|The edge of the Appalachians at Forillon National Park, Canada|
After making the drive along the cliffs and fjords of the northern Gaspé, I came to the very edge of the peninsula at Forillon National Park. This is where the Appalachian Mountains fall below sea level before reemerging on Newfoundland Island. It was somewhat of a monumental occasion to have finally traveled to "Mile 0" of the International Appalachian Trail and the first or last of the continental Appalachians. To continue, I would either have to take a boat to Newfoundland or walk south to Key West, Florida. I didn't have the time today, but it was an intriguing idea...
Forillon National Park is the only park on the peninsula managed by Parks Canada. There are a half dozen other national parks managed by the Province of Quebec. Like all the parks I've been to in Canada, it was well managed, easy to get around and full of natural beauty. Originally I wasn't planning on coming out this far, but I figured I might as well see the end of the peninsula.
|Beach walk in Forillon National Park|
From the beach, I began hiking the Mont Saint-Alban trail which steeply ascends the cliffs to the tower. Its about 3.2km round trip distance from the parking lot to the tower and back. Although short in distance, it was very steep! Fortunately there are plenty of lookouts and views along the way. An informative sign told me that fishermen used to walk this way before there was a trail to get from the southern end to the northern end of the peninusla. I can't imagine doing this without a trail!
|Birds of the sea were darting in and out of their cliff dwellings as waves crashed below|
|The cliffs of Gaspe|
I couldn't leave this park without actually traveling to the very easternmost point of the peninsula. It would be a fitting end to the trip!
|Another beach to walk in Forillon National Park|
As I was poking around the lighthouse, I noticed there was an additional 0.4km trail which leads to the cliffs above the ocean-
|I saw several kayakers rounding the peninsula|
|Kayaking the Gaspe Peninsula|
|I can't wait to come back and kayak here someday...|
Well I had a long way to travel to get back to Portland, Maine. Spending just one day in Forillon National Park is an insult to the park's beauty; I wished I spent a week there. For all the pictures I took, I probably saw less than 25% of the park. Nevertheless, I headed on route 132 to see a few more spots before getting back stateside Next up- Parc National de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé!
Next: Hiking Rocher-Percé.
Read. Plan. Get Out There!