The drive from Percé out to Forillon National Park on the eastern tip of the Gaspé peninsula is very scenic. And it’s an exciting drive on a very steep road with multiple 10-15 degree inclines and one 17 degree incline. They don’t much believe in switchbacks here.
Forillon National Park offers hiking and biking trails and is a Parks Canada National Park – another chance to use our Discovery Passes :-). It also has several lovely beaches, so of course we couldn’t resist a walk on one of those beaches on our first visit.
That same afternoon, we rode our bicycles on the trail that leads to the Cap-Gaspé, which is also a walking trail. The point at the end of this trail is called land’s end and is the easternmost point of the Gaspé Peninsula.
It’s also the end of the International Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Quebec. The International Appalachian Trail connects to the Appalachian Trail in Maine and continues to Georgia. The most common route followed by those that want to hike the entire trail continuously is to begin in Georgia in the spring and head north. Hector and I spent a little time hiking on a couple of sections on the Georgia end of the Appalachian trail in the 1980s when we lived in Atlanta. Little did we know then that we’d one day bike on the extreme opposite end of this trail.
We also saw quite a few porcupines on land, in fact, this is the most porcupines I’ve ever seen. Cute little guys from a safe distance.
There’s a great view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from the top of the trail with a pretty lighthouse. Another very short and steep walking only trail led us down closer to the edge of the cliff and the water where we were rewarded with yet another gorgeous view. A great day.We returned to Forillon National Park another day and visited Cap-Des-Rosiers Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in Canada, 112 feet, or ten stories high. There was a guided tour in French about to begin, and since it was the only way to climb the lighthouse, we decided to join in. Fortunately, there was only one other couple on the tour, and the guide spoke a little English, so he threw in an English word now and then to help us out.
The Cap-Des-Rosiers Lighthouse shone its first light in 1858 and has a fabulous first order Fresnel lens, which was automated in 1981. The exterior bricks of the lighthouse were rebuilt in white marble in 1984, and the walls are seven feet thick at the bottom and three feet thick at the top. One of the most impressive lighthouses we’ve seen. And, of course, it’s perched on a scenic cliff, placing the light 136 feet above sea level.
It was a cool day so we had Angel with us, and stopped at a couple of other beaches. Angel found a few more crabs and we discovered more spectacular beaches with cliffs overlooking the water. Then we had a picnic lunch looking out over the beautiful view.
Within Forillon National Park’s deceivingly compact area, there is tons to see; lighthouses, mountains, forests, cliffs jutting into the water, beaches, waterfalls and more.
And Forillon National Park is just one of many beautiful spots in the Gaspé Peninsula and sadly the last place we visited in this area. This remote peninsula is truly a memorable place.