The Backwoods of Quebec is Full of Rough Country Trails and Beauty
The following article will outline the best off-road trails in Quebec, Canada for off-road enthusiasts. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced overlander, there is something for everyone. I have also included what to keep in mind when choosing the best trails.
Where to go in Quebec for off-roading?
Mount of Pimbina is an 8.2 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Saint-Donat-de-Montcalm, Quebec, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and ohv/off road driving. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Chemin Paré Trail is a 7.6 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Val-d'Or, Quebec, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and ohv/off road driving.
Domaine-du-Repos Trail is a 5.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Val-d'Or, Quebec, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and ohv/off road driving.
Sentier de la Roche is a 5.1 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Preissac, Quebec, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
L'Aventurier Trail is a 13.0 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Taschereau, Quebec, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Where are the tourist attractions?
Just northeast of Québec City, the wide sweeping waterfall of Chutes Montmorency cascades down an 84-meter escarpment. A narrow pedestrian suspension bridge crosses the Montmorency River to île d'Orléans, enabling you to watch the water rush over the edge right beneath your feet. There is also a cable car, which travels to the top of the falls and provides great views of the surrounding landscape. Chutes Montmorency, 5300 boulevard Sainte-Anne, Québec
Chief among the ski resorts in the Canadian Laurentians is Mont Tremblant – the highest peak (960 meters), located about 150 kilometers north of Montréal. Good dining, entertainment, and ample accommodations define the resort community, which is housed in a quaint pedestrian village. In addition to excellent winter sports conditions, the resort offers plenty of summer activities, including camping, hiking, mountain biking, and golf. >Mont Tremblant, 1000 Chemin des Voyageurs Mont-Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, Québec
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Half a million pilgrims come to the quiet, riverside town of Ste-Anne de Beaupré each year, the home of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Saint Anne is the patron saint of Québec, credited with many miraculous events. The existing structure was built in 1926, however the spot has been home to a house of worship dedicated to Saint Anne since the 17th century. Here, tourists can explore the nature trails and admire the gorge from suspension bridges. Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, 10018 Ave Royale, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, Québec
Mount Royal Park
Mont Royal is not only Montréal's namesake but also the mountain at its heart. The 233-meter peak allows for a fine vantage over the largest city in Québec, especially from the Kondiaronk Belvedere. There are many events in the park, from winter ice-skating on Lac-aux-Castors and cross-country skiing to the beat of many drums at Les Tam-Tams, which happens on summer Sundays near the Sir George-Étienne Cartier monument.
La Citadel de Québec
Sitting atop Cap Diamant and facing the St. Lawrence River, the star-shaped Citadel de Québec has been ready to defend Québec City since 1832. Its imposing presence is punctuated by thick walls and commanding ramparts, which are surrounded by deep ditches. The military museum is open year-round and housed in the fort's former 18th-century powder magazine, and during the summer months, tourists are treated to a daily morning Changing of the Guard ceremony. La Citadel de Québec, 1 Côte de la Citadelle, Québec City, Québec
What should I consider before choosing a trail?
This guide is designed to review the fundamentals of off-roading so you can get started. Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more seasoned off-roader.
Figure out what kind of off-roading you want to do
Before you start preparing your rig for the trail, it’s important to know what type of off-roading you want to do. Your location in Quebec will determine what’s available:
Most roads that are off-pavement but not part of an actual off-road park will fall under the light-trail category. Fire roads are a great example. This is a good place to start for newbies, and the most accessible type of off-roading in general.
Overlanding and Camping
Overlanding involves driving through isolated areas for extended periods of time. This type of off-roading seems to be getting more popular every year, and for good reason. The driving itself isn’t much more difficult than hitting a light trail. It can be as easy or as tough as you like, depending on where you go and how long you stay.
Simply put, mudding involves taking your rig through large amounts of mud! At off-road parks, trails are usually rated as green, blue, or black, in order of ascending difficulty. You might be ok with AWD on a green trail, but blue or black will require 4WD. No matter which mud trails you choose, good off-road tires are required.
Rock crawling is an extreme and more specialized form of off-roading. It involves getting up and over very uneven rocks. Because there are such large gaps and differences in height, drivers will navigate at a much slower pace than if they were mudding. Rock crawling also requires some specialized gear you might not need for other types of off-roading. These include skid plates, lockers, a lift kit, high clearance bumpers, beadlock wheels, and a winch.
Make sure you own an off-road vehicle
Off-road vehicles can be expensive, but they don’t need to be. You can either buy an affordable used 4x4, or spend loads of money perfecting a brand-new, fully loaded off-roader. Lots of cars and trucks have the basics already installed and are ready to go off-roading right from the factory. There are many components that make a good off-road vehicle.
Here are some of the things you should look for in a 4-wheel drive vehicle doing moderate or advanced off-roading:
- Locking Differentials
- Front-facing trail camera
- Trail Control (‘cruise control’ for the trail)
- Electronic disconnecting sway bar
- Off-Road Tires
- Lift Kits
- Winch Kits
- Off-Road Lights
- Body Armor and Skid Plates
Are all off-road bump stops created equal?
There are basically 4 types of off-road bump stops:
- Active Off-Road Bumpstops
- Wheeler Superbumps
- TeraFlex Speedbump bump stops
- Hydraulic bump stops
If price is no object, Hydraulic bump stops are the way to go. They’re filled with shock oil and nitrogen and are adjustable allowing you to fine-tune them. You’re going to need a custom shop that specializes in made-to-measure installation because these bump stops work best in conjunction with your existing shocks. Two of the most popular brands are Bilstein and King. Average price: $700.00 - $1,000.00 US (pair).
TeraFlex Speedbumps use the same principle of a factory bump stop but look and act much like a hydraulic bump stop. Installation requires some customization. Average price: $300.00 - $400.00 (pair).
Wheeler Superbumps resemble factory bump stops but are much taller and provide better ride quality. Average price: $150.00 (pair).
Active Off-Road Bumpstops – manufactured by Timbren Industries – are made from natural rubber and come in different shapes and sizes. Depending on which off-road vehicle you drive, there is a custom kit that will fit. If you can remove a bump stop, you can install Active Off-Road Bumpstops on your chariot. Average cost: $225.00 US (pair).
Depending on your vehicle and current skillset, you will need to choose your destination accordingly. If you are a newbie, I recommend you start with the light trails in Quebec that don’t require the best tools and the most advanced skills.
As you become more experienced and more confident, your desire for more advanced tools and vehicle modifications like suspension upgrades and off-road bump stops will grow. It’s important to put safety first when you decide to leave the pavement and head for the off-road trails of Quebec!
You’ll add more fun to your overnight adventures by hauling an off-road trailer along with you. Off-road trailers that use an independent suspension like the Axle-Less trailer suspension provide maximum comfort and safety.