|Tour of Province of Quebec - Part 5: Scenic
Coastal Highway on Gaspe Peninsula
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Wow! This is so beautiful.
The 760-Km long drive from Quebec City to the village of Perce and the Bonaventure Island along the paved
coastal Highway 132 is a scenic highway around Gaspe Peninsula. It has picturesque villages, breathtaking
vistas, jagged cliffs, uneven coastline and breathtaking mountains. No matter where you look, the sea is never
far away, with sea's invigorating breeze. It has many pull-out roadside parking lots, fantastic look-out points,
picnic tables and toilet facilities. Each little fishing village is unique and every curve in the road brings fresh
delights. The long drive alone is worth the trip, to admire the crags of the jagged coast, the uninterrupted views
of the ocean and the picturesque villages with their fishermen's piers. It is desirable for visitors to plan to drive
leisurely with ample time so that one can stop from time to time to enjoy the stunning beauty of the nature
along this beautiful coastal highway.
This web page presents some sample beautiful views along this coastal drive.
A seabird, guillemot, that we saw in the BioParc in the town of Bonaventure along southern Highway 132.
There are often many birds at such lagoons, salt marsh areas or river delta flowing into the ocean.
Some gulls are soaring high in the sky, others are on the sandbar in the river along Highway 132.
The St. Lawrence River as viewed from the Ferry. It was cold and windy when the ferry left St. Simeon
ferry terminal in the morning.
At Sainte-Therese-de-Gaspe along Highway 132 about 15 Km south of Perce, we saw this large historic site
for sun-dried salted codfish industry where huge number of wooden scaffolding or wooden racks (flakes) are
lined up in the field. Salted codfish are dried by the sun and marine wind on such flakes in such field. Gaspe
was famous for its cod fishery, which for nearly 300 years shipped dried and salted "Gaspe Cure" cod off to
Spain, Italy, France, England, Brazil and Caribbean. Gaspé was the land of cod. Historically, 50 million cod
were caught each year off the Gaspé coast alone.
In 1497, John Cabot explored the Grand Banks area near Newfoundland and swore that cod were so plentiful
that schools of the fish sometimes blocked the way of his ships. He said there was no need for a hook, line,
or bait. All a fisherman had to do was to drop a basket over the side of his ship, and pull it up, filled to the
brim with fish. By 1539, many fishermen from Europe had set up outposts for mass production of sun dried
salted codfish on the shores of Newfoundland, the Arcadian peninsula, Cape Breton Island, and the St.
However, by the 1970's, over fishing by many modern, huge and overly aggressive fishing ships from many
countries destroyed the codfish habitat and depleted the codfish in this area. There is an ecological museum
showing how the fish are soaked in brine for 21 days, then spread out to sun-dry for two to three weeks.
St. Simeon Ferry marina as viewed from a ferry which just left the ferry terminal.
After we finished touring Saguenay Fjord National Park and Tadoussac, we stayed in a hotel on the north
shore of St. Lawrence River for the night of July 5, 2011. On the early morning of July 6, 2011, we and our
car got on the big ferry to cross the St. Lawrence River from St. Simeon on the north shore to
Riviere-Du-Loup on the south shore. From Riviere-Du-Loup, we drove on Highway 20 northeast which then
becomes Highway 132 for our long drive northeast to Forillon National Park, Gaspe and Perce. The width of
St. Lawrence River at St. Simeon is about 30 Km, similar to that at Tadoussac. The ferry ride is about 65
minutes. No reservation is required. It is first come first serve. But we had to be at the ferry terminal 90
minutes before ferry departure time waiting on a long line of vehicles to make sure that we could get on the
ferry. (One could bring the breakfast here to eat while waiting for 90 minutes.) The schedule of the ferry
departure time is 9:30 AM, 13:00, 16:30, and 19:30.
Beside the Ferry Terminal, there are two or three motels, a restaurant and a snack bar near the Ferry
Terminal at St. Simeon.
絕妙佳境， 彷若人間仙境， 令人陶醉。
One of several beautiful lagoons and salt marsh areas along coastal Highway 132
Jagged cliffs jut into the sea.
Coastal Highway 132 is dotted with charming villages along the way
We saw two puffins in the BioParc in the town of Bonaventure along southern Highway 132 in southern Gaspe
Some modern white windmill farms on the mountains along Highway 132. This is the largest windmill park in
Canada. The municipality of Cap-Chat boasts the most powerful and tallest vertical axis windmill in the world.
When I used my camera with 35X optical zoom to zoom in, I saw many fishing birds, cormorants, on that small
rocky island. This means that there are lots of fish in the water in this area.
A small off-shore island along coastal Highway 132
Beautiful Lac Temiscouata along Highway 185.
Although Highway 132 makes a complete loop around Gaspe Peninsula including northern section along
northern coast, southern section along southern coast and an inland section to close the loop. Instead, at
Pointe-a-la-Croix, we took the steel bridge south into Campbellton in the Province of New Brunswick. Then we
took Highway 17 southwest to St. Leonard, then we took Highway 2 northwest which becomes Highway 185
in the Province of Quebec. We took Highway 185 to reach Riviere-du-Loup to complete our loop around
Gaspe Peninsula. From Riviere-du-Loup, we took Highway 20 southwest to Levis near Quebec City.
Another view of Lac Temiscouata along Highway 185.
The magnificent Château Frontenac castle in Quebec City as viewed from the Levis-Quebec Ferry. It is said to
be the world's most photographed hotel. During WWII, Prime Minister, MacKenzie King, hosted Winston
Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt here. We took the ferry to cross the St. Lawrence River from Levis to Quebec
City on our way to tour Montmorency Falls which is about 11 Km northeast of Quebec City.
Spectacular view of the magnificent Montmorency Falls cascading down a 83m (272 ft.) cliff. It is 11 Km
northeast of Quebec City in Quebec, eastern Canada. Notice that there is a suspension bridge over the crest
of falls providing access to both sides of the park as well as spectacular views, The walkway is about 100
yards across and about 4 feet wide.
Unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived here in the late afternoon of July 11, 2011. The rain limited our
activities here and the quality of the pictures taken. I was wearing a raincoat standing on the top of the 489-
step wet staircase in taking these pictures.
Map: Click here to see an interactive Google Map showing location of Montmorency Falls
Zoom in for a closer view of the suspension bridge over the crest of falls and some visitors on the bridge.
Some visitors in raincoats on the bridge. The comment from one of the visitors was that " Kinda
nerve-wracking. It offers stunning view of the magnificent waterfalls and the St Lawrence River." I also felt
kinda nerve-wrecking standing on the top of the 489-step wet staircase even though the panoramic views were
Zoom in on the lower portion of the waterfalls.
I also took a movie clip of the dynamic of the thundering waterfalls and uploaded the movie clip to the
YouTube website at:
Portion of the lower part of the 489-step wet staircase beneath me.
The view of the Quebec City and St. Lawrence River from the top of the 489-step staircase during the raining
late afternoon. The view would have been fantastic on a clear sunny day.
Another view. On that raining afternoon with intermittent heavy rain, I had to hide my camera under my
raincoat when it was raining hard.
If it were a clear sunny day, I would have taken a series of pictures to produce a spectacular panoramic
picture from the top of the 489-step staircase.
The pictures of all these beautiful scenery along the way on this web page show that the long drive on the
scenic coastal highway alone is worth the trip in addition to those magnificent national parks described in
Parts 1 to 4.
On the next morning on July 12, 2011, we drove south from Levis toward New Jersey to go home. This
completes my report of our 11-day driving tour of the Province of Quebec.
Half way through the ferry ride, it became warmer and more like a summer day in July. From time to
time, I saw some seabirds flying just above the water or landed on the water. Other passengers on
the other side of the big ferry saw a white Beluga whale.
Beach and cliff at Parc national de Miguasha in southern Gaspe Peninsula. 370-million-year-old fish and plant
fossils make Miguasha an outstanding fossil site in the world and caused it to be added to UNESCO’s World
Heritage List. The area is of paramount importance in having the greatest number and best preserved fossil
specimens found anywhere in the world of the lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to the first four-legged, air-
breathing terrestrial vertebrates - the tetrapodes.
A harbor along southern Highway 132.
Notice the tiny size of people on the walk paths on the ground level below the 489-Step Stairway. That is why
people on the suspension bridge and on the top of the 489-Step Stairway all feel kind of nerve wrecking.
Many rivers in Gaspe Peninsula have many large Atlantic salmon in crystal clear pools. Angler eyes tend to
enlarge suddenly on first viewing a bathtub-like pool filled with such large quarry. There is no way to describe
the emotional kinesthetic grip that watching a fly drift over 10- to 40-pound Atlantic salmon can place on the
body and soul of an angler. It is a very intimate personal experience,
Our Tour Loop:
The sequence of the Points of Interest in our 11-day driving tour of the Province of Quebec is the following:
New Jersey --> Montreal (tour Montreal Botanic Gardens and Mont Royal Park for panoramic view of
Montreal) --> LaSalle (tour Parc des Rapides and bird watching) --> Tour Parc National de Canada de la
Mauricie --> Boat Tour of Saguenay Fjord National Park --> Ferry Crossing of Saguenay River from Baie
Sainte Catherine to Tadoussac --> Tour Tadoussac and Confluence of St. Lawrence River and Saguenay River
--> Ferry Crossing of St. Lawrence River from Saint Simeon to Riviere du Loup --> Coastal Highway 132 East
-> Tour Forillon National Park --> Tour Bonaventure Island and Perce Rock National Park --> Coastal Highway
132 South then West -> Tour Chaleur Bay, BioParc and Parc National de Miguasha --> Ferry Crossing of St.
Lawrence River from Levis to Quebec City --> Tour Parc de la Chute-Montmorency Falls near Quebec City -->
翠綠高雅恬靜的翡翠湖，綠油油的草，幽深秀麗， 如夢似幻， 詩情
A lovely reflecting pond.