Sentiers Grotte des fées


AN HISTORICAL SITE

A little history

 

In the region, the “cave” is well-known as a secret meeting-place and a party site. Rumor has it that, during World War II, a few runaways took refuge there to avoid conscription. Legend also has it that the site was used for various native rituals.

 

The trails are indeed located on a Micmac site. In 1535, Jacques Cartier recorded the first information on a Micmac trail crossing the region. Donnacona, Iroquois leader in Stadacona, would have told him about Micmac incursions in the Lower St-Lawrence over the first half of the 16th century. “By 1620, Samuel de Champlain had noted Mantanne’s ideal location directly connected with Baie-des-Chaleurs. The Indians would go there on the merging inland rivers. They name Mantanne ‘Kaparipataouangak’ which means land that is pierced”. (Free translation, Histoire de Matane, p.55.)


Micmac seasonal round would naturally follow the migration of wild geese and salmon along RiverMatapédia, Matane, Blanche and Petchedetz rivers. From Baie-des-Chaleurs, the Micmacs would go up the Matapédia River and accross the Matapédia Lake and through the rivers up to the Saint-Lawrence. Blanche River where “La Grotte des fées” is located was used to reach the sea. Our region is located on the continental divide, at the heart of the waterways from Towago Lake to Portage Lake and from Blanche River to Petchedetz River towards Matane River across “Sableux” brook. Today, this system of rivers is still a mean to go on an excursion in three different directions.

 

Everything leads us to believe that the site, with its geographical location, was used as a campground during these seasonal hunting rounds.