Nestled in a natural amphitheater between the peaks of Cap-à-l’Aigle and Pointe-au-Pic, it’s no wonder La Malbaie enjoys its fair share of tributes. Many singer-songwriters, such as Jean-Yves Belley, dedicated many an ode to its allure. Helping their inspiration flow is the Malbaie River. It’s winding journey towards the other end of the bay makes for a beautiful view and its walking path, clearly visible at low tide, links both ends. As a tribute to the river and this beautiful region, we created a few walking suggestions to help you also flow towards the peak at your own pace!
The Grand Tour – 5.2 km round trip
Parking at Parc du Quai Casgrain, let the Samuel de Champlain trail lead you all the way to the tip of the bay. Make a pit stop at the Au P’tit Bonheur Art Gallery, refuel at any of the great restaurants on Rue Richelieu then continue on to the Musée de Charlevoix. From its roof, the playful English translation of “Pointe-au-Pic” becomes beautifully clear: “Peak to Peak”. Here, let your eyes travel across the widening estuary to the dreamy white cliffs of Cap-à-l’Aigle across the bay.
A Peek Into Local Life – 2 km loop
Begin this short loop in the free parking lot adjacent to the Musée de Charlevoix. Take the narrow shoulder to the start of the walk close to the water. Keep your nose to the wind until the end of the footbridge, where you’ll come across the village’s quaint and colorful homes. Indulge on a choice of local comfort foods at the charming Chez Chantal, then admire some of the nimble fingered handiwork at Indigène, art and culture before taking the wooded path back. If you wish to push on a little further, taking The Grand Tour along Rue Richelieu is also a great option.
The Secret Staircase To The Planets – 12.4 km round trip
For a more epic journey that reaches new heights of wonder, search out Pointe-au-Pic’s “secret” staircase. Located at the very end of Rue du Quai, it climbs all the way up and into the heart of this prestigious vacation destination . You’ll first pass behind the Casino de Charlevoix then in front of Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu before experiencing an astral escapade along the Balade à la vitesse de la lumière where you can choose to “walk at the speed of light” or take time to learn about the planets within our vast solar system. And with many heavenly lookouts peering over the St. Lawrence River, you may even spot a few other stars of the region, our shining belugas!
After sunset the trip takes a romantic turn as the whole pier illuminates with pretty lights, creating a perfect atmosphere for losing yourself in the mysteries of the region and the universe.