From rolling hills, to the peaceful sounds of wildlife and the river, Jacques-Cartier National Park in Quebec is truly an escape from reality.
Located 30 minutes from Quebec City, Jacques-Cartier National Park is a hidden gem of Quebec. Being someone who had never had an opportunity to explore Quebec City and the surrounding area, I was excited and impressed that I found such a gorgeous place that isn’t super far from where I live (Toronto). Entrance to the park is $8.50 CDN for the day (adult price), and children are free.
The simplest way to get to this park is by car, but when that’s not an option, Quebec City offers public transportation that can take you to the park. You can get to the park entrance by the Intercar bus line, and they run three round trips a day. The bus runs from Quebec City and Alma and will drop you off at exit 182 of Highway 175 North. From the drop-off point, you can simply walk about 800 meters to the park entrance.
Click here for driving directions from downtown Quebec City to the park, click here for bus schedules.
What to Do:
Jacques-Cartier National Park has a huge selection of things to do at the park. Some of the activities include:
- Canoeing & Kayaking
- Inner Tube
- Wildlife watching
When I was at the park, we had a guide take us on a short hike along some of the trails. There are several trails you can choose from, all different lengths and for different levels depending on how intense of a hike you are looking for. If you’re lucky, you may even see some wildlife, so keep your eyes open!
After our hike, we headed out for some rafting along the river. This isn’t white water rafting, but there are some rapids along the way that you’ll briefly hit. The best part about this river is it’s pretty easy for anyone to go on without a guide. Many people will rent or bring a canoe or kayak and head down the river on their own. The rafting is a great option for groups, and can be rented for half the day for groups of 5 to 7. Prices for renting kayaks, canoes, rafts, etc. can be found here.
On top of all the outdoor sports that the park offers, you can also stay at the park! Jacques-Cartier has a variety of different camping to glamping options for both the summer and winter. From regular campsites to yurts and cabins, there are accommodations that really fit anyone’s budgets (ranging from $23 CDN a day to $275 CDN a day). For accommodation options, click here.
I had a great day spent in the National Park, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone looking for an escape out of the city, or is looking to plan a trip to Quebec, because there really is something for everyone at this park!
To read my 2 day itinerary for Quebec City, click here.
Wandering CarolSeptember 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm
I really need to start spending more time in Quebec. I love it there. So scenic!
AyngelinaOctober 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm
Looks like a great trip and so affordable! I could be tempted to go snowshoeing there this winter.
MirandaOctober 5, 2015 at 1:55 am
What super cute little cabins! I stayed in a similar one this summer – compact and comfy. I love that you can take Quebec City public transit there – so convenient and cheaper than renting a car, I’m sure.
ClaudiaJanuary 16, 2018 at 7:14 pm
May I ask you how and where you have booked a guided tour inside the park? I’m looking at the website but I can’t find this option. Thank you very much!
LaurenJanuary 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Hey Claudia. You may be able to find more info here: https://www.sepaq.com/pq/jac/decouvrir/ but also, you can just visit or call the visitor centre at the park. It’s easy to find, there are signs 🙂
cristianaMay 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm
I’ll go to Jacques Cartier NP next summer, I’ m saving your post!
Luca MenegazziApril 8, 2019 at 2:13 pm
Hi. I never tried kayak. Is it difficult if my first time will be in this park without a guide?
LaurenApril 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm
Hey! Nope. It’s pretty straight forward and I’m sure the rental place can give you some tips before heading out!