Saturday, August 24 – Carleton to Bonaventure
Sunday, August 25 – Bonaventure to Pabos
Monday, August 26 – Pabos to Percé
Tuesday, August 27 – Activity Day at Percé
Wednesday, August 28 – Percé to Gaspe
Thursday, August 29 – Gaspe to Forillon National Park
Friday, August 30 – Forillon National Park to Rivière-au-Renard
Saturday, August 31 – Rivière-au-Renard to Grande-Valléee
Sunday, September 1 – Grande-Valléee to Mont-Saint-Pierre
Monday, September 2 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts
Saturday, August 24 – Carleton to Bonaventure 65 km (41 mi.) We have our tour meeting and reception breakfast at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. We will then take a shuttle to Carleton. With the time remaining, winds permitting, our first day should be easy. Our first night in on the beach at Bonaventure.
Sunday, August 25 – Bonaventure to Pabos 82 km (51 mi.) We follow the southern side of the Gaspe, along the Bay of Chaleur. We pass several small towns, ending with another great seaside camp at Pabos.
Monday, August 26 – Pabos to Percé 47 km (29 mi.) We follow the southern side of the Gaspe, along the Bay of Chaleur. We pass several small towns, ending with another great seaside camp at Pabos.
Tuesday, August 27 – Activity Day at Percé There is no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful town at the end of the Gaspesie peninsula. In is bay sits Percé Rock, the haunting limestone arch rising from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of the most recognizable of all Canada’s natural wonders. The Percé area is ideal for hiking, bird watching, sea kayaking and many other outdoor activities. We will be be doing an option for an area tour for those wishing to cycle. There are many good restaurants and interesting shops. An excursion to Bonaventure Island offers a chance to visit the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world. There are also seals and whales. Bonaventure Island also offers four hiking trails and a historic heritage trail that reflects the island’s prosperous past. We will also pick a gathering place in town for the evening.
Wednesday, August 28 – Percé to Gaspe 85 km (53 mi.) After the steep hill getting out of Percé we can relax at Haldimand Beach is located from town, in a fabulous setting, with Parc Forillon in the background. After our break a paved cycling path takes us into the town of Gaspé. There are several good coffee shops and places to rest before the final push to camp. We will do a shuttle for riders into town for a restaurant gathering.
Thursday, August 29 – Gaspe to Forillon National Park 59 km (37 mi.) Under the ground of a picnic rest-stop we find Fort Penouille, an interesting and explorable WW2 gun emplacement built to defend Gaspe from U-boats. Nearby, Presqu’ile de Penouille Peninsula offers interpretations of vegetation among the sand dunes. An option is to go to the very end of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Cap-Gaspé. An historic farming and fishing area, Parks Canada has preserved some buildings from past times and has interesting interpretation areas. The Grande-Grave National Heritage Site outlines the way of life of the pioneering fishing families. There is an optional 4 km walking trail out to a lighthouse overlooking a rocky cliff. There is a fair amount of wildlife in this area, including cormorants, gannets, eiders, seals, whales, and other marine animals.
A narrow, mountainous peninsula that extends into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Forillon National Park marks the eastern end of the Appalachian mountain chain. Among the mountains are meadows, filled with wildflowers. These create a habitat, perhaps more than most national parks, for black bears. There are also moose, deer, beaver, and other wildlife. In the park’s waters are seals and different whale species, such as fin whales, minke whales, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins. Important colonies of seabirds include the double-crested cormorant, the black-legged kittiwake gull, and the razorbill. There are also rare artic-alpine plants for this far south, which give this park its unique character. Here at the end point of the Gaspé Peninsula we will have the rest of the day to explore. We can walk along the pebble beaches, and take photography of the steep cliffs overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A hike to the Mont Saint-Alban Tower at 283 metres high offers views to the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, Canada’s tallest, as well as the Bay of Gaspé, the Forillon Peninsula and as far as Percé Rock.
Friday, August 30 – Forillon National Park to Rivière-au-Renard 35 km (22 mi.) An easy day, we will have time to do some exploring before leaving Forillon National Park. We can visit Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, Canada’s tallest. Rivière-au-Renard is the fishing capital of the Gaspe Peninsula. Fish and seafood of all kinds are landed, unloaded and processed here. Riders can explore around taking photos. Tonight will be our picnic social.
Saturday, August 31 – Rivière-au-Renard to Grande Vallée 70 km (43 mi.) This will be the most challenging day of our tour, with 1,100 metres of climbing. There are not a lot of overly steep climbs, but a lot of up and down over As usual, we will have our support team offering assistance. We end at Grande Vallée, overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Sunday, September 1 – Grande Vallée to Mont-Saint-Pierre 64 km (40 mi.) Still in the hills, we will have a couple of big climbs before they level off at Rivière Madeleine. Mont-St. Pierre is our stopping point, a cozy village of under 200 people nestled in a tiny valley, with cliffs on either side.
Monday, September 2 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts 57 km (35 mi.) Our last day of cycling offers rolling terrain along the Saint Lawrence River to where we all met at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.