Great Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec

Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

The Great Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec

We found so many amazing spots when we explored the great outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec. We started with intriguing views of the fjords on the Fjord Route along the Saguenay River. A day trip around Lac Saint-Jean provided us with many spots to stop and enjoy views of the lake. And we found several spots where we watched the raging rapids in the fast flowing rivers.

Where the Saguenay River met the St Lawrence River, we followed the Whale Route east and found more waterfalls. Our whale watching trip from Tadoussac gave us close up views of the whales that fed in this area. But that was not the only view of whales we got!

Heading To Saguenay

When we planned our road trip to Eastern Canada, we wanted to go whale watching from Tadoussac. Accommodations were limited in Tadoussac when we did our last minute planning. But we found lots of options up the Saguenay River in Saguenay.

When we finished our stay in Montreal, we passed along the outskirts of Quebec City. But on the return trip we stopped in Quebec City for a quick one night stop.

We had several ways to get to Saguenay. The direct route out of Quebec City took Highway 175 and cut the corner. Further along past past Baie Saint Paul, Highway 381 also headed inland early. But we bypassed both of those routes and travelled along the St Lawrence River.

We hoped for many spots for whale watching along the route. But we were not amused that the highway actually stayed well back from the river for most of our drive.

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Before we got to the Saguenay River we took the Fjord Route (Highway 170) on the west side up along the Saguenay River. The alternate route required us to take a small ferry across the river into Tadoussac and then head up the Fjord Route (Highway 172) on the east side of the river.

We knew the ferry often backed up and added several hours to our trip. So it was an easy choice to stay on the west side for this trip. When we returned to Tadoussac for whale watching, the trip south down the east side was easy from Saguenay.

Up The Saguenay River Along the Fjord Route

We were not really sure what to expect as we headed up the Fjord Route (Route Du Fjord). Very soon we saw the steep cliffs beside us on the small twisty road. We travelled up and down the hills.

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At one point, we pulled over at a picnic spot for a snack. We were amazed when we found statue after statue along the parking lot. Most of the statues were different religious renderings of the birth of Christ. We stopped and admired the native statue with a bear, a wolf and an igloo.

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Fjord Route Statues - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

There was lots to see on our drive along the Fjord Route into Saguenay.

Scenic Stops Along the Fjord Route

We stopped in Petit-Saguenay at the cafe and took in the view along the river. We then went over to the Visitors Centre and enjoyed the cliff views.

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay.jpg

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

When we followed the viewpoint sign, we went out along the river. Several times we stopped and marvelled at the views.

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay.jpg

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

At the end of the point we found a walkway and went out onto the dock. From this point we got an amazing panoramic view of the Saguenay River and the fjord shoreline.

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Fjord Route Petit Saguenay - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

The second detour from the Fjord Route was out to the viewpoint at Anse Saint Jean. We found a marina and several hotels in this charming spot.

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When we wandered back to the main route, we stopped at the covered bridge. Too bad it was too dark to see most of the artwork that decorated the inside of the bridge.

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We enjoyed our drive along the Fjord Route into Saguenay. We originally planned to do a fjord cruise on the Saguenay River. But our drive gave us a much closer view of the great outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec.

Stay For A Days To Enjoy The Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec

The Delta Saguenay Hotel was on the north end of Saguenay. It was close to the highway. So great for day trips and when we headed for a fast drive back down to Tadoussac.

Our Marriott status got us another great suite upgrade. When we arrived back at the hotel after a very long day trip, it was great to pick up take out and have a separate place to eat.

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Unfortunately because the hotel was really in Jonquiere, it was not a walkable distance to downtown Saguenay. So we really got no time to see the city.

We knew the Musée du Fjord had history displays and an aquarium. And would have liked to visit the Air Defence Museum. We never even saw the Pyramid of Ha! Ha!. This structure was built to commemorate the 1996 Saguenay Flood. But all that was left for another visit. On this visit we just planned to enjoy the great outdoors in the Saguenay region.

A Stop In Roberval On Lac Saint-Jean

We headed out early for our day trip around Lac Saint-Jean. Our first planned stop was in Roberval. We considered several spots for lunch as we wandered the fun and colourful main street.

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But ultimately we were lured by great gelato with a water view. The extra dark gelato was not to be passed on. Even if it was not the most healthy lunch!

Lac St Jean Roberval - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Several paths at the marina ran out along the lake. We wandered around and enjoyed the sunny day at the lake.

Lac St Jean Roberval Marina.jpg

Lac St Jean Roberval Marina - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Lac St Jean Roberval Marina - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Lac St Jean Roberval Marina - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

The fun statues in the park drew our attention. And of course we had to pose!

Lac St Jean Roberval Marina Statues - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

We enjoyed a stop in Roberval on our day trip around Lac Saint-Jean.

Bikes And The Blueberry Route Around Lac Saint-Jean

As we travelled around the lake we were amazed with the number of bike paths and bikers we saw. We saw that the bike path was called the Blueberry Route (Veloroute Des Bluets).

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In some parts, even the street signs were adorned with blueberries. And of course, we did not resist when we found a place for fresh blueberry pies. The pie came with two forks for people who did not wait to eat it!

Lac St Jean Roberval Blueberry Route - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Lac St Jean Roberval Blueberry Route Maison du Gros Bleuet - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Lac St Jean Roberval Blueberry Route Maison du Gros Bleuet.jpg

There were many tasty stops when we enjoyed the outdoors in the Saguenay region of Quebec.

Rapids At Dolbeau-Mistassini Around Lac Saint-Jean

The rivers around Lac Saint-Jean were known for the rapids and the white water rafting. We followed the River Road (Route Du Fleuve). When we rounded the lake at Dolbeau-Mistassini we got our first view of the rapids at the Mistassini River. The bike path came right past this area too!

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We parked on one side of the steel pedestrian bridge over the water. From there we saw the first “chutes” (rapids). But when we were across the bridge we found a footpath down to the beach and got a better view of the rapids.

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Lac Saint Jean Rapids Dolbeau Mistassini - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Lac Saint Jean Rapids Dolbeau Mistassini - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

We scrambled up the rocks and went downstream to the second rapids for a closer view. And then crossed back on the bridge and took in the lower rapids from the other side.

Lac Saint Jean Rapids Dolbeau Mistassini.jpg

Lac Saint Jean Rapids Dolbeau Mistassini - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Rapids were an amazing way to enjoy the outdoors in the Saguenay region of Quebec.

Many Stops For Rapids Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec

When we got back on the road, we stopped yet one more time when we saw another set of rapids around Dolbeau. We parked and got a view from above.

Lac Saint Jean Rapids Dolbeau - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

With this much raging waters in the Saguenay, we were not surprised when we came to a massive dam just outside of Saguenay. Hydroelectric power was a large source of the energy in Quebec. It accounted for almost 97% of all the electricity used in Québec.

We stopped at the top of the Chute-à-Caron. The dam was 55 metres high and 800-m long and created a massive reservoir. This reservoir supplied water to two hydroelectric power stations.

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We drove around and found a side road for another view from the bottom.

Lac Saint Jean Dam Chute-a-Caron.jpg

Lac Saint Jean Dam Chute-a-Caron - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

We enjoyed so many great views of the outdoors in the Saguenay region of Quebec on our day trip around Lac Saint-Jean.

Back Down The Fjord Route

We packed and left early to travel down to Tadoussac for whale watching. On the trip down we travelled on the east side of the Saguenay River. On an early Sunday morning, the road was empty. We found many spots with great views of hills, lakes and the Saguenay River.

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We went past several viewpoints. But pulled in for view over a still lake. The hills were reflected in the mirror calm water.

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As we approached Tadoussac, we moved from the Fjord Route to the Whale Route. While we knew that whales came up the mouth of the Saguenay, we missed any early glimpses of them during our transit. But we were excited for our whale watching later in the morning.

Whale Watching From Tadoussac

The whales fed at the mouth of the Saguenay River at Tadoussac. So this was the great reason why we booked whale watching from Tadoussac. We saw a little of this port town but spent most of our visit out on the water.

It was great to get a view of the Saguenay area from a different perspective on the water as we headed out into the St Lawrence River. We saw several groups of whales on the St Lawrence.

Tadoussac Whale Watching - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Tadoussac Whale Watching.jpg

Tadoussac Whale Watching - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

It was said that it was often easy to spot whales from the shore in Tadoussac. When we waited for our ferry at Les Escoumins, we saw whales as they swam lazily by the shore. On the ferry those with zoom lenses or binoculars saw the white heads as they bopped along.

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Whale watching was certainly a great thing to do outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec.

A Short Drive Along The St Lawrence

After our whale watching in Tadoussac, we drove up the coast along the Whale Trail (Route des Baleines) on the Cote Nord. We kept on the coast road and came to the small community of Longue Rive.

When we pulled into the Cote Nord nature preserve, we found stairs that led down. Sadly, we did not have time to head down. We were fascinated by low tide views as we drove along the coast. From above we saw more of the vast expanse of mud at low tide with walkways above the tide line.

Cote Nord Nature Preserve - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Cote Nord Nature Preserve.jpg

But there was much more to see at this short stop at the Parc de la Chûte de Sault-Au-Mouton at Longue Rive. We got our first view of the waterfalls from the bridge over the Sault-Au-Mouton River.

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Then we followed the viewpoint sign and again scrambled over the rocks for a closer view at the rushing water. And down the rapids to the mud flats.

Cote Nord Chute de Sault Au Mouton - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Cote Nord Chute de Sault Au Mouton - Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec Canada.jpg

Cote Nord Chute de Sault Au Mouton.jpg

Our stop at the Chûte de Sault-Au-Mouton at Longue Rive gave us another view of the great outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec.

So Much To See Outdoors In The Saguenay Region In Quebec

On our visit to Quebec, we got many different great views of outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec. The trips along the Fjord Route on the Saguenay River provided stunning fjord vistas.

On our trip around Lac Saint-Jean, we enjoyed lake views. And found many places to watch raging rapids.

Along the Whale Route on the St Lawrence we found more waterfalls. And of course many ways to see whales.

Have you headed outdoors in the Saguenay region in Quebec? Was there a spot we missed?

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About TravelAtWill 634 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!

40 Comments

  1. We camped in Quebec and Ontario for a week each but never heard of The Saguenay Region In Quebec. Otherwise we would have enjoyed these raging waters, scenic vistas, playful whales, and great food!

  2. Quebec is one of Canada’s most beautiful regions, but unfortunately I was only able to see Quebec City on my last trip there. I’d love to go back and explore Saguenay. So many scenic stops along the Fjord Route! You wee lucky with the weather and with the whale watching. We went to Alaska for whale watching and didn’t see any. Can you believe that?

    • We were excited that there were so many great sights and things to do when we visited the Saguenay region. Whale watching is always a bit of a crap shoot. More coming on that experience in Tadoussac.

  3. I’ve not been able to experience this area…yet! But it’s been long on my radar to go. I want to see the fjords and waterfalls this area is known for. Too bad you ran out of time to visit the low tide of Cote Nord, but understand it’s hard to fit everything in.

  4. The Saguenay region and the Fjord Route near Quebec look stunning! I like the Blueberry bike route and the unmotivated scattering of plastic blueberries in the public space. We saw this a lot in Switzerland recently. Giant apples, grappes or tomatoes in the middle of a roundabout. So, where can I find some blueberry pie in Berlin right now?

  5. I have always wanted to visit Quebec, the nature here looks lovely. The lake view seems like a perfect place to do some casual hiking on the rocks and enjoy the weather with friends. Glad you got to see the tops of some whale heads!

  6. That route definitely has gorgeous views! The roadside sculptures are a fun sight, too. The route you took along the water was so beautiful, too. I love seeing your travels, especially when they involve being by the water!

  7. The Saguenay Region In Quebec, with fjords on the Fjord Route, seems a perfect idea for a trip, so I add it to my itinerary when will visit this province. Especially if it is possible to visit Tadoussac and book whale watching trips. As I am a huge fan of covered bridges I would love to visit this one near the viewpoint at Anse Saint Jean. Roberval seems pretty fun with its colors and statues in the park.

  8. Saguenay looks like a great option for a road trip with lots of scenic stops. I’ve heard Quebec is one of Canadas most impressive regions so I’d love to be able to explore it properly one day. Thanks for the tips.

  9. Your journey was obviously filled with an abundance of gorgeous landscapes, landmarks, and the waters! It really is a place that favors the outdoor life. Out of the endearing places you shared, the winner is the Blueberry Route for me!

  10. I have only been to Quebec City in the winter and never outside to the fjords. Now I want to go! It looks stunning and you did so much. What a wonderful trip and such delicious looking treats!

  11. You and your husband go on so many amazing adventures. I am looking forward to being an empty nester and setting off on excursions with my husband. Great post and views along the way.

  12. I had no idea that there were fjords in Canada! The entire drive looks so beautiful with views of the river and lakes. I’d love to go on some hikes there and stop off to have some blueberry pie! I’ve had blueberry muffins and scones but no pie yet! That’s incredible that you got to end your trip with seeing whales!

  13. You found a lot of beautiful natures in Saguenay region. It will be great to watch the whales, but following the Blueberry Route would be wonderful as visitors will end up eating fresh blueberry pie. Yum!

  14. Love that you can watch whales here. It’s such a short inlet you wouldn’t think it would be possible. The metal statues of the manger theme were interesting. I could totally see them in Bethlehem but never would have thought they’d be in an outdoor setting in Quebec.

  15. I haven’t had the chance to visit this part of Quebec yet, but it’s on my list for my next road trip in the province. It looks absolutely beautiful and somewhere I would love to explore.

  16. I really have to make it to Canada. From your pictures, the sceneries are just amazing. These waters and the forests are fantastic. However, I particularly love the sculptures around the parking lot. The holy family made from steel is just so artistic. Would love to see that in person.

  17. Quebec has always been on the top of my travel list. We have had several friends and family visit before and they always seem to have such great things to say about their trip. I feel I would be able to take such great pictures while there due to all of the scenery and art! I went whale watching in Canada once and I had such a good time so I would love to be able to do that again if I ever find myself in Quebec.

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