Gaspé Ho where the Mighty St. Lawrence River meets the Atlantic.

Images and words by Dave Carpenter

A few years back, my wife and I ran into friends who'd just returned on a family road trip to the Gaspé in Eastern Quebec. They raved about this unsung part of Canada (at least if you're from Toronto) along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river as it widens into the Gulf and Atlantic beyond, especially Bic National Park. Looking for a road trip of our own the following summer, Kristin (my wife), the kids and I did a little research on the park online. The images of Bic seem so mystical and wild - an adventure waiting to happen. That August, we packed the Honda and headed east with a few other pit stops along the way. Bic, though, was the crowning jewel.

Parc National du Bic

We mostly camped on our trip out east, with a few hotels along the way. Quebec's Sepaq-run system of national parks is next level when it comes to accommodations, from sites to pitch your own tent to Yurts and Cabins. We opted for a spacious permanent tent with beds, tables and a cooking/fireplace pit, situated a few hundred metres from the ever-widening Saint Lawrence. ©photos Dave Carpenter
Bic National Park offers two routes to the most popular beach : one shorter, that cuts back to the main forested park trail after a few hours of hiking along the shore, the other, a full loop around Cap-a-L'Original, about a half a day's journey. We opted for the latter, which turned out to be my vote for the most memorable experience of our trip. A word of caution: the longer hike is also a physically challenging one as you navigate the cape trail, including a number of steep climbs over loose shale outcrops and boulders that, at times, required leaping from one to the other. The 'trail' eventually levels as you approach the main look-out area, onto the river. Luckily, we were the only groups up for the task that afternoon and we had the joint to ourselves. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
Josh and Lucy frollic at Chemin-Du-Nord. If you're up for the challenge, it's well worth exploring this rugged, mashed landscape, that rises sharply from the shoreline , in stark contrast to the languid ebb and flow of the vast St. Lawrence. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
Josh, lost in playful exploration (until he spotted my camera pointed at him ) among the piled stones at Bic National Park in the Gaspé. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
Josh chases Kristin (my wife) along Bic National Park's Rugged Shoreline. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
Jagged layers of brittle shale that line the shores of Bic National Park. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
'I found a hidden treasure chest On Gaspe's rugged shore. `Twas there before the pirate days, A billion years or more. It glistened not with golden coins, Nor pearl strands to adorn, But made me rich beyond my dreams, One sunlit summer morn.' -Poem by Lone Dog. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
Heading back along the wooded trail near the end of our adventure at Bic. ©Photos Dave Carpenter
The Beach at Bic: Lucy and Kristin take in one more stroll along the beach at Baie du Ha! Ha!, an estuary of the St. Lawrence river ringed by cliffs that undulate into the horizon. A fitting end to our trip. ©Photos Dave Carpenter

La Fin

Created By
dave carpenter


Photos by Dave Carpenter