From afar, this massive vaulted rock in Quebec might look like a ship. Heck, it might even look like a gigantic Loch Ness monster. But it’s actually even cooler than both; it is a 400 million year old natural wonder.
Rocher Percé (or Rocher Percé) is a 15-meter-high giant limestone monolith rock formation (with veins of sandstone and siltstone) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at the top of the Gaspé Peninsula.
It is one of the largest natural arches in the water in the world and has become a major attraction for Gaspésie.
At 970 kilometers (11 hour drive) outside of Montreal, it’s a bit of a hike, but considering you’ll never see anything like it again, it’s worth a weekend trip.
Plus, the ride is as simple as following the St. Lawrence River all the way down the coast.
Legend has it that Samuel de Champlain named it Percé (“pierced rock”) in 1607, in reference to the giant hole in the rock. The arch is the result of millions of years of seawater accumulation and the good old days of the fathers.
Weighing a staggering five million tons, the limestone monolith lies less than a kilometer (800 meters) from the shores of the town of Percé.
In addition, the rock has around 150 fossil species and is accessible on foot for four hours at low tide via the tip of the town of Percé. At high tide, visitors can experience the wonder (and its adjacent Bonaventure Island) by small boat for $45 (tickets available on the Percé website).
Tours of the rock are only open during the warmer months, from May 28 to mid-October 12. On excursions to Percé Rock, park guides provide information about the creatures on the beach, the geology of the rock, and the fossils that can be found there.
When is the next time you can see a rock 1,421 feet long and 300 feet wide in your own province?
Make it part of your to-do list for spring and/or summer. You will not be disappointed. And then, revel in the beauty of the rocks while devouring fresh lobster in the restaurants of nearby Percé.
This place (wait for it)… rocks.