Located at one end of the International Appalachian Trail, Forillon National Park offers 240 square kilometers (93 square miles) of pure, unfiltered and unadulterated, mountain wilderness.
Hiking enthusiasts can choose from a variety of trails throughout the park. One trail leads to a gorgeous corner of the park that looks out at the Gulf of St. Lawrence (even equipped with a lighthouse!). Take a walk along the pebbled beaches and take a dive back in history by visiting the traditional fishing villages surrounding the area.
The outdoors of Forillon caters to all types of nature lovers. Let nature spoil you with choices including natural prairies, farm fields, forests, rivers and lakes, as well as, seaside cliffs. The ecosystem is so diverse that you can walk from the seashore into a lush green forest within minutes.
With over 225 species of bird, wildlife enthusiasts should be ready with their binoculars for one of the most pristine bird watching experiences that nature can offer. Camping at Forillon National Park is an experience not soon forgotten.
Located at the northeast tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, Forillon National Park is accessible by various modes of transportation. For those wanting to bring their own car, the drive is 400 km (248 miles) from Rimouski, 700 km (435 miles) from Québec, and 350 km (217 miles) from the New Brunswick border. The route to take is Highway 132 East.
You could also opt to use an Autocar service from various cities in Québec and travel to Gaspé, where the regional collective transportation will get you to the park.
If coming by air, the closest airport to Forillon National Park is Michel-Pouliot Gaspé Airport, which is a mere 43 km (26 miles) away from the South Area entrance of the Park.
Des-Rosiers Campground offers 146 campsites in total with 42 sites offering electrical hook up (30 amp). Restroom and dumping stations are available on site near the campground entrance. It’s also kid-friendly so there’s a playground on site to give parents a little break. This semi-wooded campsite offers picturesque views of the surrounding landscape.
Apart from these campgrounds the park also offers numerous other campgrounds for tent camping enthusiast that want to enjoy a more remote and primitive camping experience.
Forillon National Park has two campgrounds that offer front-country camping and can accommodate RV, motorhome, trailer and tent campers for overnight stays. Each campground is situated in a different section of the park and offers its own features and benefits catering to all types of camping and outdoor enthusiasts. Generator use is allowed between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and pets are allowed within campgrounds as long as they are leashed.
Petit-Gaspe Campground has a total of 168 pet-friendly sites with 35 sites offering electrical hook-up and 31 sites offering both water and electric hook-ups for RVs and motorhomes. Restrooms, showers, swimming pool, playground, and laundry facilities are all available on-site. The campsites are wooded offering plenty of shade and privacy.
While the Park is filled with nesting bird colonies and seals, there are a number of woodland creatures to see in the Park as well. Moose, bears, beavers, and snowshoe hares can be seen at various locations in the Park. There are also a number of birds for those with a penchant for ornithology including great horned owls, northern harriers, peregrine falcons, and rough-legged hawks.
While the trails are open for bikes, during the winter you will need to use a Fatbike. The only trail that allows those is Le Portage and even that is limited. With a total length of 4 km (2.4 miles), the access points are located at the La Vallée parking lot and the Centre Culturel Le Griffon. Reservations will have to be made and bikes can be rented from the Centre Culturel Le Griffon (admission fee is still payable even if you have your own snow bike).
After partnering with Comité de l'entrepôt de L'Anse-au-Griffon, Forillon has been offering trails for cross country ski enthusiasts. There are three trails with varying degrees of difficulty; La Vallée Trail (9.2 km/507 miles), Le Portage Trail (20 km/12.4 miles), and La Grande Cavée trail (3.8 km/2.3 miles). With ample parking available during the winter time, it would still be a prudent idea to check the status of the trails before planning your winter escape.
If you’re a fishing enthusiast and love mackerel, then the Grande-Grave wharf of Forillonj National Park is just the place for you to hone your angling skills. With a maximum of ten mackerel daily catch limit, you can fish and fry right at your campground. The Park has certain rules and regulations which should be checked before you start fishing. There are also fishing pole rentals for beginners wanting to learn the skill and art of fishing by the wharf.
During the summer months, Gaspé Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence is home to majestic sea giants. Croisière Baie de Gaspé, a company partnered with the Canadian Parks service, arranges boats daily for those wanting to enjoy a little whale watching. The boats depart from the Grande-Grave (South Area) harbor of the Park, and will take you out to sea, where you can witness these wondrous creatures swimming and interacting with one another in their natural habitats. A truly amazing experience that is not to be missed!
Whether you’re new to hiking or have been doing it for decades, Forillon’s trails will satisfy your outdoor needs. Some of them even form part of the renowned International Appalachian Trail, the end of which is at Cap Gaspe.
Whether you’re in the mood for a short walk or an exerting four-hour hike, the Park offers 11 different trails for all levels of expertise. The trails vary in length ranging from half a km (0.3 miles) to over 36 km (22.7 miles) with varying degrees of difficulty challenging even the most seasoned hiker.