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.
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.
Rivière-au-Renard to Grande Vallée 68 km (42 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.
Grande Vallée to Mont-Saint-Pierre 63 km (39 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.
Mont-Saint-Pierre to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts 63 km (39 mi.)
Our last day of cycling offers rolling terrain along the Saint Lawrence River to where we all met at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.