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The 10 essentials
Be a smart hiker by being prepared with the items on this list.
Saguenay's Fjords National Park Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay
Driving time from Quebec City
Less than 3 hours
Trails to explore
Be aware of your environment
When you think of a fjord, you probably picture someplace in Scandinavia. Understandable. In fact, Fjord-du-Saguenay is the real oddity, since it’s one of the southernmost large-scale fjords in the world. When you visit Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay, know that it can be chilly even in summer. Cold winds blow off the estuary, so protect yourself with long pants and sleeves. It’ll help keep the bugs at bay too.
Escape the crowds
Most people who camp at the fjord head to the Baie-Éternité sector, which has access to all the main attractions, but another good spot to check is further east toward the St. Lawrence estuary at Baie-Sainte-Marguerite. Its main campground only accommodates 50 sites, and Pointe-du-Moulin is close by, which is only accessible by walking or cycling and has 10 rustic campsites. You could also consider booking Pointe-du-Moulin’s Huttopia tent for an über-comfortable abode in a remote setting.
See the white whales
The main reason you’ll want to be in the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite sector is because of the belugas. These glossy whales arrive in the bay throughout the summertime as part of their migration, and you can see their pale shapes, and the water spouts that puff up when they breathe, as you relax on the sun-baked rocks. The nearby La Halte du Béluga is a lookout point specifically for watching these swimming giants gather – bring your binoculars to get a closer look.
Want to take your wildlife sighting to the next level? Sea kayaking is a popular pastime at the park (guided trips are available), but make sure you respect the whales’ space while paddling the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite sector. A minimum distance of 400m is mandatory at all times.
An epic expedition
You’ll also be in the neighbourhood of the Sentier Le Fjord trail, a fantastic trek that spans from the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite sector all the way to the Baie-de-Tadoussac near the mouth of the river. This is a multifaceted trail that can be as straightforward or as complex as you want it to be, depending on the place you start, the path you take and how long you want to walk for. Since you’re camping, try doing different sections of Sentier Le Fjord on different days.