All along the coast, you’ll pass places whose French names – Grosses- Roches, Les Méchins, Capucins, Cap-Chat – evoke the landscape and its history. Through this circuit, you will discover small charming coastal villages. Nestled at the hollow of a cove, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts is an excellent example of a marriage between the sea and the mountains and proudly opens the gate to the Parc national de la Gaspésie. Take 1re Avenue, which runs alongside the River for over 8 kilometres and take some time to explore the trails, the parks, the beach and the promenades. Stopping on the wharf is a must in order to visit Exploramer, discovering the sea, a scientific activity complex focusing on the marine environment and presenting an aquarium and a museum, as well as offering sea excursions.
At this point, you access the splendid Parc national de la Gaspésie, via Route 299, 40 kilometres south of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. In the heart of the peninsula, this park is home to some of the highest peaks in eastern Canada, the Chic-Chocs Mountains. Be prepared for a thrilling ride through this ancient glacial valley, on a winding road along the Sainte-Anne and Cascapédia rivers. This place is ideal for hikers of all levels. The tablelands, where you find flora and vegetation similar to those found in the toundra, are home to a caribou herd. While on this road, winding at the heart of the great Gaspesian nature, be on the lookout as you are in moose land. A wide variety of lodging types are offered, including the highly-renowned Gîte du Mont-Albert with its fine regional cuisine that has greatly contributed to making the Gîte famous.
Seventeen kilometres south of the Gîte du Mont-Albert, you will find the Mont Lyall agate mine. Prospect this open-pit mine and seek for magnificent geodes. Watch carefully for the signs. Keep riding on Route 299 for 100 kilometres, along the splendid Cascapédia River, to reach the municipalities of Cascapédia-Saint-Jules and New Richmond. You are now at the bay beach circuit. As you come back on Route 132 in Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, towards Cap-Chat, you can not miss the tallest vertical axis windmill in the world as well as the 76 windmills of Le Nordais Park as they stand out. At the entrance of the town, a roadside rest area gives access to the beach and offers a breathtaking view of the Chic-Chocs Mountains, while in Capucins, another roadside rest area offers a unique scenic point on tomorrow’s energy. Further west, you are back on the garden and covered bridge circuit.