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Forillon, the Family Destination Par Excellence!

On May 1, 2013, the Tourism Intelligence Network (Transat Chair in Tourism, ESG-UQAM) identified ten trends in family travel. In the United States alone, this powerful market accounts for 100 million trips per year. In light of this analysis, Forillon National Park stands out as an ideal destination for families.

Family activity at Maison Blanchette
© Parks Canada / Serge Ouellet
  1. Travelling with toddlers
    In addition to offering numerous interactive activities designed specially with families in mind (e.g., “Creatures of the Deep,” “Ça grouille à Penouille,” “Mission Aquanaute,” etc.), Forillon National Park boasts a spectacular yet safe environment, including: natural beaches, gravel trails and footbridges all accessible by baby carriages; a range of easy- to moderate-level hikes; fully serviced campgrounds (showers, washrooms, pool, outdoor play areas); “ready-to-camp”-style accommodations; etc. Young families eager to bust out of the “work- childcare-sleep” routine and enjoy some memorable moments outdoors will adore Forillon!

  2. Catching – and keeping – teens’ interest
    Forillon will go over just as big with teens keen on nature and adventure! Why not include them in planning your stay right from the start? To tickle their fancy, there’s sea-kayaking, geocaching, ocean swimming, horseback riding, mackerel fishing, biking, snorkelling with the seals -- you name it! At Forillon, every day is a new opportunity to push your limits! As a family, take the challenge and hike to the tower on top Mont Saint-Alban, elevation 283 metres. There you can take in a stunning, 360-degree panorama embracing mountains and sea! It’s literally a breathtaking experience!

    Aquanaute activity
    © Parks Canada / Éric Leblanc
  3. A healthy, active vacation
    Parents want to get their kids outdoors and get them moving. What could generate more energy than a hike in a forest teeming with life? What could be more exciting than to see a seal suddenly surface next to your kayak? What could be more amusing than to see a porcupine waddling across your trail? What could be more inspiring than pausing to contemplate the vastness of the sea spreading away at the foot of the Cape Gaspé lighthouse? Forillon proposes a diversity of outdoor activities and inspiring activities that will delight dreamers and seasoned sport enthusiasts alike.

  4. Disconnect to reconnect
    Forillon National Park invites families to “power down” their devices while enjoying a stay in the great outdoors. In this hyperconnected world of ours, a visit to Forillon is an excellent opportunity to go unplugged and get off the grid! It’s a great way to share precious moments focused exclusively on escaping work-related stress and enjoying some family fun and R&R – in the here and now.

  5. Learning + authenticity = educational value
    Are you a history buff? Put yourself in the shoes of WW II soldier in the activity entitled “Garde à vous!” at Fort Péninsule, or immerse yourself in the everyday life of a turn-of-the-century fisherman at the Grande-Grave national heritage site? Are you curious by – and about – nature? Come meet mackerel fishermen at the Grande-Grave wharf, get your feet wet in the activity called “Ça grouille à Penouille” or discover an astonishing underwater world in “Mission Aquanaute”! When shared as a family, authentic encounters coupled with new experiences and knowledge all make for truly long-lasting memories!
    Mt St. Alban
    © Parks Canada / Serge Ouellet

  6. Volunteering
    More and more families want to “give back” in a more tangible way during their vacation. As with all of Canada’s national parks, Forillon subscribes to the principles of “Leave no traces,” aimed at promoting responsible ecotourism and the adoption of environmentally-friendly practices, including: disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife, etc. This approach will enable visitors to collaborate with the Parks Canada team by actively contributing to the protection of our natural treasures.

  7. Multigenerational travel: activities and accommodation for all
    Are Grandma and Grandpa coming along on vacation this year? They’ll be delighted to share special times with their children and grandchildren at Forillon National Park. To begin with, Forillon provides a wide array of recreational and educational activities for people of all ages equipped with a healthy curiosity. Furthermore, Forillon offers several types of practical accommodations designed with extended families in mind, ranging from primitive camping to the new, comfortable “oTENTik” tent cabins, to fully serviced campgrounds (with washrooms, showers, pool, outdoor play areas, etc. ) and “read-to-camp” tent-trailers.

  8. Mobility, web and social media
    Forillon National Park, which is active on Facebook and Twitter, invites the public to connect and stay connected via social media. It’s a fun way to quickly get wind of all new developments (e.g., activities, services, discoveries, unusual sightings, etc.) and share the high points of your vacation! In addition, the Parks Canada campground reservation service can now be accessed via an app for mobile devices!

  9. Family cruises
    Would you like to see whales up closer? At Forillon, marine mammal-watching tours are on offer all summer long.
    In addition, several cruise ships put in at the Bay of Gaspé each year. Cruising is a growing trend in the tourism industry, and Forillon is positioned as a major attraction for cruise operators. A brand new permanent boarding bridge and floating pontoons now enable passengers to leave their ship aboard a shuttle boat and land directly in Forillon National Park.

  10. Respect for the environment
    Developing a harmonious relationship with our planet begins in infancy. Owing to their untamed, larger-than-life character, the protected natural treasures at Forillon National Park are a continual source of wonderment. When you immerse yourself in the quiet and beauty of nature, or feel a connection to the variety and abundance of life around you, you can’t help but feel respect for the environment. Experiences of this kind speak much louder than words…

But wait – there’s more!
A family stay at Forillon also means…

  • “Dimanches en famille” (family Sunday series) all summer long, at the Grande-Grave national heritage site. An array of games and outdoor discovery activities figures high on the agenda. Bring along a picnic!
  • The Xplorers program, in which little adventurers aged 6 to 11 years explore Forillon’s treasures according to a fun, instructive approach.
  • Hiking out to land’s end as a family! The highly accessible route is dotted with natural lookouts (often enabling you to spot whales!) and culminates at the very end of the International Appalachian Trail, at Cape Gaspé, located at the very tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. Here, at land’s end, the sea spreads away into infinity.
  • The beach at Penouille, for some seaside swimming or a family sand castle-building contest.
  • Cap Bon-Ami, to admire the cormorants, murres, black-legged kittiwakes and razorbills!
  • A whale-watching cruise, perhaps to sight the blue whale, the biggest animal that has ever existed on Earth (bigger than a dinosaur)!

And there are so many other experiences to be had at Forillon National Park, the playground for filling up on fresh air, laughter and unforgettable family experiences!