With everything that surrounds the village of Tadoussac, the eventual creation of national parks was pretty much a given. A maritime estuary, a fjord, mountains, the boreal forest, cliffs, dunes and long beaches, a diversity of plant and animal life, spectacular scenery…
Both the parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park are dedicated to protecting and showcasing their respective wild spaces by proposing various visitor-oriented outdoor and discovery activities.
Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay
Founded thirty years ago, the parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay is a land-based Quebec provincial park that covers an area of nearly 327 km². It stretches along both shores of the Saguenay Fjord; one of the longest and most southerly fjords in the world.
Whether you are travelling as a family or as a solo adventurer, this park offers a wide choice of trails and adventures from a few hours to several days in length. The park is made up of three sectors along the shores of the Saguenay Fjord, including Tadoussac Bay, which is easily accessible from the village.
The purchase of an access permit is required to visit most trails and shelters.
Tel: 1 800 665-6527 or 418 272-1556
Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park
The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park (1245 km²) came into being in 1998 from the necessity to protect beluga whales and their critical habitat. A creation of both the federal and provincial governments, the Marine Park protects fragile and complex ecosystems, which are home to many species of marine mammals, birds, fish and plant life. The park protects all marine biodiversity from seafloor to surface.
The cold, salt waters of the North Atlantic, which flow in with the tide, encounter fresh water flowing out of the St. Lawrence, thus forming the Maritime or Lower Estuary, and the Saguenay-Fjord. The confluence of these two great rivers favours the accumulation of krill and fish species upon which whales feed.
You may observe these titans of the sea by embarking on a whale-watching boat departing from Tadoussac, or you may choose to contemplate them from land. Two land-based observation sites are situated right in town: Islet Point and Rouge Point. Find yourself a comfortable place to sit on the rocks and be patient. Chances of spotting whales with binoculars, or even with the naked eye, are very good. A third observation point can be found on the dunes, six kilometres from the centre of town.
Pointe-Noire Interpretation and Observation Centre (418 237-4383) is the ideal spot to observe confluence phenomena at the meeting of the two rivers by hiking the scenic trail. Beluga whales often hug the rocky coastline at the base of this point. If you happen to be lucky enough to hear them, you will understand why they are referred to as sea canaries. Pointe-Noire is near Baie-Sainte-Catherine and can be accessed by taking the ferry, on foot or by car. It is approximately 20 minutes from Tadoussac.
Tel: 1 888-773-8888 or 418 235-4703, extension 0