By Theresa Russell
Recalling the excitement of a trip exploring the megaliths in Europe, I anxiously anticipated seeing huge rocks on Île Quarry in Québec. As part of an archipelago, Île Quarry can only be reached by boat; excursions can be arranged through Parcs Canada, an option that includes a PC guide who will educate you about the island and the region. The tours leave from Havre-Saint-Pierre, a small town sitting at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
Little Stroll, Large Variety
Île Quarry is just one of several islands in the Mingan Archipelago Park Reserve, a unit of the Parcs Canada system. With the shape of a deformed turtle waving with one arm, the island has a few trails for exploration.
The quickest route to the monoliths is via a boardwalk trail that basically cuts across the arm joint of the turtle. At just .6 kilometer long and basically flat, the trail to Anse des Erosions is ideal for all of the family. Although the trail is rather short, it passes through a wide variety of ecosystems. First through the boreal forest, where a dense canopy shades us from the sun.
Emerging from the forest we pass through bogs replete with moss, and continue on our way, the ecosystem changing yet again in just a few steps.
We notice the cliffs in the distance and the barren, which as its names implies has little growth. However, look closely to spot Lady’s Slipper and the Mingan Thistle. The barren abruptly ends, emptying us onto seashore.
As we reach the shore, we can see the monoliths standing majestically a short distance away.
We navigate the beach and observe the shapes seemingly changing as we change the tact of our approach. If you can imagine these monoliths with flower pots perched on their tops,their descriptive name- pot de fleurs monoliths – makes sense.
The great stones seem to emit an energy field, which several of us mention feeling. We soak in the energy, enjoying the view before heading back to our boat and Havre-Saint- Pierre.
Several cruise lines call at Havre-Saint-Pierre.
Route 138 leads to St. Pierre as well.
For detailed info on the park, visit the Parcs Canada website.
Find comfortable accommodations facing the sea at Gîte la Maré.
About Theresa Russell
Claiming her lust for travel began on her first journey through the birth canal, Theresa is genetically programmed to travel and to have fun doing it. She especially enjoys adventure and experiential travel and always finds something at a destination to write home about.