Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie © TQ/S. Deschênes

National parks

Extraordinary experiences await at Québec’s national parks! Together, these immense protected spaces cover the gamut of Québec’s varied geography. Each park has its own unique personality owing to its location, flora and fauna; all of them boast an astounding diversity of natural sites, recreational possibilities and scenery.

The parks at a glance

From Abitibi-Témiscamingue to the extreme tip of the Gaspé peninsula, parks can be found in every corner of Québec. Many are within easy reach of the province’s urban centres. Most are under the jurisdiction of the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq). Forillon, La Mauricie and the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve are run by Parks Canada, while the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is managed jointly by the two organizations.

At 1,500 km2 (932 sq. mi.), Parc national du Mont-Tremblant is the largest of Québec’s parks. The smallest, Miguasha in Gaspésie, barely measures 87 ha. Parc national des Pingualuit, located in Nunavik, is Québec’s first northern park.

Sépaq invites you to explore its national parks and create memorable experiences.

In summer, Québec’s national parks offer a wealth of incredible sights, whether you’re on foot, in a canoe or in a kayak. All of this protected land presents an opportunity to get in touch with nature and make surprising discoveries.

Québec’s national parks welcome all nature lovers, with abundant and diverse fauna, and some 200 trails where hikers can seek out breathtaking views. Practice water sports on the parks’ immense lakes, surrounded by idyllic scenery. Here, nature becomes not only a source of inspiration and replenishment but also a huge playground. At dusk, head back to your campsite, ready-to-camp tent, cottage or yurt to relax next to the campfire and regain your strength for the next adventure-filled day.

In winter, put on your boots, snowshoes or cross-country skis: you have an important date with a snowy mountaintop and a picture-perfect landscape. Sépaq offers a wide range of stimulating outdoor activities that are sure to warm you up no matter how sensitive you are to the cold. Don’t bother trying to resist the spell of your surroundings; you are in fact in a winter wonderland. Keep your eyes peeled: you might spot the tracks of a number of elusive animals, such as moose and foxes. Come nightfall, you may even hear the hooting of a barred owl. And where can you spend a cozy night in the cold season? Try a cottage, a yurt, a shelter or even a four-star inn—the options abound!

Parc national d'Aiguebelle © TQ/M.Dupuis
Parc national du Mont-Tremblant © Sépaq/S.Deschênes
Chalet EXP au parc national de la Jacques-Cartier © TQ/F. Gagnon

Among its 47 national parks, three of Parks Canada’s gems are located in Quebec. Head to Forillon National Park, La Mauricie National Park or Mingan Archilago National Park Reserve to create lasting memories, and discover some of Québec’s most significant natural wonders.

La Mauricie National Park is a great destination year-round. During winter, it is a paradise for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Enjoy the snowy paths and take a break with a nice hot chocolate by the fireplace at one of the Park’s warm shelters. During summer, discover one of the Park’s 150 lakes, and let the haunting cry of the common loon thrill your spirit. Spend the night in the Laurentian Forest: Which season will you pick?

Forillon National Park is a dream destination for hikers: whether you are looking for a pebble beach along cliffs or a forest hike, we have a trail that is right for you. Observe the land and sea connection through its incredible wildlife and flora. During winter, enjoy scenic ski trails and discover a completely different side of the Park. What will it be: hiking shoes, flippers or ski boots?

Last but not least, spend your summer in Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve and explore a remarkably beautiful scattering of granitic islets and reefs. There is an abundance of life in this strange half-world: plants of variegated hues and shapes, seabirds gathered in colonies, seals, dolphins and whales, swarming the blue vastness in which the islands bathe. On which island will you stay overnight?

 

Forillon National Park © Parc Canada/R.St Laurent
© Parc Canada/E.Lajeunesse
© Parc Canada/E.Lajeunesse

Québec’s territory features 13 wildlife reserves (Sépaq) and 8 national wildlife areas full of vast forests and dotted with many lakes and rivers. The Sépaq network boasts over 52,000 km2 for leisure and adventure. As prime areas for hunting, fishing and outdoor activities, Québec’s wildlife reserves also have 500 cottages and rustic sites available for rent, as well as several campgrounds with services and wilderness options.

Hop on a rowboat, canoe or kayak and discover rich, breathtaking fauna and flora. In winter, discover cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails winding through a serene, unspoiled natural setting under an immaculate canopy of driven snow. Become one with nature!

Directory of wildlife reserves

© TQ/S.Deschênes
Réserve faunique des Chic-Chocs © TQ/S.Deschênes
Réserve faunique de Matane © TQ/P.Carbonneau

Nature lovers and outdoor fans are sure to have the time of their life in any of Québec’s municipal or regional parks. A wide variety of activities and services are available in over 175 parks across the province. Nature observation, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and much more await you. The choice is yours!

Urban parks
Quebeckers love the outdoors! With modern and comfortable public furniture that harmoniously blends with their architectural heritage, urban parks are in turn Edens of relaxation, recreation areas and open-air museums, often boasting daring works of art such as Alexander Calder’s “Man” at Parc Jean-Drapeau on île Sainte-Hélène. In the summer, they morph into outdoor theatres and restaurants, yoga studios, biking and running trails and even kitchens! It’s not uncommon to catch a whiff of a delicious meal being cooked on the grill. In winter, under a soft blanket of snow, urban parks become the perfect location to ice skate, play hockey, toboggan or go on a romantic stroll. What’s more enchanting than a park in the wintertime?

To discover in Montréal
Overlooking Montréal, the Mount Royal Park is beloved by locals and visitors alike. It features stunning views of the city, hiking trails and a restaurant at the summit. With its pond and surrounding pathway, Parc La Fontaine is a true oasis of nature in the heart of the city that is beloved by sports enthusiasts and contemplative spirits alike. More centrally located, Place Émilie-Gamelin will win over sunbathers, beer drinkers (a beer garden is open every summer!), and circus fans (during the Montréal Cirque Festival).

To discover in Québec City
A venue for several shows during the Festival d’été de Québec and of national celebrations of epic proportions, the Plains of Abraham are very popular among sports aficionados, skiers, runners and walkers. At the foot of the cliff, the Jardin Jean-Paul-L’Allier, named after one of the most influential mayors of the city, has helped revitalize the very trendy Saint-Roch neighbourhood. Its floral arrangements and waterfall are remarkable. The promenade Samuel-De Champlain along the St. Lawrence River was recently developed and now provides exclusive access to the river. Its fountains, works of art and observation tower are definitely worth a visit.

Directory of regional/municipal parks

Parc du Mont-Royal © TQ/D.Lafond
Parc régional des Sept-Chutes © Tourisme Lanaudière/J.Vigneux
Parc régional de la Forêt 0uareau © Tourisme Lanaudière/M-0. Guilbautt

Whether you love to get out there or get cozy, there’s a Parks Canada, Sépaq or regional park with the perfect accommodations for you!

Cottages
Solo travellers, couples, families and groups can all find the ideal cottage for their holiday. They come in all sizes and are fully equipped to suit any taste! EXP. Cabins feature a contemporary architectural style with walls of windows looking out on the forest. Enjoy the unique experience of admiring the flora and fauna from your living room or snuggle up by the fireplace. A great choice for a romantic getaway!

Inns
An inn is just the ticket if you love the outdoors but still appreciate the finer things in life. The Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs in Gaspésie sits at an altitude of 615 m, boasting incredible views of the Réserve faunique de Matane. Nearby Parc national de la Gaspésie is home to the Gîte du Mont-Albert, which offers unique decor and fine regional cuisine. These four-star accommodations are sure to charm you!

Communal huts
Equipped with beds, tables and a wood stove or fireplace, these one-room huts are usually found along trails used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s a chance to meet other hikers staying the night and spend a friendly evening swapping trail stories with like-minded souls! You’ll have to bring everything you need, including sleeping bags and pads, food and water. Huts generally don’t have electricity or utilities.

Rustic shelters
These accommodations are not equipped with any services. Set deep in nature, they generally don’t have running water or electricity. You’ll find a bed, a table and a wood stove, but you’ll have to bring everything else you need, including sleeping bags and pads, food and water. The shelters are accessible via hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoe trails.

Yurts
These charming and rustic lodgings are a type of round fabric tent with a wood floor and a skylight for stargazing. They are usually fully furnished and equipped, with a dry toilet nearby.

Ready-to-camp
and camping Want to try camping, but don’t own the equipment? Ready-to-camp is for you! Choose from a variety of amenities and services offered at parks around Québec. Sleep in a tent, trailer, yurt, oTENTik tent or other type of shelter equipped with everything you need for your stay (dishes, bedding, BBQ, etc.). Ready-to-camp accommodations are offered at Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq) and Parks Canada campgrounds, as well as certain private establishments. Simply pack a suitcase to embark on a nature getaway!

Chalet EXP. au parc national du Mont-Mégantic © Sépaq/S.Deschênes
© TQ/J-P.Huard
© Parcs Canada/E.Lajeunesse