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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we followed the viewpoint sign, we went out along the river. Several times we stopped and marvelled at the views.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Several paths at the marina ran out along the lake. We wandered around and enjoyed the sunny day at the lake.
The fun statues in the park drew our attention. And of course we had to pose!
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).
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
We drove around and found a side road for another view from the bottom.
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.
We went past several viewpoints. But pulled in for view over a still lake. The hills were reflected in the mirror calm water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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