As most of you know, in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary Parks Canada is granting free entry into all Canadian national parks in 2017.
With all the hype surrounding the free entry, most of the focus has been on some of the most popular (and breathtaking) parks in the country, parks like Banff, Gros Morne, and Kootenay.
While these parks are certainly stunning, we urged Montrealers not to overlook the beauty of the province of Quebec.
Within the province of Quebec lay three national parks: Forillon National Park, La Mauricie National Park, and Mingan Archipelago National Park, each one more magnificent than the last.
To give you a little inspiration to explore home next summer, check out everything you need to know about Quebec’s three national parks.
Located along the outer tip of Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula, Forillon National Park was the first of its kind in Quebec. Offering Canadians the chance to explore all kinds of settings, the park is home to forests, sea coast, cliffs, sand dunes, salt marshes, and the eastern end of the Appalachian mountains. In addition to gorgeous scenery, you might be able to spot local wildlife including whales, seals, moose, beavers, hares, woodchucks, porcupines, and much more. Roughly 10 hours by car from downtown Montreal, the road trip will be well worth it.
Located a mere 2 hours from Montreal, you have no excuse not to visit La Mauricie National Park next summer. Nestled in the Laurentian mountains, this park contains over 150 lakes and ponds. A great spot for hiking, camping, canoeing, and kayaking, you’ll love swimming at the foot of waterfalls and falling asleep to the sound of owls hooting. Conveniently located near the town of Shawinigan, you won’t regret exploring this hidden gem close to home.
Situated on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is comprised of 30 limestone islands and over 1,000 reefs. Shaped by the waves and the winds, the limestone rocks for which the area is famous, are notable for their unique shapes, having faced centuries of erosion. Hike, camp, or catch a glimpse of the native wildlife such as bald eagles, puffins, dolphins, whales, and seals. Don’t let the 12 hour drive put you off from exploring one of Canada’s most diverse national parks.