The Québec maritime Blog
Are you an avid snowmobiler in search of unusual experiences? Gaspésie, Bas-Saint-Laurent and Côte-Nord all offer you the opportunity to enjoy amazing and unforgettable snowmobile rides. Let yourself be tempted by these seven adventures.
1. Matane–Baie-Comeau/Godbout ferry
Did you know that you can cross the St. Lawrence on your snowmobile? Board the MV F.-A.-Gauthier ferry and travel between Matane, in Gaspésie, and Baie-Comeau or Godbout, in Côte-Nord. Take advantage of the onboard amenities (restaurant, bar, video screenings, lounges, etc.) while you soak up the magnificent view of the St. Lawrence.
2. Deer wintering areas
As you ride the trails of Bas-Saint-Laurent, you will most likely spot many white-tailed deer. A good place to observe this species is at Pohénégamook Santé Plein Air where they come to feed in the winter. Trail #546 and Trans-Québec trail #35 between Squatec and Saint-Narcisse-de-Rimouski are also good observation areas, especially along the Rimouski River. Keep your eyes peeled!
3. Snowmobile bridge on the Manicouagan River
As you explore Côte-Nord, be sure to ride across the world’s highest snowmobile bridge, which spans the Manicouagan River. This impressive structure is 213 metres (700 feet) long and nearly 28 metres (90 feet) high. You will also have the opportunity to cross several other bridges in Côte-Nord, since this region is home to many rivers.
4. A forest of ghost trees…
An unusual weather phenomenon occurs in Gaspésie along regional trail #587 N, which leads to the top of the Saint-Pierre Mountain in La Rédemption. Produced by wind, humidity and pressure, this “frost amplification zone” results in a forest covered in a thick blanket of frost, which makes the trees look like ghosts. You won’t soon forget this otherworldly sight!
5. L’Isle-Verte ice bridge
One of the must-sees for snowmobilers visiting Bas-Saint-Laurent is the ice bridge that links the municipality of L’Isle-Verte to the village of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, on Île Verte (Green Island). When the ice is really solid, this bridge becomes the only way for tourists and the island’s 30 or so permanent residents to get to the island or back to the mainland. While you’re there, be sure to stop and admire the Île Verte Lighthouse, the oldest in Québec. If the weather is too mild for the ice bridge to form, transportation is available by helicopter according to a set schedule.
6. The White Trail
The White Trail is a unique snow road that offers you the opportunity to discover the villages and people of the Lower North Shore. What’s even more exceptional about this trail is that it’s the only way to travel by land in the winter. Other than by boat or plane, snowmobiles are thus the only means of transportation between these municipalities. Note that this is an expert trail; if you have never done this type of expedition before, you must travel with a guide.
7. Wind turbines
Snowmobilers who explore the trails of Gaspésie will be particularly impressed by the wind turbines that dot the landscape in certain areas. Visit Murdochville, Cap-Chat, Carleton, Matane and La Rédemption to see these impressive structures. In Cap-Chat, you can admire the tallest vertical axis wind turbine in the world.
The maritime regions of Québec are full of hidden treasures that make for memorable snowmobile rides. Have we missed any? Please share your trip highlights with us in the comments below!
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