We continue to discover the Gaspé with this time the Parc de Forillon. Located at the end of the Gaspé Peninsula, this National Park is renowned for being one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Let’s see it with our own eyes: 2 days in Forillon Park in Gaspésie!
First of all, what is Forillon National Park?
Located at the northeastern end of the Gaspé Peninsula, Forillon National Park is home to forests, cliffs, salt marshes, inlets, dunes and also beaches. Created in 1970, it is home to a large and varied fauna: black bears, moose, beavers, whales, dolphins, seals, foxes, whales, birds, etc. The Parc du Forillon includes around ten hiking trails for all levels. From the easy 600 meter hike to the difficult 36.6 km hike (round trip). Several trails are also accessible to bikes.
Other activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, fishing or even whale watching boat trip are offered inside the park.
Our 2 days in Forillon Park at the end of the Gaspé Peninsula
Day 1: Les Graves and Cap Bon Ami via Mont-Saint-Alban
To begin our discovery of Forillon Park, we opt for the most popular hike in the park: the Graves. But first, we have to pay $ 7.90 per person to enter the park. And yes, Forillon Park is not included in our annual SEPAQ pass because it is a Canada Park (managed by the federal government).
Les Graves is a hiking trail ranging from 6.4 km to 15.2 km depending on the starting point. Two paths are available on Les Graves: the gravel road (6.4 km return) and the path (8 km return) which runs along the coves.
At the end of the trail, we literally arrive at the end of the world (Cap-Gaspé). At the end of the world, we discover a small white and red lighthouse, an observation platform and the arrival of the famous GR A1 (the international Appalachian trail). We really feel like we’re at the end of the world.
Direction Cap Bon Ami
To reach Cap Bon Ami, our paths separate since Elodie takes the car and I join her via Mont Saint-Alban. A 5km hike from Petit-Gaspé Beach. Also accessible from Cap Bon Ami and Havre de Grande-Grave. Whatever the starting point, the first kilometer is quite steep (especially from Cap Bon Ami). But rest assured, it’s worth it. The 360 ° panoramic view from the Observation Tower at 285m above sea level on Forillon Park but also on Cap de Rosier, Gaspé and the Rocher de Percé, is magnificent.
Arrived at the bottom of Mont Saint-Alban, I join Elodie at Cap Bon Ami. As at the top of Mont Saint Alban, the viewpoint of Cap Bon Ami offers a magnificent panorama of the Parc du Forillon. The staircase leading down to the beach is really top notch, with benches on each floor to enjoy the view. The pebble beach is also pleasant!
Day 2: a lighthouse, a waterfall, beaches and … beavers
Right next to our hotel is the Cap des Rosiers lighthouse ($ 3). The tallest lighthouse in Canada, it measures 34 meters and is installed on a 15-meter high cliff. Outside of Covid, it is possible to climb to its summit (122 steps) and take a guided tour ($ 10). More information : here.
On the road to reach Penouille, we stop at La Chute. A 1 km loop that leads to… a beautiful fall. At the foot of the 17-meter high waterfall is the iconic Parks Canada red chair. There isn’t enough water to swim in, but just putting your feet in the water is an achievement considering the water temperature.
The beaches of Forillon National Park
We then join Penouille where we discover a fort, a marsh, a path that goes around the marsh and above all a beautiful and large sandy beach. The perfect place to rest in the Parc de Forillon. But not only, it is also possible to rent kayaks, bicycles or even stand up paddles by the beach.
Not being satisfied with beaches, we will spend a few hours on the beach of Cap aux Os. A little less beautiful than the beach of Penouille, it is still pleasant. And the seals seem to appreciate it because we saw several seals walking about ten meters from the beach. As in Penouille, it is possible to rent kayaks here. There are even guided sea kayaking trips that are offered by Cap Aventure and zodiac trips to observe whales in season.
At the end of the day, on the advice of our host, we take the Beaver Trail to hope to see beavers. According to our host, they go out at the end of the day and are very numerous in the park. After 30 minutes of scrutinizing the different ponds, we come across two beavers eating quite loudly. This is the first time we have seen wild beavers. They don’t seem bothered by our presence and they alternate between eating, relaxing and swimming.
We even have the chance to see one meter away from us, one of the two beavers cross his dam.
Where to sleep to explore Forillon National Park?
As a base camp to explore Forillon National Park, we have chosen to settle in Cap des Rosiers inHotel-Motel Le Pharillon. A perfect geographical location 5 minutes walk from the northern entrance to the park and 4 minutes walk from the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse. Le Pharillon is a motel with 25 rooms, half of which have a sea view. The other rooms face the road but have a kitchenette. The rooms are quite pleasant, quiet and well equipped.
We chose a sea view room and what a pleasure to wake up and have lunch facing the sea. Several tables are set up outside to admire the landscape. Finally, the owners are very nice and provide good advice. Double room with private bathroom, fridge, microwave and wifi from $ 90 per night.
Other accommodations recommended by travelers
- Cabins on the Sea : A good alternative to Motel le Pharillon, located a few hundred meters on the same road. Bungalow for 2 people Beach Front from $ 115 per night with private bathroom, kitchenette, wifi and free parking.
- The Park Chalets : Located near Penouilles beach, these chalets can accommodate up to 6 people. Ideal for families with terrace, lake view, private bathroom, kitchen and wifi. Starting at $ 160 per night.
Discover other accommodations to discover Forillon Park in our article: Where to sleep in Gaspésie?
In conclusion, my opinion on these 2 days in the Forillon Park at the end of the Gaspé
Big crush (another one) for the Parc de Forillon. It’s hard not to fall under its spell with its rugged landscapes, beaches and wildlife. Although we weren’t fortunate enough to see black bears or moose, I loved hiking the park. The observation platform of Mont Saint-Alban and Cap Gaspé are not to be missed.
And you, what did you do in Forillon Park?
Next stop on our road trip in Gaspésie: Gaspésie National Park.