After the moose encounter (in Forillon-national-park-QC-2), the rest of the afternoon was uneventful. Some washing up, snacking, followed by some cursing, and flinging things about, looking for my camera charger. Where the heck did that go? When I finally found it, I was out of sorts and totally committed to staying another night.
Having by-passed the campground in Chandler so I could get to Perce quickly, I was a day a head of schedule. Stretched out in my beach chair with a beer in the cup holder, I was quite content to make that night up right here. I would have most of the morning to explore more of what Forillion has to offer.
I leafed through the visitor guide, impressed with the full page colour aerial shot of the coastline. A nice looking place. I read each hiking trail blurb, and narrowed tomorrow’s outings down to two.
- La Chutes
There is only one way in and out of the narrow parking area and I backed the truck in for an easier departure. I choose the La Chutes hike because a whole lot of people love waterfalls, myself included, judging from my posts; Falls-brook-falls, Maliseet-trail-to-hay-falls-NB, Fundy-national-park-third-vault-falls, Grand-falls-New-Brunswick,
Secondly, the hike is easy – a 1-kilometer loop trail. Finally because it is just off highway 132, towards the northern exit of the park, on the way to my next destination.
My hikers imprint the mossy path as I make my way towards a risen wooden landing. The platform faces an opening in the trees, and the falls seem discouragingly far away. According to the guide, I would be following a boardwalk through the forest to the base of the falls.
I retrace my steps back towards the parking lot looking for the start of the trail. The silence is broken by someone clapping and repeating a phrase that is neither French nor English, not quite singing more like …. chanting.
It is coming from my left and the trail now appears from where it was hidden in the shadows. Two ladies of Asian descent meander up the path. Their little incantation has the occasional whistle thrown in now, and I believe it is their way of warding off bears. When they see that I am stalled waiting for them to complete the last 50 meters upward, they pick up their pace. I say, “No rush.” We greet each other with a smiles but say no words. As soon as the way is clear, I drop down onto the zigzagging path and resume my hike.
At the river bottom is a sign pointing towards a terraced stream. I pause beside it. The water trickling over each earthy mound has a calming effect and I enjoy the moment exhaling a long heavy breath.
The wooden boardwalk takes over, ensuring visitors stay on track and don’t wander off, disturbing the sensitive ecology of the area. I can hear the falls now. The boardwalk ends, depositing me at the tree line and another 50 meters to the alluvial river bank. The breadth of falls is almost too big to fit in my view finder, and I back away down stream to get the full picture.
Minutes later I am joined by a solo man, then a family with young children. The youngsters climb around on the large rocks and balance-walk on a fallen log. I was lucky to have had a few moments with the falls all to myself but with more people arriving, it is time to leave.
2. La Taiga
I arrive at the Cap Des Rosier for my final Forillon Park outing. The breeze off the Gulf of St Lawrence is chilly and I pull on my sweater. The sky has a clotted-up cloud pattern that I can’t interpret, and I wonder what weather it is bringing in. Whatever is coming, it shouldn’t interfere with my 3 kilometer hike on the Taiga trail. I clip on my water-bottle belt and stride down the wide gravel seam leading into the forest. A brand new boardwalk steers visitors through a corridor of tightly packed symmetrical trees.
About 10 minutes later, I see a monument encircled by a stone retaining wall. I take the path up to it and read the dedication. The inscription reads:
Carried by Hope
In the spring of 1847, A migrant ship sailing from Ireland, shipwrecked off Cape-des-Rosier, during a violent storm. This plaque honours the families that risked everything in the hopes of rebuilding their lives in North America.
The bell to the left was found by Mr. Alphonse Reust, in Blanc Sablon, on September 24th, 1966.
I keep going up the path where it opens up onto a marsh with a view towards Cap-des-Rosier lighthouse, a picturesque spot I take advantage of.
Further still I arrive at the beach. From here I can see back towards Land’s End, the hike I did In Forillon-national-park-QC
There is even a better look at the Cap-des-Rosier Lighthouse from here. The lighthouse is a national historic site and at 112 feet it is Canada’s tallest lighthouse. If you like lighthouses, please read Peggys-Cove, Nova-Scotia, Grand-manans-red-trail.
I decide to walk back along the beach, stopping to pick up the odd rock and turn it over to looking at its geology. Then taking the path across the meadow and back to my truck, I make the short drive over to the lighthouse. There is a fee to enter and I decide not to go in. I have a couple hours’ drive ahead of me. I am looking forward to camping in the Chic-Chocs mountain tonight, but I have a couple of stops to make first. Please join me on my next post Grand-Vallee.
Happy travels from Maritime Mac.
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