What Are 8 Activities to Try at Jacques Cartier National Park?

Diptaraj Bhaduri
Diptaraj BhaduriOctober 25, 2022
Updated 2023/09/16 at 12:45 PM
Jacques Cartier national park
Photo by Thomas Lardeau on Unsplash, Copyright 2020

As you have come here, we are sure you are planning to visit Jacques Cartier National Park or maybe just enthusiastic to know about this national park. So let us share all the details about Jacques Cartier National Park. Jacques Cartier National Park is one of the most splendid places in Canada to chill out and spend time with family, friends, or loved ones, and it is a very relaxing place. The national park is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. It is one of the most popular national parks in the world. Visit the visitors centre to learn more about the park.

1. Jacques Cartier National Park: All You Need to Know

SNEHIT PHOTO on Shutterstock

1.1. Location of the Jacques Cartier National Park –

Jacques Cartier National Park is a provincial park located 50 kilometres north or 31 miles north of Quebec, Canada.

1.2. Area of the Park –

670 km²

1.3. Area of Trail Network –

The park’s trail network spreads over 68k square miles (61.2 miles).

1.4. Distance From Quebec –

The park is situated around 50 kilometres north of the city. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the national park from the city. It is arguably the best tourist spot to visit if you are visiting Quebec city.

1.5. Bus Stations Near Jacques Cartier National Park –

  1. Laurier/De Verdun
  2. Laurier/Verdun
  3. Allumettières/Laurier
  4. Musée De L’Histoire
  5. Maisonneuve/Verdun

1.6. Train Stations near Jacques Cartier National Park –

Parliament/Parlament O-Train West/Ouest.

2. History of the Jacques Cartier National Park –

The Montagnais and the Huron previously inhabited the land of the Jacques Cartier National Park. During the 17th century, Jesuits were guided by the Hurons for travel between Quebec City and Lac-Saint-Jean. The area was a major timber producer at the start of the mid-19th century.

In 1972, Hydro-Quebec proposed building a dam on the Jacques Cartier river. But the project was discontinued in 1975 for fear of flooding the Jacques Cartier river valley. Eventually, the timber industry also came to an end in the same year. In 1981, Jacques Cartier National Park was built with the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve’s southernmost area. With the American conservationist movement’s pressure, the Laurentian Wildlife Reserve was created from whose lands the park was formed in 1985.

3. Tourism Plans –

If you plan to visit the National park during summer, you should go for the hikes. You can go fishing and surfing through the deep valleys with the mountain bike or walk down the Jacques Cartier river valley. You can also learn about local fauna and flora by participating in different activities. Spending a few hours between these scenic landscapes can help you a lot with your mental health.

During winter, the national park becomes one of the best places for enjoyment and adventure. The long area of kilometre after kilometre gets covered up by snow. The place becomes appropriate for different adventurous activities like –

Snowshoeing, wilderness skiing, hiking trails (names of the best trails are given below), and Nordic skiing. You can also prefer to roam around the valleys with a fat bike, and lastly, you can go for a skating adventure.

 Jacques-Cartier National Park, Quebec, Canada
By: Film Adventure/Shutterstock

3.1. All About Hiking Trails –

If you are a hiking enthusiast, grab trekking shoes and prepare for your next hike. The park is home to various hikes, from tall to very short. Read about the following hikes before you plan one.

3.1.1. Le Scotora –

Elevation – 405 m

Length – 16 km return

Time – 5-6 hours

The best time to visit is April to September.

One of the very popular trails which you must go to is Le Scotora. It is considered to be a moderately challenging trail than other trails. The trail has a few rocky sections, but the hike is not too steep. After reaching the top, you will get a spectacular view of the surrounding beautiful valley landscapes. But the view is small, so it may appear to be crowded. You will reach the summit of Mount Andante at the end of the long trail. Visitors are attracted by the adventurous trails of old forest roads. But there is a piece of bad news for you if you have a dog. Dogs aren’t allowed on this trail.

3.1.2. Les Loups Trail –

Elevation – 447 m

Length – 11 km return

Time – 4 hours

The best time to visit is October to April.

Les Loups trail is one of the most famous trails in the park. You should be ready for a few tricky parts, as the trail is considered to be difficult. You will face some advanced trails throughout the hike. But all the difficulties will be worth it once you reach the summit of Jacques Cartier and Sautauriski valleys. You must have crampons to access this hike, but rental is also possible in the parking lot. The snowy or sandy surfaces of the Les Loups hiking trail make it more difficult. Les Loups trail is also a preferred destination for amateur bird watchers as you will be able to see many cool birds throughout the journey. But once again, you will have to keep your dog in the home because dogs are not allowed on this trail too.

3.1.3. Les Cascades –

Elevation – 156 m

Length – 4 km loop

Time – 1-2 hours

The best time to visit is June to October.

The trail is considered to be moderate and is great for beginners. Two beautiful footbridges across the river and the fields of flowers provide great scenic views. It is a nice short hike along a cascading stream. Many facilities, like restrooms, a grill, and a picnic table, are available. But dogs are not allowed on this trail.

3.1.4. Le Perdreau –

Elevation – 195 m

Length – 5.4 km loop

Time – 1-2 hours

The best time to visit is May to October.

The trail’s starting point is near Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury. It is known to be a moderately challenging route. This is one of the most tree-surrounded trails of Parc national de la Jacques Cartier. The terrain is relatively easy at the trail starting point. Dogs are allowed on this trail but must be on a leash. The trail leads to a fine lake of Parc national de la Jacques Cartier.

Photo by William Topa on Unsplash Copyright 2017

3.1.5. La Croisee –

Elevation – 487 m

Length – 15 km out and back.

Time – 4-5 hours

Best time to visit – open throughout the year and can be visited at any time.

The route is considered to be easy or moderately difficult for hiking. The trail is on the Jacques Cartier river valley and can offer you some beautiful views of the Jacques Cartier valley. The middle section of the trails splits into two parallel trails, among which you can choose to change your view on return. On this trail, you will also have a great view of the Jacques Cartier river. Also, dogs are not allowed on this trail, too.

3.1.6. La Matteucie –

Elevation – 170 m

Length – 5 km

Time – 1-2 hours

Best time to visit – Not specifically mentioned.

The trail is great for hiking solo or with family. It goes along with the Jacques Cartier river and joins the Le Perdreau and Les Loups trails. The trail takes you through a forested area, and you may face some wild animals on this trail. You will also be able to see many small streams throughout the journey. Dogs are not allowed on this trail. Many facilities are available on-site, like restrooms or picnic table accommodations.

Please consider the above points about the trails mentioned if you plan to go hiking. You will enjoy splendid views of beautiful valley landscapes between the tall mountains. But you must remember to wear trekking shoes while going on these trails. Even if you cannot arrange trekking shoes or are not comfortable with trekking shoes, you must wear comfortable athletic shoes. Also, the shoes should be only waterproof. Otherwise, you are suggested not to visit the trails of Jacques Cartier National Park.

3.2. All About Fishing –

Jacques-Cartier National Park
By: Tahmina Asha/Shutterstock

Many of you who are Googling about Parc national de la Jacques Cartier might be hardcore fishing enthusiasts. We can assure you that if you visit this national park, you will enjoy your time fully. Fishing is one of the biggest attractions of the park. You can also try fly fishing there.

You can go fishing on the Jacques Cartier river and other lakes of Parc national de la Jacques Cartier. You can go to Lac Cook in La the Vallée sector for fly fishing. You can also go to the lakes of Jumeau and the Sautauriski sector for fishing. If you get lucky, you may catch a Salmon fish in the Jacques Cartier river. But you will have to release it back into the river because Salmon fishing is prohibited in the park.

A fishing license is mandatory and can be purchased on-site, and the fishing fee should also be paid on-site. But the tricky part is that if you don’t have a piece of fishing equipment, you can’t rent it in the Jacques Cartier National Park.

3.3. All About Backcountry Skiing –

One of the best things you can try in the Parc national de la Jacques Cartier is a different kind of winter activity, including mountain hiking, backcountry skiing, telemark skiing, snow surfing, and snowshoeing. The park consists of a network of 13 snowshoeing trails totalling up to 94 km. The park offers snowshoe rentals which are free for children.

The winter hiking trails run along the Jacques Cartier river and provide spectacular views of the Jacques Cartier valley and the Sautauriski River delta. But only experienced people should try this. Beginners are recommended not to try because the sectors are neither properly patrolled nor groomed.

3.4. Wildlife Watching –

The Jacques Cartier National Park is a great home to various plants and animals. Even the water bodies of Jacques Cartier contain various plants and animals.

Different kinds of animals can be spotted in the national park, including black bears, red foxes, Canada lynxes, river otters, gray wolves, moose, and white-tailed deer. The water bodies of Parc national de la Jacques Cartier are home to brook trout, arctic char, and Atlantic salmon. The park is also home to more than 100 species of cool birds whose views can be heartwarming for amateur bird watchers visiting the Jacques Cartier National park. Amateur and expert bird watchers are called during summer and winter censuses in Parc national de la Jacques Cartier.

Photo by Shivam Kumar on Unsplash Copyright 2019

3.5. Biking –

The Parc national de la Jacques Cartier is a park generally suitable for biking, including mountain biking and fat biking. There are three biking trails in the park which will give you some splendid views of the park’s scenery. Fat biking is done during wintertime, and rental equipment is available at the park. To practice this activity, you can access more than 10 km of the area in winter. These fat bikes are equipped with oversized tires, ideal for snowy or sandy surfaces of the Jacques Cartier National Park.

3.6. Paddleboarding, Kayaking, and Canoeing –

You can experience boating in the Jacques Cartier river. You can get some breathtaking views of the Jacques Cartier valley while exploring the Jacques Cartier river. You can experience 26km (16 miles) of boating in the Jacques Cartier river. Five routes are available with a shuttle service.

The rental center at 3km offers a calm water canoe rental service without booking. But the last rental will be provided at 4 pm. You can also go canoe camping in Jacques Cartier National Park.

You will be offered white water activities in rental centers at10km. The capacity of the watercraft is 2 people with luggage, and the minimum age required is 12.

4. Restaurants Near Jacques Cartier National Park –

Top restaurants near Jacques Cartier National Park –

  1. La Souche Stoneham
  2. Pascal Le Boulanger
  3. Sentiers du Moulin
  4. La Cabane a sucre du lac Beauport
  5. Club de golf Alpin
  6. Restaurant Le Lavallois
  7. Restaurant Turbo Pizza
  8. McDonald’s Canada
  9. Erabliere Du Lac Beauport
  10. Fun House Jimos Family

5. Surrounding Mountains of Jacques Cartier National Park –

The highest peaks of the Jacques Cartier National Park are –

  1. Mont Farncois-De Laval
  2. Mont Ovide
  3. Mont Andante
  4. Mont Adagio
  5. Mont Allegro
  6. Montagne de la Sautauriski
  7. Le Promontoire
  8. Montagne de la Cachee
  9. Colline aux Erables
  10. Montagne de l’Epaule

6. Basic Information About the Jacques Cartier National Park

6.1. Geology of Jacques Cartier National Park –

The Jacques Cartier National Park hosts one of the biggest glacial valleys in Canada. Different valleys cut the vast mountainous national park. The mountain area of Parc national de la Jacques Cartier is mainly covered by coniferous forest. The coniferous forest contains evergreen trees with a sharp conical top. Many types of trees can be found in this coniferous area, including pine, cedar, redwood, and fir.

 Jacques-Cartier National Park river
By: Anne Richard/Shutterstock

The deep valleys of the Jacques Cartier National Park mainly consist of deciduous trees, which provide some great charismatic views of the valley regions. Oak, elm, and maple are examples of deciduous trees. If you want to know more, you must go to the visitors’ centre.

6.2. Cost to Visit Jacques Cartier National Park –

6.2.1. Entry Fees-

  • Annual park card (unlimited access to a single park for 12 months) – $46.25 for adults
  • Annual Quebec park card (unlimited access to all the national parks for 12 months) – $83.49 for adults
  • Daily access – $9.25 for adults
  • Daily access – free for kids below 18 years.

6.2.2. Rental Equipment Fees (Summer 2022) –

  • Canoe – $52/ day and $18.25/ hour
  • Helmet – $7.75/day
  • Lifejacket (included with boat rental) – $7.75/day
  • Open kayak solo – $16.75/ hour and $47.75/ day
  • Open kayak tandem – $20.75/ hour and $59.25/ day
  • Stand-up paddle – $18.00/ hour and $47.25/ day
  • Wetsuit – $14.00/day

6.2.3. Day Fishing (Summer 2022) –

  • 1 person (watercraft and one right of access) – $65.25/day (starting from)
  • 2 people (watercraft and two daily rights of access) – $85.00/day (starting from)
  • 3 people (watercraft and three daily rights of access) – $114.75/day (starting from)

*Rates may change and you can know about it from the visitors centre.

7. Some Questions Answered About Jacques Cartier National Park

7.1. where to Eat?

Plan a lunch picnic while visiting the Parc national de la Jacques Cartier. You will surely have a great experience because there are several picnic areas throughout the park. You can also get a great park fire pit with a grill and a picnic table per site, but it’s forbidden to move that. A general supermarket in the La Vallee district will provide you with readymade food and drinks. Otherwise, you can try visiting the best nearby restaurants at Jacques Cartier National Park we have mentioned.

7.2. Is a Parking Lot Available in the National Park?

You will be offered several parking options for parking cars on-site, like at the Charron House, Maison du Velo, and in the northern part of the park. There are ample parking options in the Jacques Cartier National Park.

Jacques-Cartier National Park
By: Paul_Errant/Shutterstock

7.3. Is Camping Allowed in the Jacques Cartier National Park?

If you plan to camp in the Jacques Cartier national park, you will surely have a great experience. It would be best if you enjoyed your time on the winding river banks. You should bring a sleeping bag if you are planning to camp. You will enjoy the night sky view from the park and have a good time in the beautiful yellow birch forest. From the tent’s viewpoint, nature looks extremely beautiful. Some specified park areas are suitable for camping in Jacques Cartier national park.

If you are planning for winter camping, the heated hut awaits you. There is a heated, lit toilets option in the huts. The welcome center closes by 5 pm. So if you arrive late and need firewood, you must wait for the camp ranger till 7 pm.

Final Words

We hope you have a great experience while visiting the national park. Many visitor centres will help you learn more about Parc national de la Jacques Cartier and if parking is available or not. You should take the shuttle service to check out the nearby attractions and rent a car for just the drive in Parc national de la Jacques Cartier. It would help if you also got a park map because you may face limited cell phone signal or limited cellular reception.

You can book two double sleeping compartments if you visit your family and friends. If you are an international tourist visiting Canada, you must keep this park on your bucket list of places, and we can assure you will come back with some great memories to share with your friends.

This Jacques Cartier national park is among some of the best national parks in North America. The National park is a total package of adventure and chill. You can have a great time fishing or doing a picnic. The place is also good for solo travelling. You can go solo hiking or camping. Visiting this park can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you. This park is a great place to visit, and you will never regret spending time here.

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