Welcome to your world of nature
Guardians of countless treasures, national parks offer a connection to nature. But did you know that their mission also consists of protecting these magnificent areas and the flora and fauna found there? Here are some interesting facts to get to know them better.
What’s a national park?
First things first, you need to know that a national park is not a run-of-the-mill park. It’s a protected environment.
It's a territory representative of a region, whose mission is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage found therein. A national park is an ecosystem exempt from any form of exploitation (forestry, mining, and even hydroelectricity), protected for the benefit of future generations.
A national park is a territory made accessible so that everyone can discover the protected treasures, while ensuring that its development has a minimal impact on the environment. Practicing certain activities, such as hiking, canoeing, and camping, or even wildlife watching, are the very best ways to discover these territories.
43,631 km2 of protected territories
Created pursuant to the Parks Act, Quebec national parks guarantee the conservation and protection of territories representative of Quebec's natural regions while making them accessible to visitors.
For its part, Sépaq has the mandate of managing the activities of 23 national parks and 1 marine park (co-managed with Parks Canada), spanning 7,017 km2 of protected territory.
100% of profits reinvested
It's no secret: to access a national park, we must pay a daily access fee or have an annual card. This contribution is used to conserve, develop, look after, and showcase these exceptional territories.
In order to ensure the maintenance and development of its infrastructures, the natural and cultural heritage entrusted to it, and the activities and services it offers, Sépaq reinvests all profits generated by its operations.
These are used to fund conservation projects, the development of new trails for example, as well as to launch original and creative activities.
51 conservation issues
In 2017, our teams of conservation specialists on the ground identified 51 priority conservation issues in Quebec national parks.
The team from Parc national de la Gaspésie, for example, is working tirelessly to protect the caribou habitat, whereas Parc national du Mont-Tremblant is taking care of the health of wolf packs, and Parc national de l’île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé is restoring the island's built heritage (houses that are several hundred years old!).
Always free for children
Few people know this, but youngsters 17 and under can access all Quebec national parks absolutely free of charge. But that's not all! Equipment rental, including bikes, snowshoes, and cross-country skis, are also available to them at no cost. A very considerable perk appreciated by families who can discover a range of affordable new activities!
Respecting nature: our shared responsibility
Now that you know our national parks better, you’ll understand that they’re precious and are pursuing a crucial mission: to protect the most beautiful territories of Quebec.
If we want for our children's children a century from now to still be able to paddle down the twists and turns of Rivière de la Diable, admire Vallée des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie at the peak of Acropole-des Draveurs, swim in Lac Stuckley, or marvel at the might of Kipawa Falls, we must take care of these natural environments. How? By adopting eco-friendly behaviour, always complying with the regulations in effect, and setting an example for others to follow.
Whether you’ve been going to national parks forever or only had your annual card for a few short weeks, caring for our parks is a crucial responsibility for each visitor, big or small.