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The Gaspe Leadership Expedition equips individuals with the skills they need to be future trip leaders at Chewonki and beyond. Participants must have successfully completed one or more Chewonki wilderness trips, or had similar experiences, and have an interest in wilderness leadership. This incredible journey takes participants to the international Appalachian trail in the stunning landscape of remote peaks in the Chic Choc Mountains of the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec.

Wilderness Travel, Backpacking & Camping

Participants engage in the steps needed to fully execute an extended backpacking expedition in the remote boreal forest and above tree line subarctic regions. Curriculum includes route planning, gear use, risk management and decision making on the trail. The group puts these skills to work and embarks on their own extended wilderness-backpacking trip in this fascinating part of the world.

The Trip

This is a multi-faceted, cross-cultural experience integrating French Quebec culture and outdoor leadership. Participants travel from Chewonki by van to the Matane Reserve in eastern Quebec.

Here the group will begin backpacking on the International Appalachian Trail. The group will hike east for the next 3 weeks, practicing expedition behavior while backpacking through the Parc de la Gaspésie. The route traverses the stunning peaks of the Chic-Choc Mountains, home to the southernmost herd of caribou in eastern Canada.

On the trail the group will practice the skills of wilderness travel, including leadership, route finding, and “Leave No Trace” camping techniques. Much of time, the group is above the treeline, living far from ordinary life and close to many types of wildlife.

At trip’s end, the group returns to Wiscasset to share and celebrate their experiences with the rest of the Chewonki community.