Quebec North Shore Tour
PART 1 - LA MAURICIE NATIONAL PARK
A road trip to the Cote Nord region of Quebec has been on our wanderlust list for a few years. This year we decided to make it a reality. Before we plan a trip, we usually spend a lot of time researching the areas we intend to visit. However, very little information was available. Internet information is limited and photos of the region were scarce. Most of the images we did see were just phone posts on sites like Google Earth. So, we really didn’t have a solid idea of what we would expect. Being non-french speaking individuals, we were a little apprehensive about communicating and travelling. We didn’t know anyone who had visited this unique area, so, for us, it was going to be a real exploring expedition.
The trip would include stays in Mauricie National Park, Saguaney Fjord, Grands-Jardin and the Cote Nord region. Our goal was to take Highway 138 on the north shore of the St Lawrence River to the end of the road to the village of Kegaska.
Trails through the Laurentian Forest
Lac Gabet Trail
We used Voyageur Provincial Park as our launching pad and started the trip with three nights at La Mauricie National Park. The park is situated in the Laurentian Forest with lush woods and rolling hills. Laurentian Forest represents a deciduous forest of predominately sugar maple and yellow birch. There is also American beech, red maple, balsam fir, tamarack and eastern hemlock. The forest floor is full of ferns and a wide variety of wildflowers. The roads were great as the wind through the mountains with the occasional lookouts to stop and enjoy the view. Two thirds of the park was closed because of a major construction project so we could only explore the southwest portion.
Les Cascade trail short and easy stroll the goes along a beautiful long cascade. Although the water was very low, it was still a lovely set of waterfalls. The swimming in Lac Wapizagonke was amazingly refreshing. If we would have brought our canoe, I am sure it would have opened the way for much more exploration of the gorgeous little park.