Matane is home to the largest concentration of wind turbines in the province. Though some dislike them, I think their design is rather elegant and adds a special touch to the landscape. About 40 minutes east of Matane in the small town of Cap-Chat, you can see one of the world's highest Darrieus-style wind turbines, standing at about 110 meters. Guided tours are offered or you can simply stop by to snatch a few pictures.
The Refords were a very wealthy Montreal family of Scottish descent. At the turn of the 20th century, Robert and Elsie Reford inherited their uncle's fishing lodge located by the Metis River. Back in the 1920s, Elsie Reford slowly began transforming her summer property into a garden. 80 years later, the gardens now cover over 4000 acres, are home to over 3000 plant species and are internationally renowned as an outstanding cultural achievement.
The gardens' paths will lead you to Estavan lodge, the 37-room villa where the Refords used to live. On the villa's top floor you will find an exhibition on the history of the Reford family, while on the main floor you can enjoy a very good lunch in what used to be the Reford's very elegant drawing room. Also of interest at the Reford Gardens is the International Garden Festival, where unusual and highly creative contemporary gardens come to life every summer.
Matane is not exactly a big town but for some reason there are no less than 3 bowling alleys and they are all very popular. As we were looking for a family thing to do on a Saturday night, bowling of course came to mind. We decided to go to the oldest bowling alley, called Salle de quilles de Matane, because the atmosphere there is very laidback - not a lot of professionals around on a Saturday night, only people looking to have a good time! And we did have a good time and had quite a few good laughs, all for about $5 each! So now I've got a better idea of why bowling is so popular in Matane ;o)
The Joseph-Rouleau cultural center is located on St-Jerome Avenue and it hosts "La couleur de la Gaspésie", a permanent exhibition of Claude Picher's paintings. Born in Quebec City, Claude Picher, a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, fell in love with the beautiful landscapes of the Gaspe region and decided to establish himself in Matane where he spent the last 20 years of his life capturing the beauty of the region on canvas.
In the same building you will find L'Espace F, an art gallery dedicated to photography and new media, and the town's public library, which offers free Internet access, and where you can read while enjoying a superb view of the Riviere Matane.
This nice wooden boardwalk runs along the river in Downtown Matane. Along the way, you will see several interpretation panels giving information about Matane's maritime history.
Also, if two people lean against opposite poles in one of the burgundy domes, they are able to whisper in each other's ear even though they actually are about 10 feet away from each other!
The islands of the Parc des Iles are located in the middle of the river that runs through downtown Matane. Families will enjoy going to the beach, playing a game of miniputt or hanging at the playground. It's also a very good place to have a picnic.
You can also go to the fish-pass to see Atlantic salmon up-close as it makes its way up the river to spawn.
A unique experience! Approximately 75 deer live in this park, in their natural environment. As you walk along the trails, deer will come up to you to look for food. You can feed them carrots and pet them - don't forget your camera!