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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.


The regal realm of the moose

Mudflats are natural mineral springs that spring up from the ground. This phenomenon, very rare in Québec, is one of the elements that make Réserve faunique de Matane an exceptional habitat for moose. In fact, Canada's largest cervid loves the natural mineral salts that our mudflats so richly provide! This unique living environment distinguishes our territory, creating a place of predilection for checking out the moose, the monarch of our regal forest.

Majestic landscapes

Réserve faunique de Matane is located in Gaspésie, on the edge of the Chic-Chocs mountains, which are part of the Appalachian mountain range. Peaks nearly 1000 metres high surround valleys, lakes, and rivers to create breathtaking panoramas. On foot or by vehicle, whether you prefer a picnic at the top of Mont Blanc or a drive to watch the sunset at Lac Matane, indelible memories await you!

Hiking trails

The International Appalachian Trail - Québec (IAT-QC) crosses the Gaspésie region over a distance of 650 km, including more than 100 km in Réserve faunique de Matane. The renowned GR A1 offers more than a dozen short hikes of easy to expert level, lasting from one to six hours. You can also enjoy a long hike along the IAT-QC, under certain conditions. Consult our Hiking, Camping, and Rustic camping sections  to plan your hiking expeditions in the wildlife reserve!

Fact Sheet


1,275 km2


  • Atlantic salmon
  • Speckled trout
  • Lake trout


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


Over 150 species of birds, such as:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Bald Eagle
  • Osprey
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Spruce Grouse
  • Various species of warblers

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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