Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques

This is a wonderful oasis on the western tip of the island. Even the drive there (once you pass St. Charles) is pretty. You’ll go past some of the last remaining farmland on the island and have a view of the water. A great place for a family outing or a walk and a picnic. We’ve been quite a few times and the picture gallery is a mish-mash of different visits. 

Cap-Saint-Jacques consists of 16km of walking trails (and in the winter fantastic x-country skiing trails and sledding hills), picnic areas, canoe/kayak rentals, a mini farm, a farmers’ market, fishing, biking on 8km of trails, and more. Throughout the year they host special events like a sugaring off season (read our review HERE), an insect exhibit, intro to fishing, astronomy guides, movies on the beach and more…

Parking is $9.75 for the day or $7.75 for 2 hours and there are various parking lots to choose from depending on whether you’re going for a long walk, going to the beach, or just going to the farm (open everyday from 9-5). Find out all the rates, hours, and more information HERE
I used a carrier for our walk as the trails can have rocks, roots and are not super stroller friendly. You CAN however use a stroller at the farm and the surrounding picnic areas. There is no charge for visiting the farm (except for parking), but you’ll probably be tempted to buy a pony ride or some fresh produce at the little market. (Check the summer hours of operation before going, I don’t think the produce market is open everyday. You can click on the “visite à la ferme” on the activities page.)

GENERAL NOTE FOR ALL BEACHES: For all information, rates (if applicable), reservation details, and more, make sure to visit the official website BEFORE going. Water quality, maximum capacities, and staffing issues change often and may affect openings. 

There are lifeguards and the water quality is measured weekly. There are some trees for shade and boulders and benches to sit on. You are not allowed to eat or drink on the beach (Ya, try telling that to kids, argh), but there are picnic areas as well as porta-potties nearby, or a few minutes walk is Chalet Gohier with a small restaurant and bathrooms. NEW IN 2021 is a casse-croûte offering snacks from Thursdays to Sundays.
The beach itself is wide and there’s a ton of space from the edge of the trees down to the water. With a gradual sandy bottom, it’s a great spot for timid swimmers, or for those who like to wade. The beach tends to get very crowded, especially on weekends, so make sure to head there early otherwise you risk being turned away if it has reached maximum capacity. 

FOR WINTER: Go to the chalet d’accueil for free sledding. (Parking not included of course). You can also rent skis, snowshoes, and sleds. See HERE for rates. 
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 9.28.36 AM


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.