Parks Canada

Canada has National Parks, Provincial Parks and Community Parks.  Parks Canada list National Parks at http:/www.canadianparks.com/.  You just highlight it. Press the enter key.  When the box pops up just press the website you want.  Under Newfoundland you will find Gross Morne National Park,  Terra Nova National Park and Cape St. Mary’s Ecological.  Highlight the park you want.  When the box pops up just press the Google site you want.  Hiking in Fundy National Park is at http://canadatrails.ca/hiking/nb/fundynp.html.  Quebec National Parks is at http://www.quebecmaritime.ca/nationalparks.  Hiking in New Brunswick is at http://www.canadatrails.ca/hiking/hike-nb.html.

If the web page is underlined, just click it to open it.

You can see a Paul Gaudet column at http://www.upcoming.homestead.com/Paul_Gaudet_2.html.  You can go to http://www.outdoorsawesome.homestead.com  to see the Awesome Outdoors! website.  You can find the Site Map for the  Awesome Outdoors! website at http://www.oemembership.homestead.com/Addresses_Phone_Numbers.html.

New Brunswick.Net Site Map is at http://new-brunswick.net/new-brunswick/sitemap.html.

You can go to https://monctonoutdoorenthusiasts.wordpress.com/park-and-hiking-information/mount-carleton-provincial-park/ to get information on Mount Carleton Provincial Park.  You can also open this page by clicking Parks Info on the bar above this page and then clicking Mount Carleton P.P.

You backpackers check out Backpacker Hostels in Canada at http://www.backpackers.ca and Backpacking Canada at http://www.travoholic.com/Canada.

From July 1 to July 8 in 2016 Moncton Outdoor Enthusiasts camped and hiked the Magdalen Islands (Iles De La Madeleine).  You can check out the Iles De La Madeleine at http://www.quebecmaritime.ca/en/discover-our-regions/iles-de-la-madeleine.  Maureen arranged a group camp site for us campers.   To see where annual camping trip was in the pass go to http://www.outdoorsawesome.homestead.com/Alaska1.html.

Îles de la Madeleine is a complete change of pace and scenery.  In the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in a location astonishing and breathtaking in its beauty, lie the Magdalen Islands. It is a favourite spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Nothing beats it. Whether you visit to enjoy the trails, water and wind or to explore the rich culture of an island people surrounded by the sea, you will leave with wonderful memories and only one thought in mind: to come back for another visit!

Each of the seven inhabited islands has its own features and attractions. Since Route 199, the main road crossing the Îles de la Madeleine, is only about 85 kilometres (55 miles) long, it makes sense to explore each island in turn. Directions to the starting point of every route begin at the Tourist Bureau–located at the intersection of Highway 199 and Chemin du Debarcadere in Cap-aux-Meules.

In early July, the islands burst with rainbow of colours; fields of white daisies, purple irises, wild mint, and strawberries fill the air with a sweet, pungent aroma.

Treacherous cliffs crumbling beneath your feet are deceptive, so make sure you maintain a safe distance from the lip.

The Acadian Star can be seen adorning boats, chairs, and sometimes even houses on the Magdalens.

Twice daily, the ferry boat Madeleine cuts through the deep, blue waters of the gulf on its voyage to the hook-shaped string of islands.  There is always an air of excitement and anticipation as the ferry approaches Ile d’Entree, the first sighting of land after four hours of sea vistas.  Just another thirty minutes to go!

Cap aux Meules Island (also known as Grindstone Island)

Cap aux Meules Island is divided into three sectors:

CAP-AUX-MEULES

The town of Cap-aux-Meules is the commercial centre of the region. Most services and businesses are concentrated here.  There you will see candy-coloured boats.  Buoys with these colours identifies which fisherman is owner of the lobster traps below the surface. Each year a lobster fisherman can place 300 traps in the seas surrounding the islands.

Enjoy a hike in Parc des Buck and admire the view over the island and other nearby islands.

Hike along the coast on the Sentier du Littoral trail to admire the impressive view from the lookout at the top of the cape.

Take a detour via Chemin de Gros-Cap to see some of the Islands’ typical colourful houses. Brighly painted red, yellow, and blue houses scattered over the hillside on La Petite Baie are typical of the shocking colours on the Magdalen Islands.  Islanders compete each year for the Architectural Merit Award, so it pays to slap a fresh coat of paint on the cedar shingles.

All forms of seagoing vessels weave in and out of the mysterious caves, tunnels, and arches carved out by sea and waves at Gros Cap.  The rock formations that are formed here are given peculiar names such as Dragon’s Belly, Washing Machine, Cathedral, and Elephant for different structural reasons.  The Elephant was created when year after year of relentless attack by the sea cut it off from the mainland of Gros Cap.

On the way, be sure to visit the Saint-Pierre de Lavernière Church, one of the largest wooden churches in North America and an island landmark.

L’ÉTANG-DU-NORD

Visit the Site de la Côte in L’Étang-du-Nord. This is a public park and lively meeting place where you will find a multitude of boutiques as well as an auditorium, a fishing harbour, walking trails and a friendly restaurant with a patio.

The L’Étang-du-Nord Lighthouse, located on Cap Hérissé, offers a peaceful view from late afternoon until sundown.

FATIMA

Belle Anse (which means “beautiful cove”) is surrounded by steep red cliffs that glow at sunset.  House paint goes a long way on the island.  Even fishing boats are not spared from the bold, bright colours.  When old boats are put out to pasture in Fatima they become colourful lawn ornaments.

Entry Island (Ile d’ Entrée)

Entry Island is the only inhabited islands not connected to the rest of the archipelago by dunes. A ferry links it to Cap-aux-Meules Monday to Saturday. For more information, please call 418-986-3278.

Beautiful, unspoiled rolling green hills are one of the main attractions of Entry Island. At 174 metres (571 feet) above sea level, Big Hill is the highest point in the archipelago. From the top, you can admire the breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view.

Before you leave the island, be sure to visit the Anglican Church and the lighthouse.

From 65 to two hundred Anglophones live quietly on this sparsely populated island. Some of the go to Prince Edward Island in the Winter.  Hiking around Ile d’Entree is an experience like no other.  Walking on the vaulting precipices and vibrant green hills, where horses and cows roam free and the air smells sweet with the aroma of daisies, you can surely feel that you have gotten away from it all.  Moncton Outdoor Enthusiasts visit this island on July 3, 2016.

Havre Aubert Island (also known as Amherst Island)

Havre Aubert Island is home to the archipelago’s largest forest, a great place to hike and observe plant life.

From the village of Bassin, you can admire a panoramic view of the Anse à la Cabane Lighthouse and Millerand Harbour.

The La Grave historic site since 1983 is a great place to browse—it teems with tourist attractions, shops, galleries, studios and a multitude of activities.  La Grave is named after the tiny pebbles, or greve, that make up its two beaches.  It is now home to a collection of cedar-shingled artisan boutiques and restaurants.  It is the first fishing site on the islands.

Havre aux Maisons Island (also known as House Harbour Island)

The La Pointe sector with its marina and wharves is a great place to watch a sunset.

Chemin de la Pointe Basse offers a magnificent view of the surrounding scenery dotted with traditional, brightly coloured houses.

Follow Chemin des Échoueries to Cap Alright for a spectacular view over grey cliffs and the entire bay.

Continue along Chemin des Montants for a drive through rolling hills and one of the best views of Havre-aux-Maisons.  Buttes Pelee on Ile de Havre aux Maisons has great sunrises.  You will see streaks of orange, blue, and red clouds set aglow.   These cliffs–some of the highest in the Magdalen Islands–plunge almost vertically 369 feet into the sea.

Intricate, colourful, and delicat shapes are formed by master glass blower Francois Turbide at his studio in Havre-aux-Maisons, La Meduse.  Like a migician, Francois twirls, spins, and gyrates a golden gob of molten glass, coaxing crude shapes into recognizable forms. Vases, bowls, fruits and crystal balls dancing with light the end products of his wizardry.

La pied de Vent Fromagerie in Havre-aux-Maison produces some of the best raw milk cheese and Cheddar curds this side of France.

The Dune-du-Sud rest area gives you access to a beach with facilities where the sea is calm and you have a striking view of the cliffs. You can also explore caves from here.

Pointe aux Loups Island

Mysterious footprints disappear into the sea at Pointe-aux-Loups, where the pristine beaches hide a pirate’s treasure of driftwood, razorshells, starfish, and sand dollars, which make wonderful mementos.  An oasis surrounded by sand dunes, Pointe aux Loups Island is ringed by beaches. To the east and west, respectively, are the Pointe-aux-Loups beach and the Dune-du-Nord beach, which was named one of Canada’s top 25 beaches by Canadian Geographic Travel. Both are popular but because of strong currents, swimming is not recommended in very windy weather. There is another beach on the north side of the island, as well as a small typical fishing harbour.

Grosse Île

Scottish pioneers settled this island, which is still home to most of the archipelago’s English-speaking inhabitants. Grosse Île is a perfect example of an area where a traditional fishing and farming way of life has been maintained.  Benny Clark of Grosse Ile with his brother Daniel’s fishing boat with their 300 traps catch 18,000 pounds of lobster in a season.  Go to Ile Brion’s Cap, Pointe Dandy, and Cap-a-Bill to see magnificent St. Lawrence sunsets.  Only sixteen kilometres from the Grosse Ile harbour, the island was first discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and named after Frech Admiral Cabot de Brion.  The once-inhabited eslands were purchased in 1987 by the Quebec government and turned into an ecological reserve to protecth the forest, vegetation, and more than 140 species of birds that nest there.

Brion Island and Rocher aux Oiseaux (Bird Rock) can be spotted offshore—both islands are uninhabited but may be visited. Guided sea and hiking excursions are available.  The end of the world; that’s what the tip of Plage de la Grande Echouerie seems like after a ten-kilometre walk from Old-Harry.  This is the eastern extremity of the archipelago where sand, sea, and the sky mix to create a place of peace and solitude, interrupted only by the occasional cry of a piping plover protecting her nest or a seal frolicking in the surf.  Each year, thousands of harp seals from Greenland migrate to the ice floes off the western coast of the Magdalen Islands to give birth to white balls of fur called blanchons.  Seals eat a lot of fish.

At Old Harry, be sure to go for a stroll along the Grande Échouerie beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Islands. If you walk to the end of this long stretch of sand, you may even spot seals! This is a beach with facilities, but you must be extra careful when swimming during strong winds.

To get to Old Harry, you have to cross through the Pointe-de-l’Est National Wildlife Area.  Moncton Outdoor Enthusiasts did enjoy this beach in 2016.

Grande Entrée Island (also known as Grand Entry Island)

The town of Grande-Entrée has been known as the lobster capital of Québec since 1994. It is the home harbour of over 100 lobster boats.

Hike to Boudreau Island for a fantastic panoramic view.

Grande Entrée Island is also an ideal place to explore caves as well as go hiking, kayaking and bird watching.

Hiking is one of the most interesting ways to explore Les Îles. It is often still possible, in perfect safety, to take yourself away to the end of some lost road that leads to who knows where (one is never very far away from homes).

Local specialists offer a whole range of fascinating guided excursions. More and more services are now offered for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Choose your path among a great variety of trails

Grassy hills, forest paths, dunes and beaches that stretch forever.

On each island of the archipelago, there are trails available for strolls and walking tours. While it is possible to take long hikes on the trails, the back roads and the endless beaches which also offer great walks and gorgeous panoramas. Walking the islands is like discovering a quiet and charming universe.

There are three places worthy of mention, either for their natural habitat or for their typical Madelinot flora and fauna. Two sites are designated as reserves in Les Îles: Brion Island and East Point in Grosse-Île. Rocher aux Oiseaux (Bird Rock) became a bird sanctuary in 1919.

Hiking Trails

BARACHOIS TRAIL

Le Barachois interpretation trail (a 5 km return circuit) is located in very special wetlands, between Dune du Nord and the lowlands of Fatima. The numerous interpretation panels along the trail highlight the value of salt water, brackish and fresh water marshes, as well as of wetlands that harbour a diversity of plants and bird species.

 

Birdwatching site

Interested in ornithology? Learn more about birds that can be observed in this area.

Cultural landscape Circuit – In French

This site is part of a circuit that proposes a cultural journey through no less than 12 iconic landscapes chosen for their photogenic qualities as well as their heritage value. On this site, you can rely to the story of Nicolas Landry: The clam diggers.

Departure: Chemin de l’Hôpital (Dune du Nord (North Dune) Beach)

Total distance: 1.3 km   Number of trails: 1   Type of trail: Linear

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Services: Parking, leashed pets allowed.

Free access

BOIS-BRÛLÉS TRAIL

This trail is located behind the Multi-function Centre of Havre Aubert Island. The paths form a 2.2 km network through forested land. Here, you’ll be able to appreciate the amazing variety of the flora of Les Îles. A boardwalk cuts across a pretty marsh that’s full of cattails and teeming with life.

You may be lucky enough to see a snowshoe hare whiz by. Although common on Les Îles at one time, the species was eventually wiped out. A project to reintroduce the species was launched in 1994 on Île du Havre Aubert.

Departure: 280, Chemin du Bassin, behind the Multi-function Centre of Havre-Aubert

Total distance: 2.2 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Loop

Difficulty level: Easy

Services: Leashed pets allowed

Free access

BOUDREAU ISLAND

L’Île Boudreau, with a surface area of about 23 hectares, is located on the southern part of Grande Entrée Island. In fact, it is a peninsula rather than an island, since it can be reached anytime along Chemin du Bassin Ouest and the Plage de la Bluff (2 km). It can also be accessed at low tide along the Bassin Est Beach (3 km).

The Magdalen Islands Conservation Society (SCÎM) acquired the property in 2004 to protect it from any development that might be potentially incompatible with its conservation. The SCÎM is grateful to you for respecting the Madelinot heritage and following these simple rules:

Permitted Activities:

Pedestrian access only;

Occasional non-commercial berry picking by hand.

Forbidden Activities:

Motor vehicles;

Camping, camp trailers and campfires;

Littering, dropping garbage of any kind;

Intensive berry picking.

Departure/arrival: Chemin du Bassin Ouest (before the wharf)

Total distance: 2 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Linear

Level: Intermediate

Free access

BOUILLÉE DE BOIS

The Bouillée de bois trail will take you through forest pathways and to an interesting variety of wild plants.

This location is ideal for a family outing. The trails are almost completely flat.

This trail provides a comfortable alternative when strong winds are blowing.

Birdwatching site

Interested in ornithology? Learn more about birds that can be observed in this area.

Departure: Chemin de la Martinique (Route 199 near Camping Motel Pluvier des îles)

Total distance: 5.1 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Loop

Difficulty level: Easy

Free access

BRION ISLAND – LIGHTHOUSE TRAIL

The Île Brion Ecological Reserve, located 16 km north of Grosse-Île, protects 650 hectares of land, nearly all of Île Brion’s land area. For over a century, this island had its own full-time population, and its very air is infused with the mysteries and histories of the Scots families, Acadian fishermen and lighthouse keepers who made the islands their home. In addition to its historical importance, this tiny area is critical for its ecologically diverse flora and fauna, remnants of the original ecosystem of the Îles de la Madeleine.

Brion Island is divided into two major sectors: the Ecological Reserve (which can only be visited by taking a guided tour) and the off-reserve portion of the Island accessible to all, a wonderful place to observe the local flora and many species of birds, including the Atlantic Puffin.

CAUTION

Brion Island is not easily accessible, particularly when the winds are strong. Visitors who would like to go there must contact expedition providers.

Since these excursions are entirely dependent on weather conditions, departures and schedules will only be confirmed on the day of the trip. RSVP.

Birdwatching site

Interested in ornithology? Learn more about birds that can be observed in this area.

Lighthouse Trail: outside the Reserve, unguided visits allowed

Departure: Grosse-Île Harbour (see the Nautical Excursions section)

Total distance: Less than 1 km

Type of trail: Loop

Difficulty level: Easy

Free access

BUTTE DES DEMOISELLES

There are numerous beaten paths on these bald, rounded hills. They sit high above sea level and they provide breathtaking views of La Grave, Baie de Plaisance, Île d’Entrée (Entry Island) and the wide open blue sea. Go at sunset, for an unforgettable walk in a natural setting.

Natural Reserve which belongs to the Société de conservation des Îles de la Madeleine.

CAUTION

If you leave the beaten path, stay away from the edges of the cliffs. These cliffs fall straight to the water below.

This site is part of a circuit that proposes a cultural journey through no less than 12 iconic landscapes chosen for their photogenic qualities as well as their heritage value. Interpretation modules and downloadable stories.

On this site, you can rely to the story of Nicolas Landry: The Demoiselles.

Departure: Chemin d’en Haut

Total distance: 1 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Linear

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Free access

CAP-ROUGE TRAIL

This trail is located near the lagoon of Havre-aux-Maisons and it’s a fine example of the rich diversity of vegetation found in the wooded areas of the archipelago. There is a wide variety of all sorts of shrubs, as well as black spruce and a few white birch.  Another portion of the trail is on a marsh and circulation is made possible by a barachois.

Sheltered forest trails; perfect for all seasons.

Departure: There are 2 starting points. One accessible by the Chemin Cap-Rouge, toward Chemin des Bas (parking). The other, by Chemin du Sentier (near the Barbocheux)

Total distance: 2.6 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Loop

Difficulty level: Easy

Services: Leashed pets allowed

Free access

BOIS-BRÛLÉS TRAIL

This trail is located behind the Multi-function Centre of Havre Aubert Island. The paths form a 2.2 km network through forested land. Here, you’ll be able to appreciate the amazing variety of the flora of Les Îles. A boardwalk cuts across a pretty marsh that’s full of cattails and teeming with life.

You may be lucky enough to see a snowshoe hare whiz by. Although common on Les Îles at one time, the species was eventually wiped out. A project to reintroduce the species was launched in 1994 on Île du Havre Aubert.

Departure: 280, Chemin du Bassin, behind the Multi-function Centre of Havre-Aubert

Total distance: 2.2 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Loop

Difficulty level: Easy

Services: Leashed pets allowed

Free access

COSTAL TRAIL (SENTIER DU LITTORAL)

This paved walking-cycling trail runs along the sea coast, in Cap-aux-Meules. Starting at the police station (Sûreté du Québec), the trail meanders along beaches and capes and ends at the foot of the stairs that give access to the viewing area above the port of Cap-aux-Meules. It is well worth climbing the 185 steps to enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of Les Îles.

Departure: Parking behind the Police station (Chemin du Gros-Cap) or Chemin du Quai

Total distance: 2 km

Number of trails: 1

Type of trail: Linear

Difficulty level: Easy

Services: Leashed pets allowed, panorama, rest stop, partially accessible for persons with reduced mobility

Free access

EAST POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE RESERVE

This National Wildlife Reserve, located near Grosse-Île, is a vestige of the sole ecosystem of its kind in Québec. Its 684-hectare site includes examples of all the typical elements of the archipelago’s landscape. This territory is protected and administered by Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service and is part of a network of eight national wildlife areas in Québec. For many shorebirds and ducks, the Reserve represents an essential stopping point in their yearly migrations. The presence of the piping plover and the horned grebe during the breeding period is one of the main justifications for protecting the East Point habitat, since these birds are on the list of endangered species.

To explore the Reserve, its typical dune environment vegetation and its bird life, two nature interpretation trails are available: Les Marais Salés and L’Échouerie. These are accessible from Route 199, after Grosse-Île and before Old-Harry wharf. Access to the Reserve is free and trails can be walked alone or with a guide. Outdoor outfitters offer nature interpretation excursions with a certified guide.

EAST POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE RESERVE is a vestige of the sole ecosystem of its kind in Québec. Its 684-hectare site includes examples of all the typical elements of the archipelago’s landscape.  Plage de la Grande Echouerie is considered by many islanders to be the most magnificent beach of the archipelago.

To explore the Reserve, its typical dune environment vegetation and its bird life, two nature interpretation trails are available: Les Marais Salés and L’Échouerie. Trails can be walked alone or with a guide. Outdoor outfitters offer nature interpretation excursions with a certified guide

Birdwatching site

Interested in ornithology? Visit this page for more information about birds that can be observed in this area.

Departure: Route 199, between Grosse-Île and Old Harry

Total distance: 4.5 km

Type of trails: Loop

Number of trails: 2

Levelx: Easy (Les Marais Salées) and intermediate (L’Échouerie)

Free access

Thank you Maureen for a great week on Magdalen Islands.

It was a wonderful week exploring this beautiful part of the Magdalen Islands!  For you who missed our trip you can call Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine Toll Free : 1 877 624-4437
View on http://www.tourismeilesdelamadeleine.com

Planning is underway for our week long trip in July of 2017 to Newfoundland.

You need good boots for hikeing.  Check out Boots at http://www.upcoming.homestead.com/boots.html.  Check out the Kenomee Hiking Trails System at http://www.outdoorsawesome.homestead.com/Kenomee.html.  Get a brochure of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park at http://www.novascotiaparks.ca/brochures/capechignecto.pdf.  Backpacking Light can be found at http://www.outdoorsawesome.homestead.com/cellphone.html.  To check out Nova Scotia parks go to http://www.novascotiaparks.ca.  To check out New Brunswick parks go to http://tourismnewbrunswick.ca/See/Parks.aspx.  Check out the Dobson Hiking Trail at http://www.outdoorsawesome.homestead.com/DobsonHikingTrail.html.  This trail runs from Riverview to Fundy National Park.  Bennett Lake is in this park.  Check it out at http://www.SpecialOfficer.Homestead.com/BennettLake1.html.

Alpine Skiing 101 can be found at http://alpineskinl.ca.  In New Brunswick we ski at Polly Mountain.  Checkout the website for Polly Mountain at http://new-brunswick.net/new-brunswick/poley/. In Nova Scotia we ski at Wentworth.  Check out website http://www.novascotiawebcams.com/en/webcams/ski-wentworth/.  In Newfoundland we ski at Marble Mountain.  Check out website http://www.skimarble.com/lifts-status.

Cross Country Skiing is cheaper than Alpine Sking.  We cross country ski at Beaver Cross Country Skiing Club and in the parks.  Check out Beaver Cross Country Skiing Club at http://www.skibeaver.homestead.com/.

 

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