Is anyone familiar with this park & the backpacking available there? We want to go in the end of August & I am having a hard time getting good info about this location. It looks like they have a Via Ferrata which looks amazing (not backpacking, but fun). Any suggestions for this part of Canada would be appreciated, it doesn't have to be this specific park. Thanks for any advice!
I just got back from Gros Morne in NFLD which looks similar to Saguenay insofar as being fjord-centric, if perhaps more dramatic. The Northern and Long Range traverses are pretty spectacular and not as bush-dense as Quebec and Ontario.
As far as I know about PN Saguenay, there are a couple major backpacking trails in the 30-40km range. They are through-hikes and so you'll need to arrange ground transportation (shuttle, cab, uber, etc). It is my understanding that off-trail hiking deep into the park is possible, though looks like a lot of bush-whacking. The VF does look like an interesting day and I would probably do it if I were in the area for backpacking or otherwise.
Nearby parks include PN Jacques Cartier which looks like it may offer some backpacking promise and seems to allow summer access to the off trail areas, should you opt for a little bushwhacking. It certainly has trails and 'rustic' campsites along them when looking at the map. Nearby Monts Vallin has a number of hiking trails, but nothing particularly over-night related. And they only allow backcountry access in the winter. Pointe Taillon appears to be kayak-, canoe-, and bicycle-centric with campsites arranged into campgrounds along the bike path. The large Ashuapmushuan reserve is built around waterways and offers camping for canoers only. There appear to be no real hiking opportunities here as they play up the coureur-de-bois angle.
Just north of the Saguenay area is ZEC Onatchiway (there may also be other ZECs in the area, I'm not too familiar with them). ZECs are controlled, multiple-use lands. They are shared by all recreational users (hunting, fishing, canoeing, hiking, snowmobiling, ATVing, etc). There may be access fees, but the Onatchiway map seems to show a number of paths and potential campsites.
I would recommend saddling up with someone who speaks French or speaking it yourself. I don't know what Saguenay is like compared to the province's major cities, but once outside of the Greater Montreal and, to an even lesser degree, the Greater Quebec City areas English-speaking Quebecois start to dwindle.