The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region is a vast territory that brings together a wide variety of natural jewels. On the one hand, there is the 1,100 km2 Lac Saint-Jean, which is the largest inhabited lake in Quebec. All around it are more than 42 km of fine sandy beaches. Then, at the other end, there is the Saguenay Fjord, one of the ten longest in the world at 105 km in length. Around these bodies of water, a rich fauna and flora take place. Between the mountain reefs, the boreal forest and the agricultural plains, the region has a panoply of grandiose landscapes for the pleasure of the eyes of those who travel its roads. To ensure the sustainability of these natural wonders and to allow outdoor enthusiasts to discover them, certain parts of the territory are managed by the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq).
The region counts 3 national parks, 2 wildlife reserves, 1 tourist establishment accredited by Sépaq and a marine park co-managed with Parks Canada.
Discovering the national parks of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is possible all year round. In summer and winter, a wide range of activities are available. You can also find a variety of accommodations: camping, ready-to-camp, shelters and cabins. As each part of the territory is unique, so are the different parks in the area. Discover their particularities.
Pointe-Taillon natural park
An oasis on the shores of Lac Saint-Jean: swimming, water sports, cycling and rustic camping.
In Lac-Saint-Jean, there is sky, sun and beach. This is even truer at the Pointe-Taillon National Park, where swimming, kayaking and paddle surfing steal the show. Don't forget your bike to take advantage of the cycling circuit along the lake, from which you can observe beavers. In a preserved natural environment, camping - wild or not - attracts lovers of peace and quiet as well as small families who love wide open spaces, and this in the three magnificent sectors between Saint-Gédéon and Saint-Henri-de-Taillon.
Monts-Valin national park
In the heart of the north: fishing, hiking, water sports and vacationing in summer. Meet the mummies and ghosts in winter.
The Monts-Valin offer the highest accessible peaks in the region to hikers in search of landscapes of absolute wild beauty. A paradise for hikers, fatbikers and cross-country skiers, the Monts-Valin and their Ghost Valley offer a natural site of such beauty that you want to stay overnight. In rustic refuges, traditional chalets or unusual accommodation, all ways are good to discover the relief of this inviting territory.
Saguenay-Fjord national park
On land, on the sea or in the air, 320 km2 of nature on either side of the Saguenay Fjord.
To discover both sides of the fjord, the Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park offers many possibilities. Camp in the wilderness, sail in a sea kayak or Zodiac on the waters of the marine park, observe the beluga whales from the shore, challenge the trail of the Notre-Dame-du-Saguenay statue or cling to the walls of the via ferrata des Géants. No matter what kind of adventurer you are, you will find an activity that will blow your mind.
In addition to the national parks, Sépaq also operates tourist establishments. There is only one in the region and it is located directly in Laterrière, at the gateway to the Réserve faunique des Laurentides. Then, on a large part of the Saguenay Fjord, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, a marine protected area co-managed by Parks Canada and Sépaq, takes place.
Centre touristique du Lac-Kénogami
On the shores of Lake Kenogami, there is a magnificent sandy beach and guaranteed fun for the whole family! It all happens at the Centre touristique du Lac-Kénogami. You can stay there for a few days and take advantage of the camping sites or the ready-to-camp. You can rent a watercraft, solo or tandem, take your pick! A snack bar awaits you to satisfy your hunger. The supervised beach leads to the lake in a gentle slope that is very pleasant for young and old.
Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park is an area of great ecological wealth. It is almost as big as the whales that swim the seas. It is one of the best places in the world for whale watching from land or during a maritime excursion. Visitors can take advantage of a network of 23 land-based discovery centres along the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fjord. Hiking, sailing and sea kayaking enthusiasts will find this an exceptional destination.
Wildlife reserves are vast territories where activities are oriented between wildlife and nature. In Quebec, there are 13 of them. Two of them are located in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.
Réserve faunique des Laurentides
A vast territory located in the heart of Quebec, the Réserve faunique des Laurentides is located on both sides of Highway 175 between the Quebec City region and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Halfway along the route, there is the stage. During a visit, one should not miss the Portes-de-l'Enfer sector, Camp Giroux, the Métabetchouan canoe-camping circuit and the large Lac Jacques-Cartier. Dotted with lakes and breathtaking scenery as far as the eye can see, it is renowned for hunting, fishing, soft adventure and ecotourism. Fishing: mid-May to the end of August. Moose hunting: September. Small game hunting in October.
Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan
The Réserve faunique Ashuapmushuan is located along Route 167 between Saint-Félicien and Chibougamau in a vast territory that includes several rivers and 1,200 lakes with a rich fauna and flora. On site, one can hunt, fish, hike, gather in the forest and take part in certain nautical activities. The Chaudière Falls, an idyllic picnic spot, and the Ashuapmushuan River, one of the most important landlocked salmon breeding sites, are not to be missed. Two lodging sites with all modern conveniences in the middle of the forest offer chalets and camping.