Winter in Gaspésie, Québec’s South East

  • 84 km travelled
  • 15 crab encounters
  • 1 pudding-pancake consumed

From snowshoeing to snow crabs, we packed as many outdoor activities as we could into our three-day Gaspésie adventure. Sunrise breakfasts, mountain hikes and picnics on the beach all topped with a fresh cap of maritime snow made our winter vacation one to remember. We trekked the majestic peaks of Gaspésie National Park, and splashed in the tide pools of the Gaspé seashore. Throw in a day of crabbing and an encounter with a pudding-pancake, and you’ve got a break from the ordinary that’s well worth the toque.

Day 1
Snowshoeing and poor man’s pudding
Good morning, Gaspésie! Our pre-snowshoeing fuel-up had us out of bed just in time to watch the mountain sunrise as we enjoyed our fèves au lard or baked beans on toast. Stomachs more than contented, we piled in the rental car and embarked on the drive up to Gaspésie National Park for a day of alpine exploration. All geared up, I quickly got the hang of my snowshoes and fell fast in love with the silence a blanket of fresh snow brings to the woods. Ski poles proved valuable as we trekked up the slopes to some of the most amazing views I’ve ever encountered. By early evening, our scenic mountain hike came to an end and we headed back to town for a supper well-earned. Roast beef and mash preceded a decadent pudding chômeur or poor man’s pudding, a maple infused pudding-pancake hybrid so delicious I barely let Mike get a spoon in (good thing I burned all those calories snowshoeing).
Day 2
Picnic on the beach, sunset in heaven
After yesterday’s high altitude exploits, we decided to explore Gaspésie at sea level. Five stiff espressos and a basket of croissants later, we headed out to the beach for a day at the seashore, our cooler aptly filled with a picnic of fresh crab and shellfish. We took our time driving — meditating on the white washed landscape and clusters of colourful Cape Cod cottages that dot the hilltops of this amazing place. When we arrived at the beach, the tide was so far out that it left hundreds of tiny rock pools waiting to be explored — a perfect welcome for a bunch of big kids in grownup boots. In no time we were splashing in puddles, leaping over tide pools and sucking meat out of crab legs like excited kids on a field trip. After a full day’s splashing, the winter sun slept early and graced us with an impromptu sunset that left enough light in the sky to make our way home.
Day 3
Goodbye Gaspésie
Our final day came too fast, which explains why we crammed another’s itinerary into this one! We started early and headed into town for some retail therapy. Hannah and I hit the local artisan shops while the guys checked out the fishing boats at the marina. At lunchtime we decided to splurge on a place Mike’s dad had recommended and filled our stomachs with local brew, organic beef burgers and the best crab bruschetta I’ve ever had. After that, it was out to sea for a day of crabbing. Besides Mike nearly giving the guide a coronary when he decided it would be “funny” to play pat-a-cake with a crab, we followed instructions and left with all our fingers and a haul of unforgettable memories. Packing our bags this evening didn’t come easy. This quaint Atlantic alcove with its small town charm and extraordinary scenery has carved a place in our hearts