Pointe Saint-Pierre, Gaspé Peninsula, QC (Photo by NCC)
Pointe Saint-Pierre forms the easternmost point of the Gaspé Peninsula. Located halfway between the towns of Gaspé and Percé, pointe Saint-Pierre is comprised of meadows, forests and 10-metre-high cliffs along the shorelines of the Gaspé coast. This distinctive ecosystem supports many different mammals and birds. Notably, large flocks of ducks can be found at pointe Saint-Pierre in the spring and fall, including Barrow’s goldeneye and harlequin duck. These at-risk species depend on undisturbed coastal zones for feeding, such as those found at pointe Saint-Pierre.
At this tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, visitors can see dense forests, the mountains of Forillon National Park and a magnificent view of Gaspé Bay opening into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There is no shortage of natural wonders to see and explore in the Gaspé. In fact, in 2011, National Geographic named the region one of the top tourism destinations in the world. The site is now part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Nature Destinations, which invites Canadians to explore some of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes. Download the visitor's guide (French only) to learn more about the natural features of the site and the good behavior to adopt on site.
Located in the south portion of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the peninsula is a continuation of the Appalachian mountain range. This wind-swept landscape features exceptional natural diversity and dense stands of Maritime mixed forest.
Pointe Verte, QC (Photo by Pierre Veillette)
In the southern part of pointe Saint-Pierre lies another point of land that is smaller and covered in dense forest. This is Pointe Verte, 30 hectares (74 acres) in size and one of the few remaining intact coastal forests in this region. The area is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the Gaspé Peninsula, but, as such, is vulnerable to the pressures of residential and resort development projects.
After acquiring the site in 2013, NCC officially opened a 1.9-kilometre loop trail in the summer of 2018. Interspersed with wooden footbridges, the trail criss-crosses landscapes of breathtaking beauty. Called “la pointe du paradis” (“paradise point”) by locals, this site offers an exceptional view of the coast and of Percé Rock, which are the most emblematic images of the region. The forest here, although dominated by white spruce, is also composed of balsam fir and white birch.
Thanks to the access infrastructure developed by NCC, it is now possible to observe nature without disturbing species or natural environments. The marked trail effectively limits the trampling of fragile environments and reduces the spread of harmful secondary trails.
Pointe Verte provides habitat for many woodland birds, such as warblers and thrushes. Moose, red fox and white-tailed deer can also be found here. In addition to land-based wildlife, many wetland species use the wooded areas to feed, hibernate and lay eggs.
A natural partnership
Pointe Verte, Gaspésie, QC (Photo by Mike Dembeck)
Since 2005, NCC has protected 53 hectares (132 acres) at pointe Saint-Pierre, including Pointe Verte, which comprises an old-growth forest and more than 1.5 kilometres of shoreline.
The protection of pointe Saint-Pierre and the development of the Pointe Verte Trail were made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (through its North American Wetlands Conservation Act), the Ensemble pour la nature project of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques du Québec, the Fondation de la faune du Québec, TD Forests program and Wildlife Habitat Canada.