The most scenic campground in Eastern Canada


August 03, 2022


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When the weather gets nice, people get the urge to pack up and go off to discover new places! Over the last few years, the 4000 Hikes team has explored hundreds of camping spots, both accessible by car or located in the backcountry far away from civilization. Here are a few of the most beautiful campgrounds in Eastern Canada.

Article written in collaboration with 4000 Hikes 

In this article, you will discover:

  1. Meat Cove campground, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
  2. Camping du Petit Gosford in St-Augustin-de-Woburn, Quebec
  3. Zec des Martres in St-Urbain-de-Charlevoix, Québec
  4. Camping Côte Surprise in Percé, Québec
  5. Île du Havre in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Québec

Camping gear

1. Meat Cove campground, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Meat Cove campground, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Not many frontcountry campgrounds have charmed the 4000 Hikes people as much as this one! Located on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, this charming 30-spot campground works on a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s up to you to get the chance to sleep on the mountain side, by the sea!

The view is spectacular, particularly at sunrise as the sun rises directly above the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. If you’re not an early riser, you’ll eventually be woken up by the sound of sea birds singing or of the waves crashing against the shingles on the beach below.

As this is a frontcountry campground and therefore accessible by car, you will benefit from amenities such as shower blocks and a restaurant, which serves some of the best clam chowders around!

To make your stay even more pleasant, there are several lesser-known hiking trails scattered along the coast, including one which starts directly from the campground and climbs up the surrounding green hills before revealing some breathtaking views over the bay! Clearly one of Nova Scotia’s hidden gems.

Rate: Around 40 $ per spot

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Camping du Petit Gosford in St-Augustin-de-Woburn (East Townships), Quebec

Camping du Petit Gosford in St-Augustin-de-Woburn Quebec

Located in the hills and part of the Zec Louise-Gosford, this campground is only accessible on foot, either by hiking the nine-kilometer-long trail (with a 600-meter elevation gain), or by hiking the short and easy one-kilometer trail that leaves from the Clearwater shelter. Be aware that this option requires an all-terrain vehicle as you will need to travel a long way on rough forest roads before reaching the entry point.

No matter how you get there, you are likely to have the whole place to yourself! On site, there are a few wooden platforms for you to install a tent easily. What makes this campground unique is its location, 1000 meters above sea level, and only one-and-a-half-kilometers away from the top of mount Gosford (the highest mountain in the south of Quebec).

You can easily admire the sunset from the top of the mountain and be back at your tent before it’s dark. How amazing is that?

Rate: Around 32nbsp;$ per platform + reserve access fees

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3. Camping in the Zec des Martres in St-Urbain-de-Charlevoix (Charlevoix), Quebec

Camping in the Zec des Martres in St-Urbain-de-Charlevoix Quebec

The 4000 Hikes team, huge fans of wilderness camping, loves Zecs, as these controlled harvesting zones allow campers to set up camp pretty much anywhere within the area as long as the “Leave No Trace” principles are adhered to. As such, it’s best to avoid mountain summits or alpine zones as these are fragile and nature cannot easily regenerate itself.

The Zec des Martres offers a wide range of options when it comes to finding a place to spend the night, some near your car and others far in the backcountry. A particularly interesting spot is located near the dam at Écluse Lake. Near a parking lot where you can leave your car, this spot is surrounded by both mountains and an idyllic lake!

It is also the perfect starting point for an amazing hike during which you will discover the surrounding summits, including Mount du Four, Mount Eudore-Fortin or the Eagle’s peak. The only thing left to do is to prepare your camping gear and get on the road to Charlevoix for a fascinating expedition.

Rate: Free for the camping spot + access fees for the Zec

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4. Camping Côte Surprise in Percé (Gaspésie), Quebec

Camping Côte Surprise in Percé, Quebec

This campground may not be the most quiet or intimate on this list, but it does offer some of the best views. The camping spots are quite close together and you could certainly get to know your neighbours pretty well, but the sunrise above the Percé Rock in the morning is simply magnificent.

« We remember waking up early on a beautiful sunny morning and admiring the scenery straight from our camping spot by the cliff’s edge without noticing time passing » add the 4000 Hikes members. « Slightly dreamy, we were looking at Bonaventure Island far away in the distance, and the Percé Rock on the left, while listening to the whales coming up for air at regular intervals ».

The campground is family-oriented; you’ll have access to amenities such as showers and laundry facilities. Some spots are wooded, which allows for a more intimate setting. Finally, you only have to go down the road to end up in the middle of the Percé village!

Rate: Around 40 $ per spot depending on the location

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5. Camping on Île du Havre in Havre-Saint-Pierre (Côte-Nord), Quebec

Camping on Île du Havre in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec

Those looking for an expedition that’s a bit more adrenaline-filled should consider a kayak-camping trip on the Île du Havre, located on the Saint Lawrence River, in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.

While you can get there on a shuttle boat, it’s best to use your own transportation and cross a small portion of the river aboard your sea kayak! (read an exciting tale of sea kayaking in this article). We got started by preparing our equipment, which we stashed away in our craft’s watertight compartments, after which we braved the waves off the coast of Havre-Saint-Pierre.

Île du Havre is located a short kilometer away from the mainland, but the Havre au sauvage campground is completely on the other side. This means you’ll have to circumvent the island, which adds an extra five kilometers of paddling to your journey during which you can admire the amazing views. There is also a campground a bit nearer, which looks just as beautiful, and there are several other islands where it’s possible to set up camp. In short, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Once your camping spot is all set up, you can also go hiking and explore the island, or simply relax and admire the sunset with the sound of the waves in the background.

Rate: around 17 $ per spot depending on location + access fees to the Mingan Archipelago National Park

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