Forillon Overview

Forillon National Park, located at the northeastern tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, is a stunning showcase of natural beauty and historical significance. Established in 1970, it covers an area of approximately 244 square kilometers (about 94 square miles), making it one of Canada’s smaller national parks. Despite its size, Forillon offers a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged cliffs and pebble beaches to dense forests and rolling hills, encapsulating the essence of the Gaspé Peninsula’s breathtaking scenery.

The park is bordered by the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Gaspé, providing it with a dramatic coastline that includes some of the most spectacular sea cliffs in Canada. These cliffs offer nesting sites for a variety of seabirds, making Forillon a prime location for bird watching. The park’s diverse ecosystems support a wide array of wildlife, including moose, black bears, and foxes, as well as marine mammals such as seals and whales, which can often be spotted from the shore.

Forillon National Park is also rich in history, with sites that tell the story of the area’s natural and human history. The park encompasses several historic sites, including the Grande-Grave National Heritage Site, which highlights the way of life of the fishing communities that once thrived along these shores. Visitors can explore restored fishing cottages, interact with interpreters in period costumes, and learn about the region’s maritime heritage.

Recreational opportunities abound in Forillon, with hiking trails that range from easy walks to challenging treks through the park’s varied terrain. Kayaking, snorkeling, and diving are popular activities in the clear waters along the coast, offering a unique perspective on the park’s marine environment.

Forillon National Park serves as a gateway to the unique landscapes and rich cultural history of the Gaspé Peninsula, inviting visitors to explore its natural wonders and connect with Canada’s maritime past.

advertisement banner
Park Map
advertisement banner

Forillon National Park Highlights


Forillon National Park is where mountains meet the sea, offering a sanctuary for diverse wildlife species that captivate visitors with their beauty and resilience. This park, with its rugged cliffs, dense forests, and rich marine environment, supports an array of animals adapted to the Atlantic coastline and the Appalachian highlands, making it a prime destination for wildlife observation and nature exploration.

Moose – The majestic Moose, the largest member of the deer family, roams the park’s forests and wetlands, a symbol of Canada’s wild spaces.

Black Bear – Omnivorous and adaptable, Black Bears can occasionally be seen foraging in the forests of Forillon, a reminder of the wilderness that surrounds.

Harbour Seal – Often found lounging on rocky shores or bobbing in coastal waters, Harbour Seals are a common marine mammal in the park’s bays.

Minke Whale – The smallest of the baleen whales, Minke Whales frequently visit the park’s waters, offering spectacular sightings for those exploring Forillon’s coastline.

Northern Gannet – With their striking white plumage and dramatic diving behavior, Northern Gannets are a highlight for birdwatchers, especially near the park’s bird colonies.

Bald Eagle – Soaring high above the park, Bald Eagles are a testament to conservation success, their presence a majestic sight against the backdrop of Forillon.

Snowshoe Hare – Well adapted to the park’s varied seasons, Snowshoe Hares change color with the seasons, from brown in summer to white in winter.

Peregrine Falcon – Known for their incredible speed, Peregrine Falcons nest on Forillon’s cliffs, a thrilling sight as they dive to catch their prey.

Great Blue Heron – Standing still along the park’s shorelines, the Great Blue Heron is an elegant fisher, its tall frame and slow movements captivating to watch.

Raccoon – Nocturnal and curious, Raccoons are often spotted by campers, their dexterous paws and masked faces a familiar sight in Forillon’s wooded areas.

Forillon National Park’s diverse array of wildlife, from the elusive Minke Whale to the agile Peregrine Falcon, showcases the rich natural heritage of Quebec’s coastal and forest ecosystems, inviting visitors to discover the vibrant life that thrives in this stunning Canadian landscape.

Forillon National Park Pictures

Engaging Forillon National Park

Forillon National Park offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels, showcasing stunning coastal landscapes, dense forests, and picturesque viewpoints. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or a challenging trek to a mountaintop, there’s a trail for you to explore. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as seals, whales, and seabirds along the way.

Take a leisurely drive along the park’s scenic coastal roads, soaking in panoramic views of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque fishing villages. With several lookout points and viewpoints along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to admire the beauty of Forillon National Park from the comfort of your car.

Forillon National Park Trails

Les Graves Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 miles (8 km) one way with minimal elevation gain

Description: Leading hikers to the dramatic Land’s End, this trail offers spectacular views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, cliffs, and the chance to see whales from the coastline.

The path winds through forests and meadows, ending at Cap-Gaspé lighthouse. It’s a journey through diverse ecosystems with stunning ocean vistas and opportunities for bird watching.

Mont Saint-Alban Tower Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4.3 miles (7 km) loop with about 885 feet (270 meters) elevation gain

Description: This trail offers one of the best panoramic views in Forillon National Park. Climbing to the Mont Saint-Alban observation tower, hikers are rewarded with 360-degree views of the park, the sea, and the surrounding cliffs. The trail is a mix of forested paths and wooden staircases, culminating in breathtaking vistas from the tower.

La Chute Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 0.6 miles (1 km) round trip with about 164 feet (50 meters) elevation gain

Description: A short and accessible trail leading to a beautiful waterfall, La Chute is perfect for a quick nature escape. The trail, surrounded by lush forest, ends at a viewing platform where hikers can enjoy the sight and sound of the cascading waterfall. It’s an ideal spot for families and those looking for a less demanding hike.

Le Portage Trail

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 miles (8 km) one way with minimal elevation gain

Description: Connecting the South Area to the North Area of the park, Le Portage Trail meanders through a variety of landscapes including forests, wetlands, and meadows. It’s a great trail for spotting wildlife, particularly moose and deer, and offers a peaceful hiking experience away from the park’s more trafficked areas.

Cap-Bon-Ami to Cap-Gaspé

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 9.9 miles (16 km) one way with significant elevation changes

Description: This challenging hike connects two of the park’s most iconic capes, offering rugged coastal scenery, steep cliffs, and dense forests.

Hikers will experience the raw beauty of Forillon’s coastline, with opportunities to spot seals, seabirds, and even whales from high vantage points.

It’s a demanding route that rewards with some of the most spectacular views in the park.

  • All Trails, Best Trails in Forillon National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Forillon National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Canadian Encyclopedia,, retrieved April 2024.
  • National Geographic, Forillon National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • National Geographic, National Parks of North America, Canada-United States-Mexico, National Geographic Society, 1995.
  • Parks Canada, Forillon National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Quebec By the Sea, Forillon National Park,, retrieved April 2024.