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Driving time from Quebec City
Trails in the park
Over 100km to explore
Length of Le Scotora Trail
It’s a big day
If you’re going to be exploring Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier, you can’t pass up Le Scotora Trail – but at 16km (plus the elevation gain), it’ll take you a solid 5.5 to 6 hours to complete. It’s best if you plan to devote a whole day trip to this single route. If you do, you’ll remember it for a lifetime. And no need to worry about missing out on other parts of the park – it’s so close to Quebec City that you can always return another weekend to tackle the rest of the trails.
Off you go
For a preview of the trail, check out the Sepaq Park Path Explorer app. The trailhead of Le Scotora is located at the 29th kilometre of Chemin de la Vallée, where you’ll see a parking lot, facilities and a bridge. The bridge takes you across the Jacques-Cartier River to begin your hike. Tighten up your boots, make sure you’ve got all your day hiking essentials, take a sip of water and follow the signs to Le Scotora trail.
A walk on the wild side
Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you make your way through the woods. Moose and deer are some of the locals at Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier and spotting one is pretty common. But with a bit of luck, you might also see one of the roughly 80 caribou that roam the territory. Of course you’ll have your camera on-hand, but may we suggest binoculars as well?
Reaching new heights
After you make a sharp right after the bridge, you’ll find yourself on the park’s plateau with an elevation of about 700m. As you continue to hike upwards, you’ll pass by Étang Ledoux, a 2km section with four beaver colonies. Pull out your binos to see if there’s any movement out on the water.
Claim your prize
Vallée de la Jacques-Cartier is the centrepiece of this national park – a 550m ravine chiselled into the landscape by the Jacques Cartier River. The end of Le Scotora Trail rewards you with a view of this ravine that you can’t get anywhere else.
If you still have energy (and time) at the end of your trek, try L’Aperçu – it’s a quick and easy 2.2km hike that takes you along Belleau River. Want something a bit more challenging? Head off on L’Éperon, an intermediate 5.4km hike where you can explore Rivière à l’Épaule.