QUEBEC HADN’T PREVIOUSLY been on my radar for rad places to visit, but when the opportunity to go came calling, my brother Wyatt and I found ourselves trying to contextualize our feelings of surprise, thrill, and awe on exploring a place so unexpectedly awesome.

You don’t have to travel far to find natural beauty worth exploring here. From our base in Quebec City, we made the two-hour drive up to the epic landscapes of Saguenay Fjord National Park, and then another hour over to the St. Lawrence at Tadoussac.

Mountain biking through dense forest, sailing down fjords, fly fishing, whale watching — it took just seven days and a few hundred kilometers to get seriously stoked on French Canada.

1

Vallée Bras-du-Nord

The towering granite face of Mont La Croix in Vallée Bras-du-Nord, a half hour west of Quebec City, greets visitors of every adventurous appetite. With 80km of trails for hiking, 149km of mountain biking paths (including 65km of new single-track), and options for kayaking, canyoneering, and via ferrata, you could spend days exploring this area. The local town of Saint-Raymond is a perfect local jumping-off point, or head into the valley for camping, cottage, and yurt options.

2

Quebec City-scape

Chateau Frontenac dominates Quebec City’s skyline. A warm day touring through the nooks and crannies of this Unesco World Heritage Site allowed us to see how vibrant the culture of Quebec really is.

3

Fresque des Québécois

This commanding mural on Côte de la Montagne contains numerous references to famous figures from Quebec City's history. It's one of multiple outdoor artworks in the city.

4

Sunset on the fjord

At Fjord-du-Saguenay, just a couple hours north of Quebec City, Canadian geese honking on the water provided our evening entertainment.

5

Under the stars

Silvan and Nancy from Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux joined us in our dome tent for a dinner of lamb stew. They told us stories about local life and the history of the area. Starry skies gave way to an early wakeup call and a seriously adventurous itinerary the next day.

6

Shuttling to Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park

The Fjord Shuttle from the small town of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to the secluded Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay provided awesome perspectives of the tree-covered rock walls that define this region.

7

Via ferrata views

The 3,000ft-high views from atop the via ferrata were well worth the physical and mental fortitude it took to scale the brand-new route across the fjord wall.

8

Sunset sailing

After making it down the via ferrata with our awesome guide Jacques, he took us out for a sunset sail on the calm evening water. We lucked out with perfect timing on a killer sunset.

9

Voile Mercator

I had to launch the drone to capture some video of this amazing experience, and Jacques was fired up on the beautiful shots we got of his boat, the Voile Mercator, in action.

10

On the river

The next day, a relaxed drive toward the coast saw us exploring the forested river trails, lakes, and flora that we mountain kids love. Quebec is a land of water, and the fly fishing here is hard to beat.

11

Ferme 5 étoiles

On our way to the St. Lawrence, we stopped by an animal rescue facility called Ferme 5 étoiles, where species native to Quebec have been given good homes. There were deer running around, a curious bull moose, a male wolf, and a female mountain lion.

12

Moose at Ferme 5 étoiles

This was an ideal setting for seeing a moose so close...in the wild, the dynamic would be a bit different.

13

Tadoussac

Arriving at the quintessential Quebecois town of Tadoussac at last light, we drove up to a lookout point to see the place we'd be exploring for the next few days.

14

Some serious North American history

Tadoussac is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada. It was here that the friendliness of the locals really left an impression on me.

15

Tadoussac from the water

A view of Tadoussac from our whale watching excursion gave a great perspective on its location at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers. These major waterways support an abundance of krill, making this spot very attractive to a wide variety of whale species.

16

Whale in the St. Lawrence

And indeed, the whales were out!

17

Prince Shoal Lighthouse

Shaped like a spinning toy top, the 83ft Prince Shoal Lighthouse is clearly visible from the whale watching tour boats operating out of Tadoussac. It warns vessels of one of the most dangerous shoals in the St. Lawrence River.

18

Tadoussac dunes

A short stretch of sand dunes along the riverbank near Tadoussac provides awesome views of the vast river confluence. It also makes for a sweet camping spot. This unique coastal feature exemplifies the intricate geography and contrasts that make Quebec so good to look at.

19

The Canadian flags flying high throughout this province are a good representation of how proud locals are of their country. Saying that, Quebec is the only Canadian province to retain French as its sole provincial language, and it’s not uncommon to hear the Quebecois refer to their neighbors as the "ROC," or the Rest of Canada.

20

Farewell to Quebec

On our last night in Quebec, watching another beautiful sunset over the Saguenay River while feasting on fresh-caught crab left me wanting more. The people, the food, the climate, the colors, and the seemingly endless exploration options gave me a new appreciation for the province, and the urge to return sometime very soon.

This post is proudly produced in partnership with Tourism Quebec.