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Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Miami Beach, Fl
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Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

We would like to rent a cottage or home that has views of the fall foliage and provides convenient access for exploring and hiking in these four parks: Jacques-Cartier National Parc, Grands-Jardins National Park, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Riviere-Mallbaie National Park, Parc Marin du Saguenay.

Any recommendations for a base for 3 weeks during fall foliage?

We have rough dates from September 14 – October 5th. Are these a good time to experience the change in fall foliage?

I’d appreciate any insights and suggestions!

Quebec, Canada
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1. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

I would go for Baie St-Paul; nice village, close to your destinations good restaurants.

Look at the Charlevoix website

http://www.tourisme-charlevoix.com/en

Quebec City, Canada
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2. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Perfect timing, the color peak is around the end of september/beginning october in this region.

Baie St-Paul would be a great option

Miami Beach, Fl
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3. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Anectine and Jean-Simon C, thank you for your response and suggestions!

On the map, Baie St-Paul looks centrally located. I googled driving directions from there to Grands-Jardin and Mallbaie National Parks and the time was 60 minutes and 2 hours 45 minutes respectively - one way.

This makes we wonder if we might be better off staying in B&Bs or cottages for a certain number of days - explore one park and then move to the next.

We had in mind doing 2-4 hour hikes each day and then relaxing at our home rental with our writing, photography and music hobbies. I may be missing something here, such as getting the driving time wrong (the parks are rather large and I don't have a clue where in the park the driving time was for) or that there might be homes for rent not in town but more inland with mountain and water views that would cut down on the driving times each day.

I would appreciate your comments and insights,

Thank you so much!

Quebec, Canada
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4. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

It would be easier and more relaxing if you rent more than one B&B or cottage. Parc de la Jacques Cartier is near Québec city, so if you begin by this park you could stay in Québec city and visit the city while you lodge in the city. Then move to Baie St-Paul and then visit parc des Hautes Gorges with the absolutely gorgeaous hike of Acropole des draveurs with after some efforts an incredible view from the summit. Still staying in Baie st paul, go visit parc des grands jar dins and do the circle hike of Mont du Lac des cygnes (but begin the hike by the end so you finish by descending the stairs instead of climbing them and the view is better) . From the parc des grands Jardins you may move at your next destination since parc des grands jardins is on the road to the north hence to Saguenay. Where you could stay and visit. If you have time stop at Ste Rose du Nord a very very nice village. All those parcs are really great!

Quebec, Canada
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5. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Ah and if you have time too, from baie St-Paul you can go to Ile aux Coudres, stoping in St-Joseph de la Rive on the way where the ferry is. Take the ferry to ile aux coudres and rent bikes where you can pedal your way around the island, stopping in restaurants , or the windmill...

Montreal, Canada
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for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
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6. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Considering the time of the year and the fickle factor in fall colors I would invert Anectine's suggestion and start the farthest (most northeasterly) from Québec City and then go to lower altitudes since tthe phenomenon happens first at the highest latitudes and altitudes.

In fact I would go so far as to suggest that for your last week you frankly go south around Mont-Tremblant where the colors will be at their peak in early October.

Montreal, Canada
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7. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Hello Journeyer, anectine's hiking tips are excellent. I will add another - if you are here for three weeks, do l'Acropole des Draveurs on a beautiful day, but not the weekend. It can get quite crowded.

Don't forget to drive Rte 362 from Baie St-Paul to La Malbaie.

There are also hiking, foliage and great views of the St-Lawrence at St-Tite-des-Caps http://www.sentierdescaps.com/english.php

And with no apologies to the Tremblant crowd: the Charlevoix is heaven and Tremblant is hell.

JQ

Miami Beach, Fl
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8. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Hi Anectine - thanks for those ideas and laying out how the hiking might flow with where we stay. And also for the suggestion for Ile aux Coudres - sounds like fun. It might be easier to stay in B&B's along the way.

I'm thinking that we might want to split our time between these national parks which is a mix of a self-drive and hiking holiday with sometime renting a vacation home that is in the mountains surrounded by forest and long distance views of other mountains or a lake - where we can hike in the immediate area and not have to drive for an hour or more to get to a park? Would you know if these areas might offer that possibility - Laurentians or Eastern Townships?

Thanks bunches! Hope you made it a good day!

Quebec, Canada
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9. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Hi Journeyer,

laurentians and eastern township are quite different from Charlevoix. There are in the vicinity of greater Montreal area so pratically they constitute the weekend and vacation playground of the big city. There are a lot of properties to rent as tourism is well developed. Lots of quaint shops, restaurants , boutiques etc...For hiking the Mont Tremblant region in the laurentians offers possibilities , in the Townships, Mont Orford or Sutton are nice, but these are smaller peaks, less views and of course much more people than in the eastern part of the province.If you plan to hike in Charlevoix, the hiking is much more interesting and the area is more about nature, wilderness and open spaces. If you want that kind of experience I would rent more east instead of west. You can go east until Tadoussac, where the whales feed at the meeting of the St Lawrence and the Saguenay fjord, then drive east again and take the ferry where you cross on the south shore of the St Lawrence (there the river is salted and more and estuary). On the south shore for and experience out of this world rent a chalet near or in Parc de la Gaspesie where you can relax in a gorgeous setting or hike different trails for days...The parc de la Gaspesie trails are probably one of the most beautiful places in America...I encountered(from a distance) wood cariboos there and mooses. Magical experience... Parc de la Gaspesie has a big lodge too with spa and 5 star cuisine the Gite du Mont Albert if you want to pamper yourself after hikes.

www.sepaq.com/pq/gas/index.dot?language_id=1

http://www.qccabins.com/gaspesie/

So, it depends what kind of experience you wish for, the more modern( and unfortunately more crowdy) of laurentians or townships with lots of restaurants and lodging possibilities, or the more quiet pace and mountain and nature views really spectacular of the eastern province, but a bit far from big cities...though close to really nice villages...and lighthouses and lobster feasts...

Miami Beach, Fl
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10. Re: Where in Charlevoix area as a base for fall foliage?

Your information is so helpful - this is exactly the food for thought that we need to help us decide where to go and how to spend our time. I appreciate the detailed and thoughtful responses.

Thanks bunches!