Portrait - Réserve faunique de Matane - Wildlife Reserves - Sépaq

Réserve faunique de Matane



Several specialists agree that the word "Matane" refers to a Micmac word, mtctan, which means "beaver pond". Old historical sources mention the abundance of this animal in the area. However, others reject this hypothesis and believe the name is of Algonquin origin and means flotsam and jetsam from shipwrecks.

It's impossible to talk about Réserve faunique de Matane without mentioning the historical importance of the Matane River, which runs through the reserve. Samuel de Champlain was the one who gave the river its name. For years he used the Amerindian route to go to Chaleur Bay. European ships, sometimes carrying up to 100 tons, would find refuge in the natural harbour at the mouth of this river.

When created in 1962, the reserve of about 930 km2 corresponded to the Hammermill Company's timber tract. In 1969, after the removal of several private clubs from the Price company's forest concession, 400 km2 of new land were added to the reserve. In 1981, after Parc de conservation de la Gaspésie had been raised to its current status, the area of Réserve faunique de Matane increased, mainly in the eastern section, where the boundaries of the park and the reserve coincide.



These are natural mineral springs that gush out of the soil. This phenomenon, which is very rare in Québec, is one of the elements that make Réserve faunique de Matane an exceptional habitat for moose.


Réserve faunique de Matane lies at the beginning of the Chic-Chocs mountain range. Lac Matane is pure splendour, especially at sunset. The valley of Rivière Cap-Chat also provides a series of dazzling landscapes.

Hiking Trails

The Mont Blanc trail and the International Appalachian Trail offer hikers the chance to see incomparable panoramas from mountain peaks rising close to 1,000 m.

Fact Sheet


1,275 km2


  • Speckled trout
  • Lake trout


  • Moose
  • White-tailed deer
  • Black bear
  • Fox
  • Coyote
  • Several small mammals


Over150 species, such as:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Spruce Grouse
  • Osprey
  • Bald Eagle

Bodies of water

38 lakes and several rivers, such as the Cap-Chat and the Matane, as well as many streams

Forest Cover

  • Fir
  • Spruce
  • Concentrations of deciduous trees in certain areas

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