Perce Rock – Rocher Perce
The Rock Perce represents one of the major attractions of the Gaspesie region and it became its graphic symbol.
The Rock consists of a monumental 470-meters or 1,540-feet long butte rising out of the sea just near the coast. This fascinating geological formation attracts visitors from all the four corners of the world. The huge mass of rock, sandstone, siltstone and limestone with calcite veining is an exciting site. Its shoreline stretches more than 200 metres in length with a hole of 20 metres high. It stands more than 45 metres high and weighs five million tonnes.
Every year, the Rock Perce loses about 3 hundred tonnes of its mass under the action of water and wind, so if the process is not reversed, it will disappear in about 15 thousand years from now. More than 150 species of different fossils have been fond here, such as brachiopod, trilobites, dalminites, corals and marine worms.
The rock's appearance has changed through the times. The French geographer and founder of Quebec City Samuel de Champlain described the Perce Rock as a large rock of only one arch, in 1603. However, an English officer drew a picture of Percé Rock with double arches, in 1760 and one of this arches collapsed later, in 1845. A few species of whales, such as blue whale, humpback whale, minke whale or fin whale are sighted off the coast at Percé, Bonaventure Island and in Forillon National Park, from May to December.
Guests can see the powerful spray of these mammals as they surface for oxygen. Anyone wishing to get a better view can take a whale watching cruise. Besides, from May to December as well, tourists admire grey and harbour seals as these large mammals bask in the sun on the rocks along the shore.
Near the rock Perce, the Forillon National Park of Canada is located and to the south, the Chaleurs Bay, wiith its sandy beaches, rightly designated as one of the best destinations.
The phantom of Perce Rock Legend: For many years people believed and possibly some still do the famed Perce Rock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was haunted by a young Bride-to-be. On her way to marry a French officer at Quebec her ship was captured by pirates. When she rebuffed advances made by their leader she was abandoned on the rock and many people claimed they saw her each night at sunset. Legend maintains the pirate ship turned to stone and became part of the rock.