If you enjoy island hopping, you’ll have thousands of fascinating islands and islets to explore at The Mingan Archipelago, situated on the scenic North Shore of Quebec. The national park and reserve also happens to be home to the largest concentration of monoliths (sea-sculpted columns) in Canada, which makes for all the more exciting adventures as you navigate them all via sea excursions.
These excursions take Park visitors to multiple of the 20-some main islands, all with “larger-than-life landscapes.” From the shoreline and boreal forests of Île Quarry to exploring the unusual flora and sculptures on Île du Fantôme and île Niapiskau, there’s something for every type of nature lover here.
As for the largest island of the Park, there are two varieties of limestone monoliths to take in: One that looks like a zoo populated by “stone animals,” according to Parks Canada, and another that is shaped like a castle!
On the entire reserve, there are more than 490 species of vascular plants alone, which means botanist or not, you’re in for some truly unique discoveries. This extends to everything from arctic-alpine plants to rare Nordic vegetation.
In addition to close to 80 km worth of hiking opportunities, visitors can enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, exploring two lighthouses, and walking down scenic boardwalks on several of the islands.
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Camping & info
Those looking to stay overnight can set up at seven front-country campgrounds, several group-friendly, reservable oTENTiks (comes with beds, propane BBQs, camping gear), or splurge on a stay in one of the tear-drop-shaped “Oasis” duplexes ($128 per night).
Note that there is a starting camping fee of $16.75 per person, and increases depending on accommodation. Admission to the park is $6.25 per adult, and free for youth.
Where: Northern Quebec
Information on Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is from Parks Canada and is accurate as of the publication date.