Map of The Saguenay. Detailed map of the highway and roads of The Saguenay with cities and towns

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Map of The Saguenay. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of The Saguenay with cities and towns

The Saguenay

Once the gateway to the furs and forests of interior Quebec, the Saguenay was discovered by Jacques Cartier, who named it "Saguenay Kingdom" in 1535. The region's torrential rivers and vast lakes formed a significant circulation network for the fur trade as far west as Hudson Bay. Today, hydroelectric power, pulp and paper, and aluminum are at the heart of the area's economy. Grand Lac Saint-Jean dominates the landscape, an ancient 1,002 km2 glacial trough ringed by a series of quaint villages and towns that empties into a spectacular 100-km-long fjord once past Chicoutimi. The best way to soak in the flavors of the Saguenay is to follow the river downstream, or follow the Veloroute des Bleuets (Blueberry Bike Route), 256 km of new cycling trails that encircle Lac Saint-Jean.

Alma [C3] Alma lies at the beginning of the Saguenay, where you can rough it kayaking on the Petite Decharge, or relax in style at the four-season Dam-en-Terre tourist complex. The area's history is celebrated at the Lac-Saint-Jean History Museum, Heritage Quarters, and Place Festivalma.

Chicoutimi [D7-E7]

Coined the place "where the deep water ends" by the Innu, Chicoutimi was once the main trading post on the fur-trade route, and became a world leader in the pulp and paper industry at the turn of the 20th century. Present-day Chicoutimi is a cosmopolitan center where you can dine in fine restaurants and shop in trendy boutiques, explore the magnificent Saguenay fjord on a cruise ship, or take a tour of the historic Basin Quarter, where the famous little white house miraculously remained standing after the disastrous floods of 1996.

Desbiens [D1] A gathering place for the Innu in the early 17th century, Desbiens was an important fur-trading post by the late 1600s. Now, the area is known for its superlative rafting and ouananiche (landlocked salmon) fishing, as well as an abundance of fascinating grottos and archeological sites.

Jonquiere [D6] This bustling city built on the twin fortunes of aluminum and pulp and paper is an ideal spot to enjoy a summer evening, with many sidewalk cafes, bars, dance clubs, and theaters. Picturesque hiking trails wind their way along the Saguenay River, which, in winter is given over to the roar of snowmobiles. Don't miss the aluminum bridge (1950), which, at 163 t, weighs one-third the weight of an identical steel bridge. In July, Jonquiere hosts the Semaine mondiale de la marionnette, a popular puppetry festival.

Kayaking on the Saguenay

La Baie [E8] Located on the shores of the scenic Baie des Ha! Ha! (which locals simply call "The Sea"), La Baie is a winter haven for anglers, who enjoy ice fishing in small villages of multicolored fishing huts on the frozen bay. Don't miss La Fabuleuse Histoire d'un Royaumc (The Wonderful History of a Kingdom), a play that tells the story of the Saguenay region, from the first Native peoples to the 1996 floods.

Metabetchouan [D2]

This lakeside town is renowned in the area for its dazzling beaches and summer music camp, which has presented concerts by talented unknowns and famous musicians since 1963. In nearby Lac-a-la-Croix, an agricultural interpretation center reveals the secrets and skills of working the land.

Peribonka [A1] This small town became well-known internationally with the publication of Maria Chapdelainc, penned in 1916 by French author Louis Hemon. The story, which centers around the town, was translated into 20 different languages, made into three movies, and is highlighted in a museum devoted to Hemon's work.



Lac-Saint-Jean History Museum Place Festivalma Heritage Quarters Dam-en-Terre tourist complex and beach Le Maligneau Ferry Veloroute des Bleuets (Blueberry Bike Route)


The Basin Quarter Cross of Sainte-Anne Village de la Securite (Safety Village) La Pulperie de Chicoutimi (Old Pulp Company) Pare Riviere-du-Moulin La Marjolaine Cruises


Centre d'histoire et d'archeologie de la Metabetehouane (history and archeology center) Trou de la Fee (The Fairy's Hole grotto) Salmon Fishing


Centre d'histoire Sir-William-Price (history center) Aluminum Bridge National Exhibition Center Riviere-aux-Sables Park and Promenade


Theatre du Palais

Municipal Musee du Fjord Verrerie d'art Touverre (glass factory) Riviere-a-Mars Fish Ladder


Centre d'interpretation de I'agriculture et de la ruralite (exhibition center) Villa des Sables (public beach) Le Rigolet (public beach)


Louis-Hemon Museum Marina


Map of The Saguenay. Detailed map of the highway and local roads of The Saguenay with cities and towns