Complete Guide to Hiking and Camping in Forillon National Park

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker or a first-time camper, here’s your complete guide to making the most of your hiking and camping experience in Forillon National Park. Forillon National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure amidst stunning natural beauty. With its rugged coastline, lush forests, and diverse wildlife, Forillon offers many camping and hiking opportunities.

Save for later

Pin for Camping in Forillon National Park  and Hiking trails in the park
Épingle sur le parc national Forillon, guide de camping et randonnée

*Discloser: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through a link. More information

Getting to Forillon National Park

Forillon National Park is located on the eastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. The park is easily accessible by car, with highways connecting it to major cities such as Quebec City and Montreal. 

Both park entrances are off the well-known Highway 132, the major route that circles the Gaspé Region. The Penouille sector of the park is also along Route 132.

If you prefer public transportation, buses also provide access to nearby towns, from where you can arrange transportation to the park entrance.

Camping in Forillon National Park

Camping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of Forillon National Park. The park offers several campgrounds, each with its own unique charm and amenities.

Des-Rosiers Campground

Near the park’s North entrance, Des-Rosiers Campground offers a range of campsites suitable for tents, RVs, and trailers. Amenities include washrooms, showers, and picnic areas, making it ideal for families and groups.

Cap Bon Ami Campground

Featuring picturesque campsites among the spruce and fir trees, Cap Bon Ami Campground offers a sense of seclusion and serenity. Amenities include washrooms, drinking water, picnic areas, and fire pits where you can gather around the campfire and share stories under the starlit sky.

Penouille Campground

Situated along the scenic coastline in the Penouille Section of the park, Penouille Campground offers stunning views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Campsites are nestled among the dunes, providing a serene atmosphere for relaxation and exploration.

Petit-Gaspé Campground 

Tucked away in a forested area near the South entrance of the park, Petit-Gaspé Campground offers a secluded setting for campers seeking tranquillity and solitude. Amenities include fire pits, picnic tables, and access to hiking trails.

Before you go, be sure to check the park’s website for campground availability and reservation information, especially during peak season.

Hiking Trails in Forillon National Park

Forillon National Park boasts a network of scenic hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. From leisurely strolls along coastal cliffs to challenging treks through rugged terrain, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Here are some must-hike trails in the park

Les Graves Trail: This easy trail meanders along the coastline, offering breathtaking views of cliffs, coves, and seabird colonies. Keep an eye out for whales and seals frolicking in the waters below.

  • Length: 15 km out-and-back for the entire trail
  • Duration: 4 – 5 hours
  • Trailhead: Grande-Grave for the entire trail
Parks Canada red chairs overlooking the sea in Gaspé Bay

Mont-Saint-Alban Trail: For a more challenging adventure, tackle the Mont-Saint-Alban Trail, which leads to a panoramic lookout atop Mont Saint-Alban. The trail rewards hikers with sweeping views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the surrounding landscape. Hikers can see as far as the Percé Rock from the tower at the summit on a clear day.

  • Length: 7 km (loop); 5 km (out-and-back to the tower)
  • Duration: 2 – 3 hours (loop); 1-2 hours (to the tower and back)
  • Trailhead: Petit-Gaspé beach
Forillon Naitonal Park's forest and cliffs with the blue sea at their feet as seen from the tower on Mont Alban's summit

La Chute Trail: This moderate trail takes you to La Chute, a picturesque waterfall in a lush forested canyon. Along the way, you’ll encounter diverse flora and fauna, including rare bird species and wildflowers.

  • Length: 1 km loop
  • Duration: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Trailhead: La Chute parking lot on Highway 132 (Halfway between the North and South entrances)
falls at the end of La Chute Trail in Forillon National Park

Cap-Gaspé Trail (last section of Les Graves Trail): Explore the rugged beauty of the Cap-Gaspé Peninsula on this scenic trail, which winds through coastal cliffs and rocky beaches. Don’t forget your camera – the views are simply stunning. 

  • Length: 8 km out-and-back
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Trailhead: at L’Anse-aux-Amérindiens
Red and white lighthouse in Cap Gaspé on grassy land by the sea

*Once at the lighthouse, keep going towards the Land’s End. The trail descends to the shore at the base of the cliffs. The views are astounding.

the sign for the trail Land's End in Cap Gaspé in Forillon National Park

More Easy Trails

Prélude à Forillon

  • Length: 0.5 km loop
  • Duration: 15 mins.
  • Trailhead: Visitor and Discovery Center (North Sector)

*Accessible path on a boardwalk

La Taïga Trail

  • Length: 3 km out-and-back
  • Duration: 1 – 1.5 hrs.
  • Trailhead: 1 kilometre from the Penouille parking lot (Penouille Sector)

Du Banc Trail

  • Length: 4 km out-and-back
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hrs.
  • Trailhead: Cap-des-Rosiers parking lot or Visitor Information and Discovery Centre (North Sector)

More Moderate Trails

Les Parages Trail

  • Length: 3 km loop
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hrs.
  • Trailhead: Grande-Grave

La Vallée Trail

  • Length: 9.2 km out-and-back
  • Duration: 2 – 3 hrs.
  • Trailhead: L’Anse-au-Griffon

Le Portage Trail

  • Length: 20 km out-and-back
  • Duration: 5 – 6 hrs.
  • Trailhead: L’Anse-au-Griffon or near the administrative office

Backpacking in Forillon National Park

The International Appalachian Trail (SIAT) passes through the park and ends (or starts) at kilometre 0 in Cap Gaspé and the Land’s End. 

The Kilometre 0 marker at the start (or finish) of the International Appalachian Trail in Forillon National Park
Kilometre 0 marker on the SIAT

The section of the IAT in Forillon National Park is 45 kilometres with camping sites, and lean-tos spread out on the trail. This part is a point-to-point and is usually hiked in three or four days. Reservations for backcountry camping can be made by phone or online. 

Backpacking Tips 

Plan and Prepare: Research your destination thoroughly and familiarize yourself with the terrain and weather conditions. Create a detailed itinerary, including the hiking route, campsites, and emergency contact information. Share your plan with a loved one and make sure they know when to expect you back. 

Pack Light: Opt for lightweight and compact gear to minimize the weight of your backpack. Prioritize essentials such as a tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, water filter, and clothing layers.

Choose the Right Gear: Invest in high-quality gear designed for backpacking and backcountry camping. Choose a durable and weather-resistant tent, a warm and compressible sleeping bag, and a lightweight backpack with adjustable straps and padded hip belts for optimal comfort and support.

This might be helpful: Complete Guide to Backpacking

More Activities in Forillon National Park

Cycling and mountain biking on the many designated trails in the park.

Paddling: Book a guided sea kayaking tour with a knowledgeable guide from Cap Aventure

Discovery Center and exhibitions: learn about the park’s natural and cultural history and the biodiversity of the land. 

Heritage Sites: Make time to visit the Blanchette House in Anse-Blanchette, the General Store and the Dolbel-Roberts House in Grande-Grave (South sector). Costumed interpreters will answer any questions you have. These well-preserved historic buildings offer a window into the life of the first settlers in the region.

The well-preserved 19th century Blanchette House in Forillon National Park

Beaches

  • Penouille Beach is a sandy beach located in Gaspé Bay. The water is warm enough for a swim.
  • Cap Bon Ami Beach is by far the most picturesque beach in the park. The high cliffs flank the cobble beach, and the curious seals often swim nearby. 
  • Cap-des-Rosiers Beach has a perfect view of the Bon Ami cliffs, and a boardwalk leads to a memorial of a shipwreck from 1847.
tourists walking along Cap Bon Ami cobble beach with the cliffs of Forillon National Park in the distance across the water
Cap Bon Ami Beach

Go whale-watching on a boat tour with Croisière Baie de Gaspé.

Wharf Fishing: Try your hand at saltwater fishing from one of the beaches or from the Grande-Grave Wharf. Catch limits and fishing regulations are in effect in the park.

Family Fun

  • Xplorers Booklet invites children to explore and learn about the natural and human history of the park.
  • Playground: all three sectors of the park (North, South and Penouille) have playground structures for children. 
  • Picnic: The park offers numerous picnic areas with or without shelter, but all have stunning views. 
  • Pool: the Recreational Center in the South sector of the park includes a heated pool

Red Chair Alert: There are nine locations throughout the park with the famous Adirondacks red chairs from Parks Canada. Find them and take a selfie. You can share the moment with #myLandsEnd

Parks Canada red chairs overlooking Forillon National Park's cliffs

Tips for a Memorable Experience

  • Pack Accordingly: Be sure to pack essential camping and hiking gear, including sturdy footwear, weather-appropriate clothing, water, food, and a map of the park.
  • Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from wildlife and refrain from feeding or approaching animals. Remember, you’re a guest in their natural habitat.
  • Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by properly disposing of waste, minimizing campfire impacts, and respecting park regulations.
  • Pets are allowed on trails, provided that they are kept on a leash at all times.
  • Be Prepared: Familiarize yourself with the park’s rules and regulations, and always let someone know your hiking plans before setting out.

Nearby Attractions

Percé

Percé is well-known for its massive rock with the arch but offers plenty more activities. Consider spending time in Percé with these fun things to do. The town is about one hour away from the park. 

the immense Percé Rock in the water with the arch visible in its center

Gaspésie National Park

Craving more nature and hiking adventures? The Parc National de la Gaspésie (SEPAQ) offers plenty of hiking trails, sublime lakes and more camping options. This park is about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Forillon National Park. 

Hiker on the trail crossing a river with scattered rocks bordered by conifers with the mountains in the background in Gaspésie National Park.

Last Words on Camping and Hiking in Forillon National Park

With its breathtaking scenery and abundant recreational opportunities, Forillon National Park is a true gem of the Canadian wilderness. Whether camping under the stars or exploring scenic trails, Forillon promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure for nature lovers of all ages. Plan your visit today with the help of this guide to hiking and camping in Forillon National Park and discover the beauty of Quebec’s coastal wilderness!

More Adventures in Gaspésie

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *