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Parc national de la Pointe‑Taillon

Portrait of the park

History of Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon

Several legal statutes have been attributed to the territory of Pointe Taillon in the past.

  • From the late 19th century: settlers developed lots on the Pointe under the responsibility of the municipality of Saint-Henri-de-Taillon.
  • In 1916: The municipality of Jeanne-d'Arc was formed.
  • 1926 to 1930: The municipality was deserted after Lac Saint-Jean water levels were raised for hydroelectric power production. Alcan became the owner of the area.
  • 1948 to 1956: Alcan established a reforestation program.
  • Simultaneously, from 1952 to1971: The federal government granted protection to the territory by declaring Pointe Taillon a bird sanctuary under the Migratory Bird Convention Act.
  • March 16, 1965: Pointe Taillon was granted the status of hunting reserve by the Department of Tourism, Hunting and Fishing (Sanctuaire de la Pointe Taillon).
  • 1977: The Québec government acquired Pointe Taillon. Neighbouring municipalities came together to form the Comité de promotion du parc de la Pointe Taillon.
  • 1978: Point Taillon still held the status of hunting reserve but was managed in the same way as a park.
  • 1985: During public hearings held in June, the conservation vocation of the territory was confirmed. On November 6, Parc de conservation de la Pointe Taillon was created.

The Park’s Natural Heritage

Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon protects the natural and historic heritage of a representative sample of one of Québec’s major regions, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Lowlands.

The park forms a peninsula that juts out into the waters of Lac Saint-Jean, a magnificent lake of nearly 1,100 km2. The park’s south shore is bathed by Lac Saint-Jean and the north shore by Rivière Péribonka, the lake’s largest tributary. Visitors are treated to views of the area’s soft and gentle landscapes.

This 92 km2 territory includes a sandy plain that is almost flat, without hills or mountains. Pointe Taillon is part of the huge postglacial delta of Rivière Péribonka. In the middle of the peninsula, there is a sandy formation in the shape of a fan, called a bird-foot delta. West of the delta is a dune field. On both sides, fossilized offshore bars can be seen, as well as other shapes that reflect the underwater development of Pointe Taillon and how it was modeled by currents, waves and the wind as it rose out of the water.

A vast bog occupies a large part of the territory, and wetlands (marshes, swamps) abound along the shores of the point. Carnivore plants and other plants associated with peatbogs and wetlands are found here, in addition to fragile flora (relict plants), indicating a marine invasion that occurred at the end of the last ice age.

Animal life is intense at Pointe Taillon. Clear indications, such as dams, huts and bevelled tree trunks reveal the presence of beavers. The moose has also established its headquarters in the park. During migration periods, the Canada Goose and the Greater Snow Goose stop at the park by the thousands. For several years, the Sandhill Crane has been coming to the park every spring. Its hoarse cries echo in the vastness of the bog.

The Cultural Heritage of the Park

Not much is known about the prehistoric era of Pointe Taillon. A few objects (stone chips, spearheads) have been found on the site, but there is a lack of knowledge on this level. However, the geographical location of Pointe Taillon at the mouth of Rivière Péribonka, one of Lac Saint-Jean’s tributaries, is rich in wildlife, suggesting that the point was a stopping place or even a gathering place for Aboriginal communities during the seasonal migration periods.

Between 1890 and 1930, a population of farmers settled on Pointe Taillon. The first was Joseph Larouche. In 1916, the municipality of Jeanne-D'Arc was formed. In 1925, there were 52 families and a total of 307 people. There were three schools, a cheese manufacturer and a sawmill. Paul-Augustin Normand from France established a large farm on Île Bouliane, employing over 125 people. The area of Pointe-Taillon was equipped with modern tools for the time and won agricultural contests.

Lac Saint-Jean became a reservoir lake in 1926. The flood caused by the closing of valves in the Isle-Maligne power plant drove away families who lived on PointeTaillon. After the land was purchased by Alcan, a reforestation program was undertaken from 1948 to 1956.

In 1977, the Québec government acquired the territory. In 1985, Parc de conservation de la Pointe-Taillon was created.

Traces of the history of Pointe Taillon still remain today. The placement of houses, uncultivated fields and horticultural plants are evidence of the human occupation of the site.

“Pointe-Taillon”: The point was named in honour of Louis-Olivier Taillon (1840-1923), a lawyer who became a Conservative MP in 1875. He was the Speaker of National Assembly, Attorney General, Première of Québec in 1887 (4 days only), Leader of the Opposition, and Première of Québec for a second time in 1892.

Did you know?

The Park in Numbers

Year established: 1985
Area: 92 km2
Perimeter: 50 km
Annual attendance:: 65,000 visit-days

Lists of Species

(in French only)

Amphibians and reptiles

Species at risk



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