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Snowmobile Contest: An Interview with a Winner
  • Côte-Nord
    Lou Lanthier

Snowmobile Contest: An Interview with a Winner

An Exceptional Trip in Côte-Nord

In February 2023, Lou Lanthier, a resident of Ontario, was finally able to go on the trip he won during our 2021-2022 snowmobile contest. Mr. Lanthier won an 8-day, 7-night stay in Côte-Nord in the company of three guests. We asked him a few questions about his snowmobile adventure upon his return.

Le Québec maritime (LQM): Can you tell us about your trip? Was this your first snowmobile ride in the Côte-Nord region?

Lou Lanthier (LL): We have done many trips in [various regions and areas] in Québec including Monts-Valin, Québec City, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Mont-Laurier and Lanaudière. This was our first trip to the Côte-Nord region, and we were very much looking forward to it. We started with a stop in Québec City to watch the Superbowl game and rest up for our upcoming journey. [In Côte-Nord], we began and ended our trip in Sacré-Coeur and did the following route: Sacré-Coeur – Forestville – Baie-Comeau – Sept-Îles – Baie-Comeau – Les Escoumins –Sacré-Coeur. Most days, we rode between 75 km (45 mi.) and 200 km (125 mi.), but a couple days were close to 300 km (185 mi.). A mid-February start did not disappoint as the conditions were fantastic and the trails were well groomed throughout the region.

LQM: What do you think distinguishes this region from other snowmobile destinations?

LL: An abundance of snow first comes to mind and the raw beauty of the region. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t have a view of the St. Lawrence and mountainous terrain.

LQM: Despite the vagaries of winter, how did you find the trail conditions (grooming, signage, etc.)?

LL: Conditions and signage were perfect. We never got lost thanks to the excellent signage and the use of the Garmin GPS. [We had] an interesting encounter with a special trail warden outside of Baie-Comeau… He stopped us and after checking our trail passes and documents asked where we were going. We mentioned we were going to Hôtel Le Manoir, which was another 15 km to 20 km (about 10 mi.). He explained how to get there and went a step further and escorted us right to the front door of the hotel—he insisted, and it was much appreciated after a long day on the trails. He took our picture on top of the mountain overlooking the hotel. Needless to say, his kind gesture was probably one of the best encounters we have had in all our years snowmobiling!

LQM: What did you love the most about this region and why?

LL: The people are very friendly, and the food is always fantastic. The accommodations were excellent, and we especially enjoyed our stay at Hôtel Le Manoir in Baie-Comeau.

LQM: What tips would you give snowmobilers who are visiting the Côte-Nord region for the first time?

LL: No real tips other than to take the time and add this region to your list of must-do snowmobile tours. You won’t be disappointed!

LQM: Have you visited other regions or countries to go snowmobiling?

LL: We live in the Ottawa Valley and enjoy snowmobiling in Ontario. We’re retired and avid snowmobilers so more and more, we’re heading to Québec destinations for snowmobile trips.

LQM: How many kilometres do you travel by snowmobile each year?

LL: We typically ride approximately 3500 km (2200 mi.) per season. We don’t consider ourselves high-mileage riders but will flow with trail and weather conditions.

LQM: What model snowmobile do you ride?

LL: My wife and I both ride Ski-Doo snowmobiles ([she rides a] 2017 Renegade Enduro 900; for this trip I had a 2012 Grand Touring SE 1200 and have since moved to a 2022 Renegade Enduro 900T). Our riding partners on this trip had a 2019 Ski-Doo Enduro 900 and a 2022 Yamaha Sidewinder Turbo.

LQM: What would you like to visit on your next trip to our regions?

LL: We planned to cross the St. Lawrence by ferry from Baie-Comeau to Matane while we were in the area but decided against it due to other commitments. This is on the bucket list, and we’re planning to do a trip there this year.

Would you like to go on a snowmobile trip in Côte-Nord? Let Mr. Lanthier’s itinerary inspire you to create your own!

Snowmobile trip itinerary

Day 1: Sacré-Coeur

Day 2: Sacré-Coeur to Forestville

  • Trails: Trans-Québec trail #93 (TQ93), Trans-Québec trail #3 (TQ3) and a local trail
  • Distance travelled: 140 km (85 mi.)
  • Dinner and overnight: EconoLodge Forestville

Day 3: Forestville to Baie-Comeau

Day 4: Baie-Comeau to Sept-Îles

  • Trails: TQ3 and local trails
  • Distance travelled: 285 km (175 mi.)
  • Dinner and overnight: Hôtel Les Mouettes

Day 5: Sept-Îles to Baie-Comeau

  • Trails: TQ3 and local trails 
  • Distance travelled: 285 km (175 mi.)
  • Dinner and overnight: Hôtel Le Manoir

Day 6: Baie-Comeau to Les Escoumins

Day 7: Les Escoumins to Sacré-Coeur

  • Trails: TQ3 and TQ93
  • Distance travelled: 65 km (40 mi.)
  • Dinner and overnight: Hôtel Motel Coronet

Day 8: Sacré-Coeur to back home!

Author Anne-Josée Pineau

Born in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Anne-Josée Pineau loves this region and is delighted to introduce others to it. Never far from the sea, she’s fascinated by lighthouses and could live on seafood alone! On this blog, she likes to write about our regions’ unusual attractions, make your mouth water by describing local delicacies, and pique your interest by revealing some of the hidden beauty found in Québec by the Sea. In other words, she wants to provide you with lots of ideas for an unforgettable vacation!

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