Big Hill, Entree Island, Madeleine islands

Big Hill, Entree Island, Madeleine islands near Iles-de-la-Madeleine, PQ


This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 5 out of 5 stars
5 kms
5hours
moderate
Snowshoeing, Sea Kayaking, Hiking, Mountain Biking
Winter, Fall, Summer
Iles-de-la-Madeleine, PQ
User smburt

entree island


One of the highlights of our trip to the Madeleine Islands, was our over night trip to Entree island, one of two regions in the archipelago where English dominates.

The Island lies about 10K off shore from the rest of the islands. One certainly could kayak there, given the right conditions. We unfortunately went on days where strong winds made for huge swells and white caps, and our boats were left at home.

There are a few ways to get to the island. A couple of tour operators have passenger vessels and interpretive staff if that's what you want. The government offers a small car ferry for a few dollars cheaper that leaves out the frills. Finally, with a small airport on the island, a small aircraft takes passengers to and from Entree Island.

We got there in the morning, and our first order was to find Suzanne from Vert et Mer . She operates a small campground at the foot hills of the community pasture land. With some questions to the local shopkeepers, we were pointed in the right direction.

To say that the island is hilly is an understatement. Thinking of the view out of our vestibule, more than anything sensible, we pitched our tent on the top of one of those hills. With the wind gusts shaking the tent that night, we hardly slept a wink.

There is one official trail documented on the island, and it's called the James Quinn trail. Quinn was a popular mayor of the area a few years back. This trail leads you from the area of the museum into the pasture land, and up Big Hill, notably the highest point of the entire archipelago.

Given the length of the trail, it sounds like simply a tourist attraction. The cool part is that this trail is but only a launching point to exploring the entire pasture land. The locals certainly don't mind. As long as you leave the cows in peace, you're free to roam the hills. And that's certainly what we did both days we were there.

Beyond the Quinn trail, there are no real trails to follow. You see something cool, and off you go! Occasionally, you'll find ATV paths, but otherwise, cow paths occasionally show you the best route between hills. Note that these hills can be very steep, and sometimes they slope to a cliff into the sea, so common sense must dictate where you go. One of the thoughts that occured to me as we explored the hills, was how great a place to hold an orienteering course.

Some highlights we encountered included a small scattering of cows and horses, a keyhole rock formation, the small natural terracing that contours the hills, the honest- to-God super friendly people, and finally, the huge treeless rich green grassy hills. It's sureal. This is the premier " must-do" when you visit the Madeleine Islands. If you ever do bring your kayaks, make sure you paddle around this little island, and post it here on Trailpeak!

When you do come to Entree Island, stay for at least two nights. If you want to pack light, there's a B&B, a store, a terrific museum and a couple of restuarants. You got to speak with the locals for sure. this place certainly has charm. After all that walking, put your feet up and relax.

Shannon Burt
East Coast Editor

Directions:

From the museum, look for the trail head signage.

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Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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