The forillon National Park (French Parc national du Canada forillon, English forillon National Park of Canada) was founded in 1970 and is the oldest of the three National Parks in the Canadian province of Québec.

It lies on the eastern edge of the Gaspé Peninsula in the municipality of Gaspé. The peninsula is also the conclusion of the northeastern Appalachian Mountains.

According to the Canadian national park system, according to which each of these parks should represent an ecoregion is of 240.35 km ² forillon park for the mountain regions Monts Notre -Dame and Mont Mégantic. The park but includes in addition to the typical forests there a coastal strip and marshes, dunes and sometimes heavily eroded rocks.


The average annual temperature is 2.9 ° C. The average temperatures for January and July are at -12 ° C and 17 ° C. The frost period varies between 120 and 140 days a year. The annual average rainfall is 1117 mm, of which 30 % falls as snow.


Above a line of 60 m above sea level, over 90 % of the deposits of glacial origin. In addition, there is ferruginous podzols.


To 16,000 BC the glaciers began after the last glacial period, which is referred to in North America as the Wisconsin glaciation, slowly withdraw to the north. In a process of several thousand years duration developed from a world dominated by mosses and grasses landscape a forest area in which BC also settled the red oak to 6000.

During an excavation campaign, the Parks Canada organized in 1994, found traces of people in the area of ​​the park, which date back to 7000 BC. Projectile points found in the valley Anse au Griffon and the Penouille - point more on three other sites. At this time the landscape was rather tundrenartig, and until 5000-2000 BC, there was a warming, which gave rise to a landscape similar to today.

Centuries before the arrival of the first Europeans were the Mi'kmaq villages in the bays Anse aux Sauvages, Saint -Georges Cove and Grande- Grave. In smaller bays often lived only a few families.

During French rule, which began in the early 17th century and ended in 1760, several attempts have been made to operate fishing, but they failed.

During the British colonial rule, which was followed by the French, established fishing and export companies fishing stations along the coasts around the St. Lawrence Gulf and on the Gaspé Peninsula. They also granted loans to fishermen. Most of the families who settled, and the workers, who were soon hired came from the British Channel Islands Guernsey and Jersey. According to this history are family names like Bourgaise, Fruing, Gavey, Janvrin, LeBoutillier, Lemesurier, Lescelleur, Luce, Pipon or Simon widespread.

In Anse- aux- Sauvages in 1817 having come to brothers Pierre and William Simon established an extensive business with the fish. 1841 was a sawmill, which provided the material for boats, but also for homes. There was also a flour mill, which used all of the inhabitants of the region. In addition, the Simon brothers made the Fruing Company competition by also founded a forge. The Fruing Society went back to turn Fruing William, who had relocated in 1855 the center of his activities after Grand- Grave. 1861 worked 450 fishermen for him.

From the end of the 19th century the two fishing companies in the region from May to October, organized in Grande- Grave, the capture and processing of cod. Several hundred families and numerous day laborers and pökelten dried fish for export to Spain, Italy and the West Indies. 26 buildings still exist today, including the 1864 built Hyman Store, which dates back to William Hyman.

However, the economic base on the mere basis of cod was dangerously narrow. Thus, that operate on the Gaspé Peninsula difficult agriculture began. This was possible mainly in Anse au Griffon. Ever since the French period, it combined a path with the Gaspé Bay. 1851, the Government approved the colonization. John Le Boutillie who first settled on the estuary, followed by others in the Portage; there emerged 14 houses. In 1900 lived there already 37 families. They grew cereals and vegetables, covered dairy and meat cattle.

A third basis offered alongside fishing and agriculture, as so often in Canada, timber harvesting. The company was about the Calhoun Lumber Co. of New Brunswick.

During the Second World War, a battery was erected, where appropriate, to defend the peninsula at the site of the later Fort Peninsula. In the Gaspé Bay, a naval base was established. This HMCS Fort Ramsay naval base was officially opened on May 1, 1942. At times, here more than 2,000 troops, including Army and Air Force, stationed.

Against the establishment of the national park, there was considerable resistance, especially since 225 families should be resettled. With the Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick in late 1969 and the forillon National Park in 1972 for the first time emerged These kinds institutions in francophone part of Canada. Until then, national parks were created solely in the English-speaking part of Canada, many of them in sparsely populated areas. In contrast, Lionel Bernier organized, in 2001 a book about these events published, the resistance of those who had been expropriated in favor of the park. While in Quebec, the Quiet Revolution proceeded, federal authorities were first confronted with other forms of resistance and with the memory of the expulsion of Acadians and Quebecers in earlier times. Since then, Parks Canada, a federal facility, a detailed negotiation procedure for the establishment of new national parks developed to avoid such conflicts.


The mountain range, on the borders of the park, originated about 375 million years. Today, the area is home to a very complex ecosystem today. The rocky coasts, rivers, lakes and waterfalls make for a varied landscape. Because of its location on the Atlantic Ocean, the park receives a maritime touch. The lighthouses on the coast can be visited. For hiking a trail above the rugged cliffs suitable. From there you have a view on the characteristic landscape features of the area.

Flora and Fauna

95 % of the park is covered by boreal forests, 696 plant species were counted. Among the unusual habitats include the arctic - alpine flora of the cliffs, the plants of salt marshes and the dunes. The Gaspé Peninsula is an area in which plants were able to maintain after the last cold period, which are much further north now based. These include 115 species.

In the park area created by the mentioned natural preconditions and by human intervention most complex ecosystems in which numerous ecological niches developed with the corresponding species diversity. This ten ecosystems are distinguished, namely forest, cliffs, alpine meadows, sand dunes, lakes, river systems, freshwater and salt water meadows, coastal and agricultural wastelands.

When the trees predominate companies of fir and yellow birch, fir and paper birch or those of maple and yellow birch. Overall, a distinction is made 63 such plant communities. The widespread, but on the Gaspé Peninsula rare Roteichenpopulationen could, as it turned out in 2004 on the basis of aerial photographs, can be detected at 42 sites. The total number of trees was estimated at about 300 copies. The peninsula also represents its northernmost natural range, which is since 2006, supported by a reforestation program, as well as the paper birch. In addition, let be shown that the major fires of 1846, 1905 and 1945 had a serious impact on the tree populations, as well as the attack by Choristoneura occidentalis in the years 1975 until 1985.

Despite the fact that the reserve has predominantly marine character, there is a large number of land mammals. These include elk, deer and black bear. Moose can be found on the one hand in the rugged mountainous regions, on the other hand, where the agricultural activity was abandoned some time ago. In addition, beaver, red fox, coyote, but also find lynxes. However, while the Bobcats at the enormous amounts of snow due to limited occurs by its smaller feet, the better adapted in this respect Canadian lynx is more widespread. While the Gaspé Peninsula is one of the northernmost occurrence of the former, it is for the latter one of the southernmost. Also Pumas ( Coogars ) occur here, their distribution extends only slightly further north. Likewise, more common in the north is the snowshoe hare. The occurring in America porcupines are in the rodent family just like the woodchuck, while the striped chipmunk or Eastern Chipmunk, as well as the gray squirrel likewise are rodents, but belong to the family of squirrels. The American mink is one of the martens, as well as the ermine, ie of the canids. Also bats such as the Great Brown Bat, Myotis lucifugus, here Little brown bat called, Myotis septentrionalis (Northern long-eared bat) or the hoary bat occur in the park.

The Wühlmäusearten the park counts the counting to the genus Rötelmäuse Gapper 's red -backed vole or Sourthern ( Myodes gapperi ). Practically shrew only in the field of Appalachia and thus in the Gaspé Park comes in its northern distribution area, the Long-tailed or rock shrew ( Sorex dispar ), a kind of before from the family of shrews, which is what is extremely rare in -dwelling land mammals, goes on echolocation. In addition, there is the Waldhüpfmaus ( Napaeozapus insignis ) from the family of gerbils.

There are more birds, reminiscent of the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. They are attracted by the rich feed reservoir and numerous protected breeding grounds on the Gaspé Peninsula and the St. Lawrence Gulf. The spring migration brings Ohrenscharben, which are among the cormorants, black guillemots and razorbills, which are expected to Alkenvögeln, occasionally Kittiwake flying to North West Europe, as well as other species of gulls in the park area. The cliffs at Cape Bon Ami accommodate the largest bird colonies during the breeding season. In The Park 225 bird species have been recorded that nest there or go to the park at least. On the coasts also incubates the River Tern, but there are also fish eagle in front as well as species from the large family of Sandpipers or Waders.

In addition to seabirds, there is a variety of songbirds and woodpeckers, added 26 identified in the park birds of prey. Thus we find here in the winter, the rough-legged buzzard, but also the Harrier and the smallest falcon in North America, the American Kestrel, also called American Kestrel. All year comes before the Canada heron on the coasts, which finds its prey, especially in the marshes of Penouille.

Off the coast are often large marine mammals to sift about dolphins as the pilot or pilot whale, which, however, rarely approach the coast, or the white-sided dolphin. Various species of whales are also spotted here, such as the blue whale, fin whale of, the humpback whale, the porpoise and the Mink or minke whale. Quite often, various seal species, such as by migrating gray seals, harp seals, which are one of its most southern refugia here, or the stationary seal.

In forillon park is also host reptiles and amphibians, including the toad Anaxyrus americanus, the crucifer in English as mink frog, in French as grenouille verte known frog Rana septentrionalis, the American marsh frog finds its northernmost refuge here, Pseudacris, a tree frog, or forest frog.

The blue stain tooth cross newt, a salamander from the family of transverse tooth newts is the northernmost members of this family. In addition, the Red-backed salamander found or Salamander cendrée ( Plethodon cinereus ), the spot salamanders and quite frequently encountered Greenish newt.