With craggy mountains, quiet forests, plentiful waterfalls and – of course – the Saguenay Fjord, Saguenay is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you prefer to kayak through the turquoise waters or go on a short peaceful stroll along a trail, the region is filled with plenty of local and national parks to explore, all of which are within an hour of Chicoutimi, Quebec. 

Each has something unique and special to offer, so it might be difficult to choose which one to venture off to first. Here are the best, most awe-inspiring parks in Saguenay, Quebec.

Parc de la Riviere du Moulin

Situated on a historic site in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Parc de la Riviere du Moulin is a lush forest in the heart of the city. The park boasts more than 35 km of marked and looped trails that are perfect for hiking and mountain biking in the summer or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. 

But the main attraction of Parc de la Riviere du Moulin? The rapids of the Moulin river. Take advantage of the trails and trek along the serene river. Better yet – rent a canoe or kayak and venture onto the Moulin river itself. You’ll also spot three beautiful waterfalls in the park: the Sables, Équerre and Voile de la bride falls. There are a number of picnic areas around, so bring a lunch and enjoy the fresh air.

Saguenay Fjord National Park

Filled with pristine nature, rugged mountains and the serene 146-mile-long Saguenay Fjord, Saguenay Fjord National Park is a beautiful and vast park in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean area of Quebec. Whether you’re looking to go ice fishing and ice climbing or sailing and rock climbing, the national park features an abundance of seasonal outdoor activities that you might have on your mind. 

Stay on land in Saguenay Fjord National Park and go hiking, mountain biking or ziplining. The national park boasts approximately 100 kilometres of trails that range from long and tough to short and sweet. But with the Saguenay River flowing through, Saguenay Fjord National Park is the perfect spot for water activities, including paddling, boating and sailing. Look out for beluga whales swimming in the waters – it’s not unusual to have close encounters with these majestic animals.

Centre Plein Air Bec-Scie

With breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of outdoor adventures, Center Plein Air Bec-Scie is a natural gem in Saguenay waiting to be explored. A thirty-minute drive from downtown Chicoutimi, Quebec, the outdoor centre is the perfect destination for a day trip from the city. Put on your hiking shoes and follow the trails along the Rivière à Mars canyon through untouched nature and to a beautiful waterfall. Aside from hiking the enchanting trails, the outdoor centre has recreational activities for everyone, from mountain biking through serene landscapes in the summer to snowshoeing through the well-maintained trails in the winter.

Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux

An hour drive north of Chicoutimi, on the other side of the Saguenay River, Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux is a place for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The adventure park offers outdoor recreation and ecotourism activities, including extreme high ropes courses, ziplining, fishing and – of course – hiking. 

Go kayaking on the Saguenay Fjord, trek through natural landscape at the Parc Aventures Cap Jaseaux, or take it easy with a picnic on one of the benches. The park is also home to two natural beaches made for fly fishing and simply lounging around.

Special thanks to the staff at the Comfort Inn in Chicoutimi, QC for their suggestions.

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