40 minutes outside of Québec City, Canada lies the rugged Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier. The area is rich with fjords and mountains. Waterfalls pour over the dramatic landscape leading to glacial lakes which pepper the map.
Once an ancestral hunting ground to Huron and Montagnais peoples, Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier is now a 670 km2 (416 mi2) national park run by the Québec government and boasting more than 60 miles of hiking trails.
Jacques Cartier, who lends his name to this staggering swath of land, is the man responsible for Canada’s existence as we know it. Born in 1491 in France, Cartier was the first European to venture inland in North America and claimed the land that is modern-day Canada for France.
To commemorate Cartier as the father of Québec, the rivière Jacques-Cartier, which cuts through the dense boreal forest of the area, bears his name (and it is this river after which the park is named).
This place is all about soaking up the sights and filling your lungs with crisp, invigorating air, so you’ll want to cruise with your windows down from the moment you leave Québec City.
If you enjoy hiking, we suggest driving to the 18 km marker and taking the 11 km hike called Les Loups. This path, while considered medium in difficulty due to the terrain, is considered to offer the best views in the park!
Should you prefer to drive through the park as we did, don’t expect to go anywhere too quickly! With every few meters presents a new vista or staggering perspective, you’ll be jumping out of the car every few feet to snag a photo! To give some perspective, we took 3 hours to explore the park up through kilometer 30.
$8.50 per person for entry. Park maps provided at entry.
🍁 Following Fall 🍁
August - October
This is the perfect place to start Following Fall. While Québec City was already a refreshing 65°, the Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier was 57°!
Even if the leaves don't normally begin changing until the end of September, the chill of the foggy mountain valley will transport you to a state of autumnal bliss!
The ability to hike, drive, and float through Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier let's every visitor fulfill their fall fantasy exactly as they like!