Organize your stay when visiting the Mingan Archipelago where you can fin the greatest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada.
Composed of islands and islets located between Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan and Aguanish, the reserve of the Mingan Archipelago National Park is the largest concentration of erosion monoliths in Canada.
Whether you visit it during a cruise for a few hours or camping on the islands, magnificent landscapes await those who venture there.
Here’s a look at what you can do and see there.
Stay on Quarry Island
The park can only be accessed by sea, mainly from Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan or Havre-Saint-Pierre.
From the first minutes, as our boat sails on the water, the crossing takes on the air of a whale watching cruise while we stop long enough to observe a whale swimming a few meters from us.
This trip is promising!
Once we arrive there and our equipment is unloaded, we can see all the beauty this nature has to offer.
We’ll be alone there with only the company of a few other campers, sea birds and a few small animals.
Peace at last!
Stay in an oTENTik tent
To fully enjoy the island and its calm, observe the monoliths at leisure and go hiking, it’s best to stay there for a few days.
You can camp there with your own tent, but in my opinion the oTentik tent is still the best option (at the least, you will have less equipment to haul on the boat!).
And let’s face it, this is 5 star camping! The tents are furnished, heated and lighted.
There is a small terrace, a covered place for the bbq and a pit for the campfire.
When the wind picks up in the evening, the thick material of which the tent is made and the extra heater are more than appreciated.
The monoliths of the archipelago
One of the main reasons to visit the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is to admire the monoliths found there.
The retreat of the great glaciers some 10,000 years ago, coupled with the continued action of waves, wind, frost and thaw, have shaped these gigantic stone sculptures.
Hikes to do on Quarry Island
A must-do activity on these islands is definitely hiking.
Several trails allow you to walk across the islands, passing in turn in the middle of peat bogs, in the forest and on the beaches.
You can observe at leisure the monoliths and the flora. It’s also possible to do some hikes with a Parks Canada guide.
The trails, of varying difficulty, can go from 15 minutes to 5 hours.
On Quarry Island, it’s possible to do a 10km trail that goes completely around the island.
While it allows for unique perspectives, I personally found it quite challenging.
Although you’re always on level ground, walking through sand and small rock slowly wears you down.
But the effort was worth it!
You should also look at the tide times (handed to you before departure) since some trail segments are only passable at low tide.
Stop on the island of Niapiskau
It’s also possible to combine a return from Quarry Island with a stop at Niapiskau Island, to explore one more island!
There are also several monoliths there.
A hiking trail allows you to see dry monoliths.
Here is the Lady of Niapiskau, emblem of the park and thus baptized by Roland Jomphe, poet of Havre-Saint-Pierre.
The park is open from mid-June to early September.
To get to the islands, you must book your transport with a certified boat operator.
From Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan, there are also cruises that go to Île aux Perroquets where you can observe puffins.
Staying on the Islands: There are various accommodation options available on the islands.
In addition to stays in an oTENTik tent, you also have the options to stay at the Auberge de l’île aux perroquets or camp on the island of Niapiskau.
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