When we think of Quebec, our first thoughts are generally of the vibrant artistic culture in Montreal, the historic cobblestone roads of Old Quebec, and of course, poutine. For us outdoor folks, the typical hustle and bustle of the city streets filled with visitors from far and wide does not usually appeal to us, so Quebec isn’t instinctually a place we look into for our next epic outdoor adventure.
What if we told you that right outside of Quebec City, there’s 670 km² of pure wilderness?
Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier is 50 km from the city and is located in a massive valley in the Laurentian Mountains with the stunning Jacques-Cartier River flowing through the park.
Whatever your preferred outdoor activity is, the park is the perfect location for a quick escape to the mountains to get your nature fill.
How to make the most of your getaway to Jacques-Cartier National Park
Camp under the Milky Way and watch shooting stars dance across the dark sky
The park has an abundance of campsites for you to pitch your tent, hookup your hammock, and chill out after a long day of activities. Some of the campsites are located right next to the water, others are privately tucked away in the trees. Bring a headlamp as the only lighting will be from the millions of the stars above you. If you’re visiting the park, the sky gets incredibly dark so you definitely do not want to miss out on the opportunities to brush up on your astrophotography or simply enjoy star gazing.
Hike up the rugged Laurentian Mountains and see the beautiful Jacques-Cartier Valley from above.
With over 100 km’s of trail throughout the park, there are amazing opportunities to experience the wilderness on foot.
We hiked the Le Scotora trail which is a 16 km trip up and down and is rated ‘hard’ on All Trails. The hike took us four hours with multiple stops for photographs and snacks. The views of the park were limited along the way, however, the trail offered stunning scenery especially, the creek that flows alongside the trail. At the top, there is an established viewing area where you can see the entire valley below and appreciate the surrounding mountains.
Cool off in the Jacques-Cartier River
The Jacques-Cartier River is 161 km long and runs right through the stunning glacial valley, Vallée de la Jacques-Cartier. Whether you just finished the Le Scotora trail, or you feel like spending the afternoon taking a dip, there are tons of gorgeous spots along the river to hangout and get your swim on. There are also endless opportunities for water activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. One of the highlights of the park is canoeing down the river, you can rent watercrafts at the discovery centre!
Check out Sepaq to learn more about the park and book your camping reservations!
*Images by Life Outside Studio