road from the Hyman’s store is another small collection of buildings called Anse-Blanchette and you can access these also.

    Guides dressed in period costumes will greet you as you enter the General Store and the home at Anse-Blanchette. They’ll share experiences of life in the community during those early days and you can explore by yourself and read from good descriptive placards located around the properties..

    Access to the buildings is free and the buildings are open generally from the end of May until the 10th of October.

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    Forillon National Park…A Little Taste of Wild.

    by Greggor58 Written Sep 27, 2011

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    Forillon National Park,Gaspe,Quebec,Canada.
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    The week that I was about to leave for my latest road trip to Gaspe I was telephoned by the National Parks Reservation Service to inform us that the campground that we were booked into was CLOSED effective IMMEDIATELY due to a landslide at the particular campground that we were booked into. We were given a choice of alternate campgrounds.

    Forillon is a natural and rugged area that was created according to the web site of Parks Canada “to protect a representative sample of the Notre-Dame and Mégantic mountain regions and certain elements of the St.Lawrence marine region.”

    This beautiful National Park comprises an area of about 240 square kilometers and was established in 1974, set along the shoreline of the Gaspe Peninsula.

    The park contains the northern terminus of the International Appalachian Trail, a “natural” continuation of the hiking trail that starts in Georgia and finishes its American segment in the state of Maine.
    The International portion transits through the Canadian Province of New Brunswick and into Quebec along the Gaspe Peninsula where it comes to an end at Cap Gaspe at the tip of the peninsula at an area known appropriately as “Lands End”.

    There are numerous hiking opportunities available in both the southern and northern sectors of the park, some of the trails more challenging than other’s. The hike to Cap Gaspe, on a trail called “Les Graves” for example requires only a moderate effort and rewards you with spectacular views of ocean meeting land and takes you along a coastline gravel road. Your reward for making this little journey (about 8 kms) is a visit to the lighthouse that’s been here at the tip of Lands End since 1873.

    The trek to Mount Saint-Alban however is more strenuous, steeper rise and involves a higher elevation climb that brings you to a viewing platform that commands an amazing view of the tip at Lands End. I haven’t done the Mount-Saint-Alban hike…the day that we planned it the whole mountain was engulfed in fog.

    Save these adventures for a sunny day if at all possible, making the trek in cloud, fog or mist will exclude any possibility of seeing the incredible vistas that you would see on a clear day!

    Wildlife is abundant here at Forillon, particularly black bear, so please be cautious when you’re out and about. When you’re hiking or walking pathways, even in the campgrounds, make yourself heard, don’t walk softly. Particularly when you’re walking forested trails, make noise so that if there migh be a bear in the immediate area it’ll hear you. The last thing you want to do is to come upon a bear from downwind and startle the animal.

    Sea birds are seen here easily also, within the boundaries of the park you’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of sea birds that call the cliff faces and beaches home.

    Accommodations within the park are available in the form of B&B, campgrounds, and as well there’s such a thing as a yert, a tent like structure that provides a good alternative shelter to a tent.

    Forillon is divided into two sections, a north and a south, and both have fairly large campgrounds where you can either pitch a tent or park your trailer.

    Cap-Bon-Ami, Petite Gaspe, and Des-Rosiers are the three main areas where “convenient” camping is available.
    I call it “convenient” because you can drive your vehicle right onto the camp site, set up your camp, and walk to a washroom or a water source that’s always in close proximity to your site.
    There is also the possibility of “wilderness” camping, where there are no facilities such as showers, running water, or indoor toilets.

    If there’s ANY advice that I can offer to you….RESERVE a place to stay, the campgrounds only allocate a certain number of sites that are “first come first served’ and most sites are RESERVED.

    All of these campground locations have good access to hiking trails or roadways that will take you to the start of the hiking trail that you wish to use.

    Pricing to access the park is dependent on how you will use it.

    For sure even if you are not camping there will be a day use charge to you and that’s payable at either of the entrance gates that you use to access the Park. You will be given an identifier that you hang from your vehicle mirror and that entitles you to access any of the park’s activities that you want to see or do.

    To best determine WHAT pricing rate applies to you please consult the link that follows.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Photography
    • National/State Park

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    Ile Bonaventure National Park

    by Jefie Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Northern gannet colony at Bonaventure Island
    4 more images

    From Perce, you can go on a guided cruise to Bonaventure Island. Boats leave from the wharf and take you close to the Rocher Perce, and then all the way around Bonaventure Island. Don't forget to look for seals as you make your way around the island, they're everywhere! Bonaventure Island is mostly known for its bird sanctuary, which is home to the world's largest colony of Northern Gannets. Once you reach the island, you can hike up one of the trails that lead right up to the birds. While on the island, you can also visit Le Boutillier House, the residence of the manager for Le Boutillier Brothers, a cod fishing company established on the island in the 19th century. There's also a small cafe where you can grab a quick lunch.

    There are two companies offering cruises to Bonaventure Island in Perce, and both are equally good. Tickets ($25) can be bought on the wharf. There's a small park entry fee ($3.50) once you reach Bonaventure Island. To have enough time to enjoy your day, I would suggest going on a cruise that leaves no later than 12:00 noon.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking

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