According TripAdvisor, Forillon National Park is the best park in the Canadian province of Quebec. Forillon National Park is one of 42 national parks and park reserves in Canada and one of the best parks to visit in Quebec. It is located on the outer tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, not far from Prince Edward Island. Historically, it was the home of the Mi’kmaq and Haudenosaunee peoples.
Forillon National Park may not have the grandeur and fame of Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks, but it has a charm of its own. Certainly, nothing rivals the beauty of national parks like Banff. and Yoho. However, Forillon National Park is one of the best places to hike in the province of Quebec and offers a historic and moody setting.
Highlights to know about Forillon National Park
Forillon National Park is remote – it is located at the northeast end of the Gaspé Peninsula. It is some 770 kilometers or 480 miles from Quebec and 350 kilometers or 200 miles from the border with New Brunswick. It is quite a detour to visit this national park. But once there, one can enjoy a relaxing and remote part of Canada, ideal for a camping trip.
The park protects forests, coastlines, salt marshes, sand dunes, cliffs, and the eastern end of Appalachia. The park is home to nesting colonies of seabirds, black bears, moose, lynx, marmots, porcupines, beavers, great horned owls and many other wildlife species. In the sea and along the coastline there are whales and seals. Whale watching is possible along the shores.
It is not possible to visit most of the park during the low season (mid-October to end of May) because the roads in the northern and southern areas are closed. Some trails are accessible but not maintained. That said, there are winter activities at The Griffon Cultural Center. Activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking.
The park was established in 1970. To pave the way for the park, some 225 families were expropriated.
Things To See And Do In Forillon National Park
As you might expect, there are plenty of hiking trails in Forillon National Park. These vary from 30 minutes to 4 hours to complete. Several trails are also part of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT). Details of the hiking trails are available at Parks Canada.
One of Forillon National Park’s attractions is Fort Peninsula. It was built during World War II as a defense against Germany in case Britain fell and Germany conquered all of Europe. In that grim eventuality, it would have sheltered British warships fleeing from German U-boats. Today, visitors can walk through a tunnel and see the cannons still in place.
Visit the park’s various interpretation sites and learn more about life on the Forillon peninsula. Learn about the history of the area’s fishing families and the history of agriculture on the remote peninsula.
There are many campsites, visitor centers, kayaking tours, whale watching cruises, heritage buildings, and more. There are too many to do justice here, and they have different operating seasons. For more information, refer to Parks Canada.
Forillon National Park is primarily a summer destination, with most services closing in September and October.
Whale watching at Forillon National Park
One of the best things to do in Forillon National Park is to go whale watching. One of the species of whales that frequent these shores is the huge blue whale – the largest animal in the world.
Book a whale watching cruise aboard the ship Narwhal III and live an unforgettable adventure with Gaspé Bay Cruise (partner of Parks Canada).
- Season: June 1 to October 18
Whale Watching Fees:
- Adult: CA$78.28 (US$56)
- Children: CA$56.53 (US$40)
The whales that frequent these waters are the blue whale, the humpback whale, the fin whale and the minke whale. The species of toothed whales that can be observed in Gaspésie are the harbor porpoise and the white-sided dolphin.
Passengers should arrive at the dock 30 minutes before the scheduled boarding time (and remember to dress warmly). Enjoy a whale-watching excursion in a small boat away from over-commercialized whale-watching destinations like Washington’s Puget Sound.