Matane Wildlife Reserve



Matane Wildlife Reserve-Western Sector


West section, From Matane river to Beaulieu lake 72 km

From top to top

The portion of the International Appalachian Trail under the responsibility of the committee of Matane covers the Western part of the mount Chic-Chocs chain. Of the 72 kilometers of linear trail that you find there, 66 are found in the Matane Wild Life Reserve. The hiker has there the choice of multiple one day excursions or long excursions with lodging in rustic camp-site.

While progressing from west to east, the trail skirts initially the Matane river on more than 6 kilometers before joining the John station which marks the official entry in the reserve. The river accompanies the trail on 3.5 more kilometers before approaching the first rise. That interests: rapids, ponds, channels, pits, beaver's barrage, footbridges, etc. Then it is the rise towards the first top for then skirting the southern escarpment of the mounts Chic-Chocs, at an average altitude from 500 to 600 meters. One discovers beautiful panoramas there on the Matane river valley, the southern part of the peninsula and the surrounding lakes. It is also the kingdom of the moose and the territory of the golden eagle. Two couples live in the region, so keep your eyes open. The trail goes down again then before undertaking the demanding rise of the mount of the west which culminates with 922 meters. The top offers a beautiful panorama towards the east and several brooks strewn with cascades and falls furrow the solid mass. From beautiful points of view on the lake Matane precede also the descent. Which wonder that this narrow water level enclosed by high mountains.

The trail undertakes then the rise of the narrow mountainous peak which overhangs the east bank iof the lake. This one offers superb points of view on the lake and the deep valley of the Desjarlais brook. A beautiful peat bog is crossed before arriving at the piton which offers a unspoilable view on the chain of lakes and the solid mass of the mount of the West. The lake of the Large Brook then a succession of tops strew the course which carries out to the mount Pointu (930 meters) and to the mount Craggy (846 meters) which, by their rock headlands, offers very beautiful points of view of, sometimes vertiginous on the vast forest extent which extends to their feet and on the St. Lawrence river so far. Descent of the Craggy mount presents  remarkable sights on the Mount Blanc bordering and the collar which connects them. The rise of the Mount Blanc, which culminates with 1065 meters, is rewarded for broad panoramas. All the traversed way is then seen... The krummohlz forest carries out to impressive and hard north cast then with the beautiful alpine meadow which opens on the majestic panorama of mountains which extends towards the east. The meeting of an alpine peat bog precedes the arrival with the clearing which reveals a splendid sight of the lake Beaulieu, lake T and neighbouring mountains. The camp-site is downwards.

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Matane Wildlife Reserve SEPAQ Map

Matane Wildlife Reserve-Eastern Sector


East section : From Beaulieu lake to Mount Logan

Tundra, Permafrost, and Caribou

The Cap Chat section of the International Appalachian Trail is in the centre of the Chic Choc mountains.  It starts at Beaulieu Lake in the centre of the Matane Wild Life Reserve, and ends at Mount Logan at the western end of the Gaspesie National Park.  This section of the Trail is considered as the most difficult one, but also as the most beautiful.

This section of the IAT is 34.5 km. in length and consists of many long climbs and descents.  The major mountains are: Nicol-Albert, Collins, and Fortin.  Mount Nicol-Albert with an altitude of 747 metres is the biggest challenge.

From Beaulieu to Mount Nicol-Albert, the trail wanders under forest cover with some breathtaking points of view.  On top, you will encounter the ".bonhomme ", a monolith standing on a 700 vertical cliff.  Going down the trail, you will find a number of little side trails that lead to 13 spectacular waterfalls along the Beaulieu River.  In addition to these attractions there is a salmon sanctuary at Petit-Sault. A tent platform is located there, 2 minutes from a forest road. This tent site is a 40 km. drive along the river from Cap-Chat village.

After Petit-Sault, walking 2 km north, you will reach Chute Hélène, a 70 metre  waterfall, just 4 km from Road 1. A campsite at Bascon Brook allows a rest before climbing Mount Collins and Mount Matawees with their alpine meadows.  Then, Mount Fortin and its narrow edge which separates the Matane Wild Life Reserve from the Gaspesie National Park and leads to majestic Mount Logan with a shelter on top, well fastened to the rock.  It is tundra, permafrost, and caribou country.

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Valmont Plein Air
Shuttle service / Food drop / Kayak /Topo map sale /Bistro
Jérôme Landry, 10 Notre-Dame Est, Cap-Chat, QC, G0J 1G0 /

Camps Tamagodi – Outfitter
Food service / Accommodation (cabin / chalet / camping )
Fishing Guide / Fishing Gear / Licence 
696 route 195, Saint-René-de-Matane, Qc, G0J 3E0
418-224-3340 / 418-562-7145

Gîte des Sommets B&B
161, route du 10e et 11e rang, Saint-René-de-Matane, Qc, G0J 3E0

Taxi Matane (association 2030 / 500 enr.)
394  St-Jérôme, Matane, Qc, G4W 3B5  

Guided mountain activities / Rock and ice climbing / Mountain biking / back-country skiing
553 de la Vallée, Sainte-Angèle-de-Mérici, QC, G0H 2H0 /


Matane RCM




Observation centre for the salmon run, Mathieu-D'Amours Dam
Experience the odyssey of the Atlantic salmon migration: in a friendly environment, discover the fascinating characteristics of the Atlantic salmon with the help of passionate guide-interpreters. The observation post (or fish-pass) has three glass areas that allow you to see every minute of the action! In addition to your visit, there is a photo and object exhibit that explains the history of the Matane River and its dams, from 1865 to nowadays.
A river that is accessible to everyone: the Matane River is superb, accessible from downtown, it is 101 kilometre long, from which 87 kilometres offer 81 pools for salmon fishing. At the fish-pass, you also find the fishing reception post (purchase of permits and rights of access, equipment rental, fishing techniques course, etc.).

Schedule: June 15th to September 1st, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and September 2nd to 30th according to a varied schedule. Free for children under 12 years old.

L’ancien magasin général, Petit-Matane
Closed for over twenty years and still containing the original merchandise, the old general store has now become a tourist attraction. Here you will find a convenience store (with a license for beer, wine and cider), a restaurant, an outdoor terrace, as well as an apartment on the second floor that is decorated like in the past. In the basement, souvenirs from long ago have reappeared. Among others, you will find the « Longfellow » boat wreck, which ran aground nearby in 1902, and lots more…

Schedule: year-round. June 1st to October 1st, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the off season, sfrom 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., however, reservations are recommended for breakfast and lunch and are mandatory for the evening meals.

Average length of Visit: 30 to 40 minutes.

Admission: adults $3.50, children under 12 years old free, student $2.50. 


Musée la Maison Horace-Bouffard, Petit-Matane
Traditional country house of the Matane region built in 1897. In this house, furnished with period furniture and objects, a guide relates the fascinating story of the six Bouffard-Durette weddings that took place between 1882 and 1901. These unions are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the most marriages celebrated between the same two families. In the basement, there is an exhibit of furniture built by an artisan, a descendant of the family, as well as carpentry tools and pieces, including a house corner of dovetail joint construction, and various collections featuring ancient calendars and almost 300 bottles of Avon perfume.

Schedule: mid-June to mid-September, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Average length of Visit: 50 minutes.

Admission: adults $6; children $3; special group rate for 15 people or more. Reservations recommended during the off-season.