Gaspesie, Quebec: Natural and Untouched

The Gaspesie Peninsula is bordered by the St. Lawrence River and the Bay of Fundy, in far eastern Quebec.
The Gaspesie Peninsula is bordered by the St. Lawrence River and the Bay of Fundy, in far eastern Quebec.

We’ve spent the past four days in an absolutely wonderful part of Canada, one that I had never known about until I met Suzie Loiselle in New York City last year.

It is the Gaspesie, or the Gaspe Peninsula, a large area that juts out east bordered by the St. Lawrence River and the Chaleur Bay.

A beach along the narrow peninsula that juts out above the town of Gaspe.
A beach along the narrow peninsula that juts out above the town of Gaspe.

We took a tour of Exploramer, an aquarium that offers their own boat tours, large exhibits about marine life and local ecology, and tanks filled with local species of fish and crustaceans.

We hiked to the top of a mountain in the Parc National de Gaspesie and on the trail we passed by three moose, females too busy munching on plants to notice us. They were only twenty feet away!

We met friendly people who spoke mostly French, and like everyone we’ve met on our summer travels to Canada, they couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful.  We asked our waiter Stephane at the La Broue dans l’Toupet last night what it was like here in the winter. He said the snow can get as tall as a man, but that snowmobilers fill up the rooms and keep the restaurants busy.

Rosalie, the guide at Exploramer, shows us what people, turtles and fish look like from the eyes of a shark.
Rosalie, the guide at Exploramer, shows us what people, turtles, and sea lions look like from the eyes of a shark.

Their local halibut and Stimpson’s clam chowder were delicious!

This is quite a remote area, we took a plane from Montreal to Quebec City, then a small Dash-8 plane to the city of Gaspe. Yet the supermarket here was full of more delicious looking food than at home,  including a display of about ten different types of mushrooms so we were not that far from ‘civilization’ as we thought.

The drive up the north coast of the peninsula brought us glorious views and some iconic red lighthouses.  We took a tour of one of the popular tourist attractions on the north coast, Exploramer, an aquarium that offers their own boat tours, large exhibits about marine life and local ecology, and tanks filled with local species of fish and crustaceans. People also enjoy visiting the Wind Turbine Interpretation Center or (as we did) the Gaspésie National Park Interpretation Center.

The wind kept us from going out on the boat but the museum is definitely worth a stop, it was fascinating to learn so much about the ocean.

The Pointe-a-la-Renommee lighthouse in Gaspe, Quebec.
The Pointe-a-la-Renommee lighthouse in Gaspe, Quebec.

In the Parc National de Gaspesie, moose are a common site, this one was just twenty feet away!
In the Parc National de Gaspesie, moose are a common site, this one was just twenty feet away!
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