The reflection of the sunset on the lake, the soothing sound of the waves, the cry of the loon at night and the quietness of an island in the middle of the St-Lawrence River. Doesn’t it sound dreamy? Imagine pitching your tent and enjoying all of the above! If you love camping, finding a spot by the water is probably the ultimate dream vacation. Head to one of these five amazing waterfront camping sites in Quebec this summer and enjoy the breathtaking view.
1. Wake up With the Whales: Mer et Monde écoutours
Head to Tadoussac for a unique camping experience on the shores of the St. Lawrence Estuary. It’s near Bergeronnes, in Anse-à-la-cave more precisely, that Mer et Monde rents camping sites facing the St. Lawrence. Watch the sunrise and keep an eye out for one of the many whales in the area. The sites are close to a washroom facility and include a fire pit, picnic table and a wooden platform big enough for a tent. There is a $38/night fee.
2. Adventure Awaits: Centre d’aventure Mattawin
Two choices are available for this trip in the Mékinac region. Set up your base camp at one of the sites located directly on the banks of the Mattawin River and sign up for one of their many exciting daily activities such as canyoning or hydroluge. The sites are equipped with a table and a fire pit and two buildings with common areas are located nearby for cooking and dining on rainy days (or away from mosquitoes!). $29/night.
For camping enthusiasts looking for some chills and thrills, sign up for Mattawin’s great rafting-camping adventure through more than 30 km of river and, of course, rapids. Jump off a cliff, try bodysurfing or take a break on one of the many beaches. This two-day trip includes one night of backcountry camping. It’s Centre d’aventure Mattawin’s signature getaway! If this adventure seems too ambitious for you in terms of equipment and planning, you’ll be happy to know that the rafting-camping package includes a rafting guide, all the equipment including helmets, safety jackets and paddles and four meals cooked by your guide. In fact, all you need to do is pack your tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and personal belongings. Your luggage will be waiting for you at the campsite after an exhilarating day on the water. $179/person
3. Stunning Sunset and Waterfront Camping Sites: Parc national du Bic
Rumour has it that the sunsets there are the most beautiful in the world! Many camping sites are available, but if you are looking for peace and serenity, choose La Coulée. You have to walk or bike along the 1.3 km trail with all your camping equipment to get there (including your drinking water), but it’s definitely worth the extra workout. With its nine sites facing the St. Lawrence River, away from everything and everyone, you will have time to relax in one of the most stunning places in Quebec.
Activities in the park include sea kayaking, cycling, hiking and, of course … taking it easy all day long by the water. The service centre is easily accessible by foot or bicycle by a well maintained 5.5 km trail. Seals, deer, birds, the wildlife of the area will surprise you, so be sure to bring your binoculars. Between $22.40 and $39 per night.
4. Idyllic Island: L’île aux Lièvres
Before you can camp on this big island in the middle of the St. Lawrence, you must first make the crossing on board one of the boats of the Société Duvetnor. Head to the Rivière-du-Loup marina, the starting point of your adventure. You will be blown away by what the 30-minute guided boat tour has to offer in terms of landscapes and wildlife watching. If you are lucky, you might even spot a beluga!
On the island, the campsites can accommodate beginners and seasoned hikers alike! A few steps from the pier, La Plage offers several sites near the water as well as all the services nearby (showers, washrooms and drinkable water). The perfect spot for a more comfortable stay. If you are looking for a challenge, grab all your equipment and head to Les Cèdres or L’Anse-à-la-boule. The stunning view that you will enjoy from the comfort of your sleeping back is worth the one hour + hike to get there. Also, experienced and well-equipped hikers can conquer the 12 km of trails through the forest to Les Bélugas campground. The sites are not directly on the waterfront, but the St-Lawrence is never more than a few steps away on the island!
$40/night + the cost boat tickets. Reservations required
5. Fishing Fun and Watefront Camping Sites: Réservoir du Poisson Blanc
The park, located in the Laurentians, would make anyone fall in love with nature and the great outdoors. True to its name (poisson means fish), it’s the perfect place to reel in your dinner! Fishing is permitted everywhere on the reservoir, but you do need a Quebec fishing permit. The catch limits imposed by the Ministère des Forêts, Faune et Parcs apply. To get to your campsite on one of the many islands in the area, you will need to rent a canoe or kayak at the Bastion, the park’s welcome centre. If you are really adventurous, you could even rent a paddleboard for an out-of-the-ordinary paddle-camping stay.
The waterfront camping sites located on the islands offer an intimate setting and exceptional view of the water. Also, if you prefer a campsite on shore, the one at the foot of the mountain is accessible by car and is a few steps from the beach. The Parc régional du Poisson Blanc is a member of the Leave No Trace program and campers are expected to be on their best behaviour. Between $45–60/night
That’s it! That’s all! Pitch your tent on an island, go on a fishing trip, enjoy the beauty of the St. Lawrence River or hop on an exciting adventure! Our favourite waterfront camping destinations will amaze you!