Pampered by Mother Nature year-round, Charlevoix has as many ecotourism activities for the contemplative traveler as ones for the visitor thirsting for the great outdoors. Charlevoix boasts awesome natural landscapes where all the elements combine in perfect harmony. This is a land of water, mountains and forests, a region blessed with thick and inviting woodlands, the St. Lawrence River and numerous lakes and rivers, towering peaks and rolling hills ideal for a host of outdoor activities.
Adventure Tourism Open to All
With such an extraordinary abundance of settings in a small area, Charlevoix is a premier destination for outdoor recreation, and one that meets your everyday needs. Beginner and expert hikers find trails leading to breathtaking lookouts. Avid mountain bikers opt for well groomed trails, or head out to discover the region’s beautiful backcountry, off-trail. And for canoeing, sea kayaking, canyoning, rock climbing and cross country skiing, to name but a few, visitors find everything required for their favourite activities. In fact, Charlevoix residents are so proud of their land’s natural wonders that they’re eager to share their passion with one and all.
Regional tourist organizations offer visitors guided tours, visits and various nature interpretation activities. There’s something for everyone! Whatever you choose, Charlevoix’s stunning natural landscapes are sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Charlevoix: An Exceptional Playground for Adventure Travellers
- A 6,000 km2 territory in the heart of the Canadian Shield, the oldest land formation on earth
- Created by the impact of a 15 billion tonne meteorite over 350 million years ago
- One of the rare inhabited World Biosphere Reserves on the planet
- The pinnacle of vacation destinations for over 200 years
Nature, culture, preservation, traditions and savoir-faire all contributed in February 1989 to make Charlevoix a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Aware of the challenge vested in this title, Tourisme Charlevoix adheres to sustainable development practices for responsible tourism.
Charlevoix and the Sustainable Development Challenge
As a World Biosphere Reserve, the Charlevoix region falls under particular scrutiny in matters regarding socio-economic and tourism development.
Long before today’s interest in sustainable development, some organizations in the area – of which the Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve, the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SEPAQ) and the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park – had already taken steps towards sound sustainable tourism practices. These precursors felt that heightened public awareness, education and scientific research were part of ecotourism, and each has favoured responsible actions for the conservancy of the flora and fauna. For instance, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park – unique in Canada – has elaborated rules and regulations for seagoing activities which include on-water speed limits, boat limits and distancing limits from mammals. And both the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie and Grands-Jardins National Parks now rely on solar energy.
Along with several residents and businesses, both Charlevoix’s public and community bodies have pledged to develop agriculture, tourism, commerce, culture and the arts and crafts in a responsible, sustainable fashion. For example, the municipality of Baie-Saint-Paul has adopted since 2006 its own sustainable development action plan called Agenda 21. As well, certain initiatives and tourism activities, such as La Route bleue, aim to sensitize both residents and visitors alike to the particularities of the region’s ecosystem.