The Long Hike

 

International Appalachian Trail-Quebec Trail Maps and Guide
You can buy IAT-QC maps from some retail dealers in the province of Quebec, from some of our patners from the Service Providers' Network, from the IAT-QC head office (968, du Phare Ouest Avenue, Matane (Quebec) Canada) or via mail order.  IAT-QC also sell the topographic map for New Brunswick, a hiking guide that covers the whole trail, as well as bilingual glossary especially designed for hiking and other publications.

Getting Started
The following file (distances between the IAT-QC accommodation sites) can help your plan an itinerary.  Please read also this notice about the evaluation of the distance.

It is strongly recommended to the thru-hikers to buy an IAT-QC passport with or without the Gaspesie National Park Access Card.

Maps and Guides for the Other Chapters of the International Appalachian Trail
It is possible to find information about the Maine and New Brunswick chapters, as well as about those that are currently developped (Newfound Land, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) on this Internet site.

Eastern Continental Trail, ECT
More information will be available about the Eastern Continental Trail that reaches Key West in Florida.

Tips or Itinerary Verification
It is possible that, while you are reading or when you are done, you still have questions and that the only way to find an answer is to talk to someone who knows the Trail.

Tricks and advises

When planning a long hike, it is very important that you get as much information as possible about the trail you want to hike.  Reading hiking guides or other hikers' stories, as well as consulting a map of the area you want to cross are a good way to start, but you may need a little more support.

Aside from choosing a trail, you will need to  select the material and work out the menus. You need enough material to meet all your needs, but you also should keep your back pack as light as possible. Only a careful planification makes it possible to find a balance between covering your staple needs in the trail and a light back pack.

The modern hiker must be able to look behind himself and not to see any trace of his passage. Any camper who achieves this goal finds in there a great source of satisfaction and pride which are added to the pleasure of the excursion.

The best time for long hike

The majority of the hikers travel during August to October, because of the scarcity of the stinging insects stitchers, the freshness of the nights and the softness of the days.  The conditions can also be extremely favourable at the beginning of June, but as of the end of the month, the blackflies and the mosquitos reign as Masters.  Be prepared.  Appropriate clothings, insect repellent and nets can be very useful when you stop for lunch and especially at dusk. The number of insects falls in July.

Plan Your Accommodation

In order to help you plan your hike in accordance with the accommodation sites, the IAT-QC developped an information table about the distance between the accomodation sitesThis table that was created by a thru-hiker (Plugger John) should also come in handy.

You will come across many accommodation options during your hike.

 The IAT-QC has owns three different types of facilitiescamping platforms, shelters (closed or 3-walled), and refuges.  These three types of facilites are found along the trail but are not necessarily provided together in a camping site.  For more information about the camping sites of the IAt-QC, please refer yourself to the section The Accommodation.

The Gaspésie National Park offers a wide array of facilities, ranging from primitive camping site to a four-star bed and brakefast.  A visit on their website should help you chose the option that best suits your budget and your needs.

Forillon Canada National Park : more information coming soon...

There are no IAT-QC facilites in the towns and villages that the trail crosses.  You will have to make your own arrangements (couchsurfing, acquaintaces, camping, B&B, hotel, etc.)

If you are planning a thru-hike, you should consider buying an IAT-QC passport.  Please refer yourself to the Passport subsection in the Thru-Hike section.

Rythm of walk

Expect to hike between 5 and 10 miles a day (8 to 15 km). Our trail crosses rugged terrain, not flat land.  You might not go as quickly as you thought.

Most of all, take to time to enjoy your hike.  Stop just for fun.  Sit and relax on top of a cliff.

The majority of hikers stop at regular intervals to rest and take that time to eat high-energy food.  This way, they keep their strength, using their food efficiently.  These stops will allow you to verify the tenderness of your feet, and give you the opportunity to cover any eventual blisters.  During the hot days in summer, hikers leave earlier in the morning, resting during midday, to keep on during the evening.

Even if the way is clearly marked, pay attention to the blue and white blazes often consulting your maps. If you do not know where you are, stop and take the time to examine your map. However, if you get lost, remember that the more you walk the more likely you are to move away from the Trail.

Distance tables

These two tables will be useful to create your itinerary. 

This first table shows the distances between the accommodation places on the International Appalachians Trail. According to the blazes, the beginning of the trail is at Cap Gaspé (km 0), and the end is in the Matapédia Valley (km 650). The Total column will give you the estimated distance between two places.

The number affixed to the hosting site is the number of the nearest 9-1-1 tag. With the help of the column "distance", you can get the distance in km between two places of accommodation which follow. 

but it is important to note that there were additions of hosting site since this table was created 

The second table presents an assessment of distances and the time required between each step, for sections of Maine, New Brunswick and Quebec. It was designed by John "Plugger" Stough on his hike in 2009. It will be useful to create your itinerary, but it is important to note that there were additions of hosting site since this table was created.

The COMPANION GUIDE


GPS Tracks of  IAT-QC sectors

Sector of Avignon

Sector of Matapedia Valley 

Sector of Matane Wildlife Reserve 

Sector 1 of Gaspesie Park

Sector 2 of Gaspesie Park

Sector of Upper Gaspesie

Sector of Gaspe Coast

Sector of Forillon National Park

The IAT-QC hiking season runs from June 24 to Thanksgiving (in Canada). 

From early May to 24 June, the trail is still closed, but it is possible to hike under certain conditions. Please check with the IAT-QC. We are in the boreal forest so, there is still snow in some areas and there is always a multitude of fallen trees in trails affecting hiking at this time of year. For reasons of safety and environmental protection, hikers are not allowed to move before opening.

After the Thanksgiving, the trail is considered closed due to various factors such as: the moose in the Matane Wildlife Reserve, the rut of caribou in the Gaspésie National Park, closing national parks and climate conditions vary greatly (early snow in the highest peaks), so for these reasons we can't practice long hike. But under certain conditions, it is possible to circulate in parts of IAT-QC. For more information, please contact the Office of the IAT-QC at (418) 562-7885 orinfo@sia-iat.com. Our office is usually open from Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm during the hiking season and once a week when out of season.