A French chocolate-maker named Henri Menier (his empire became Nestlé) bought this 7943-sq-km island in 1895 to turn it into his own private hunting ground, and it has only recently begun to unfold its beauty to a growing number of visitors. With its thriving white-tailed deer and salmon populations, it has long been popular with hunters and fishers. Now wildlife reserves are attracting nature lovers to the heavily wooded, cliff-edged island with waterfalls, canyons, caves and rivers.
Though it's possible to reach and tour the island yourself, it requires much planning. Most visitors go with a small-group tour; Sépaq (www.sepaq.com) offers three-, four- and seven-night packages with flights from Montréal, Québec City or Mont Joli, and options to stay in an island inn, lodge, cabin or campground. It also offers shorter, half-day trips, if you arrive on the island on your own.