Located on the banks of the largest estuary in the world, the city of Rimouski and its surroundings offer you a wealth of activities and attractions to explore all year long. Here are some of the things you simply shouldn’t miss.
Long a private property barred to visitors, Île St-Barnabé now offers nature-lovers 20 km of hiking trails. With 72 species of birds, including its iconic great heron, and harbour seals galore, there are multiple opportunities for wildlife watching. Departures are every 30 minutes from the Rimouski marina. Spend a few minutes on the crossing, breathe in some salt sea air and prepare for hours of happiness on a magical island.
Then, a few kilometres east of Rimouski, the Pointe-au-Père maritime site invites you to climb its 128 steps to the top of one of the tallest lighthouses in Canada. Relive the tragedy of the Empress of Ireland, a mighty ship that sunk in the perilous waters of the Saint-Lawrence in 1914, or some Cold War claustrophobia on the Onondaga, a former war submarine.
Located in the Saint Lawrence maritime estuary, the Parc national du Bic boasts an intricate landscape of capes, bays, coves, islands and mountains for which it is justly famous. With its 25 km of hiking trails, 15 km of bike paths, waters ideal for sea kayaks, and scenic lookouts overlooking majestic bays, this coastal park is a non-stop thrill for outdoors enthusiasts. Along with a maelstrom of seabirds, you’re bound to see a few white-tailed deer.
Among the other natural treasures of the region is the Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer (roughly, Hell’s Gate Canyon) in the heart of a majestic forest in Saint-Narcisse-de-Rimouski. It begins at the 20-metre-high Grand Sault waterfall and stretches nearly five kilometres between steep and narrow rock walls up to 90 metres high. A network of easy to intermediate hiking trails ranging from one to 14 kilometres will take you to a series of stunning panoramic views. Throw your vertigo to the wind and cross the highest suspended footbridge in Quebec, 63 metres in the air! Experience the descent to hell’s gate: 300 steps leading down to the Rivière Rimouski and back up again!
In Grand-Métis, the Reford Gardens are known internationally as an exceptional work of horticultural art. It’s a veritable plant paradise, with some 3000 botanical species in floral arrangements that dazzle with colour and intoxicate with perfume.
On the promenade that runs along the Saint Lawrence, a bike path and pedestrian walkway have been laid out to give you the perfect excuse to spend a few hours in downtown Rimouski.
Make a stop at the observation bridge at the Avenue de la Cathédrale intersection and check out the “Tour des Marées”, or Sea Clock, indicating, in real time, the rise and fall of the tides.
Located in the oldest stone church in eastern Quebec, the Musée régional de Rimouski invites you to discover the cultural heritage of the region with exhibitions on local history, science and modern art.
Downtown is also a host of restaurants, cafés and bars, and stores of all kinds offering local products, clothing, jewellery and decorative objects.
For seafood lovers, Rimouski is a must.
At the Restaurant du Phare, a dazzling array of seafood is on offer, with crab, shrimp or delicious fresh lobster taking pride of place on the menu depending on the season.
Known for its mussels, tartare and seafood chowder, Hôtels Gouverneur Rimouski’s Bistrot G invites you to discover its delights in a cozy décor with chef Patrick Gérôme and his brigade.
At the Relais des Vents, savour the famous seafood pizza and other comfort dishes in a friendly atmosphere.