For some silly reason, the typical family road trip in the province of Quebec starts in Montreal and ends in Quebec City. Don’t make that mistake. Continue your trip north another 3 hours to Saguenay and you’ll be treated to a low-cost multi-sport adventure that rivals the best outdoor hubs in North America. Spend the first night at Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon, a peninsula that juts into Lac-Saint-Jean and offers a 45 km biking circuit. The nearby town of Desbiens is where you’ll find the outfitter, H2O Expeditions, who will take you on a thrilling run down the Class III and IV rapids of the Metabetchouan River. Then it’s on the inky black water of the 100-kilometer long Saguenay Fjord. Grab kayaks 20 kilometers in from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and you have a good chance of spotting beluga whales that mate in the federally preserved waters of Baie-Sainte-Marguerite. Top it all off at one of the few Via Ferratas in the world outside of the Dolomites. Using cables affixed to an 1187-foot rock face, attach your carabiner to the iron rungs that clamber up the rock wall at Palissades De Charlevoix. After crossing a suspension bridge high above the canyon floor, you rappel down.
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