The National Hiking Trail in the Bas-Saint-Laurent passes through three distinct environments: the coast and lowlands of the Saint Lawrence River, the highland plateaus, and the Notre-Dame Mountains area of Temiscouata.
The Coast and the Lowlands of the Saint Lawrence
The Saint Lawrence estuary and the Rivière des Trois Pistoles are this sector's main features. Its history includes prehistoric occupation of the territory by indigenous peoples and its later use by Basque
fishermen. Because the waterways provided relatively easy access, this was also one of the first areas colonized by Europeans.
This sector is characterized by many rivers and streams, a landscape of farms and forests, and villages close to the trail. The Trois Pistoles, Plainasse, Sénescoupé, Toupiké and Plate rivers offer hikers great
views and access to the water, while the nearby villages make it easy and pleasant to meet and talk with the people of the region. The highland plateaus also mark the boundary between the Saint Lawrence and Saint John River watersheds.
The Notre-Dame Mountains and Lake Témiscouata
This sector is more forested and mountainous than the other two, creating the strong impression of being far from civilization. The first section of the trail is characterized by large forests and small mountains,
with wildlife at every turn. The second section follows the shores of Lake Témiscouata and meanders through the farms and forests of the Saint-Juste-du-Lac area. The prehistoric occupation of this area by indigenous peoples will be highlighted in the coming years by the Sépaq, as it constructs the facilities for the Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, scheduled for completion in 2012.
The National Hiking Trail in the Bas-Saint-Laurent is the region's longest network of linear hiking trails, passing through ten municipalities from Trois-Pistoles to Dégelis. The trail is divided into twelve segments, each extending for 8 to 15 kilometres.