Looking for Advice on Vallee Bras Du Nord Shannahan- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for Advice on Vallee Bras Du Nord Shannahan

    I would like to take a 2 or 3 day trip up to Vallee Bras Du Nord this spring or summer. When is a good time to go? Weather, black flies, mosquitoes, etc... I'm not looking to freeze but good with overnight temps on the cooler side.

    Probably going to camp out of my truck but may grab a room (depends if I go with a chicky or solo). So I'd love to hear info on solid campgrounds as well as hotel info.

    Looks like mostly XC type trails? No need to bring a DH?

    Any must do or must see things? Brewpubs? Awesome food?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    The St. Raymond sector in town is more flowy, XC type riding. The riding in Shannahan ranges from 100% dirt-covered "flow country" XC style riding, to rocky enduro-style descents. A long travel trail bike would be a good choice. I wouldn't recommend a full-on DH bike.

    If you are staying in Shannahan, you'll want to pick up supplies in St. Raymond before you go. It's a bit of a drive from town to the park; about 20 minutes IIRC, and there isn't much in the way of conveniences in Shannahan.

    We rented a cabin at the park. It was nice. Hot showers. Solar electric lights. Fridge, stove, etc.

    The visitors centre in St. Raymond has a small restaurant attached. Good local brewed beer. The food was alright. There is a budget motel out back, and the St. Raymond trails start right there.

    If you like technical singletrack, you have to do La Neilson. You climb up a gravel road and descend on Neilson. The trail parallels the river and passes by several waterfalls on the descent. Do it when it's dry. There are other trails you can combine with it to create an epic ride. Rumour has it they are adding even more distance to it this year.

    There was a good thread on Vallee Bras du Nord in this subforum. See if you can find it. There was some good advice in that thread.

    Cheers.

  3. #3
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    Shannahan..

    I rode Shannahan sector last week of August last summer. No bugs, weather was good. Only downside was the bike shop was closed because Quebec schools start up a week b4 Ontario, so their "summer" was done! But I had good choice of campsites and never needed anything form the shop. But the staff at the centre opened it up for me anyway so I could buy a Bras du Nord jersey
    There is an 18 site un-serviced campground at the trailhead/visitor centre. I have a small trailer with solar so self sufficient for boondocking. It fit perfectly and a truck camper would fit too on these smallish sites. I can't comment on the other accommodations although I did see the yurts tucked away in the woods near the main trails. Not sure how vehicles access them since the river crossing is a bikes/hikers only cable bridge. The staff and everyone I met was very helpful and friendly, I really enjoyed it here. I'm in Muskoka so it was a long haul to get here or I would come more often.

    There is a nice mix of trails for everyone with my favourites ranging from flowy, fun/ big berm trails to double black diamond trails like Nielson. Nielson was my favourite and I'm an intermediate rider and I was fine. I walked a few short features, not a big deal. The scenery along that trail is spectacular! I was on my Sherpa 27.5+ and it was perfect for these trails but any mtbike is fine . It is all XC riding. My pics....
    https://goo.gl/photos/5dFesusrvC4hipex6
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Thanks for the info guys. How is it in May or June? I'd like 65F or above daytime and fine with 40F overnight. I'm going blind so I don't have much to go off. I realize it's far north. I'm about 7 and a half hour away and probably 400-420 miles. I'm about 60 miles north of NYC.
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    Bike question:

    I would take a FS Remedy probably with 150 rear and 160 front travel. I'd probably look to take another bike. Question would be, would I get more utility out of a hardtail (Canfield EPO w/ 140mm shock) or my Stigmata (more all around road bike).

    Photo spots: I love to take pictures. Please let me know any must see areas.
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  6. #6
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    Yep May and June should be fine but bring bug spray. You won't need it so much when riding during the day when moving but depending on where you stop and in the mornings and evenings the blackflies and or mosquitoes can be a nuisance. I'm further away than that (10-11 hrs) and still considered it worthwhile and would like to go back. The trail work being done there is amazing and expanding every year. I liked the area, the scenery and feel of the place had a good vibe. My french language skills are very basic btw but I had no issues everyone was great helping me with whatever. Lots of info on their website.

  7. #7
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    The Stigmata would be pretty much useless there. The Nielson Nord & Sud are as scenic as it gets ..that's where most off my pics were taken. Some of the hikes climbing to the top of the vallee would be very scenic and also graet for photography
    Last edited by BlackCanoeDog; 02-06-2017 at 05:17 PM.

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    Great! This is what I needed to hear. I wasn't sure if I'd have hard pack roads like VT for the Stigmata. Sounds like Remedy FS and Hardtail would be fun.

    I'll check out your photos. Looking forward to it.

    If I were to hit it in mid May, would it be reasonable to say no black flies yet and snow melted? Mud season? I don't want to guess as my snowall has been lackluster but different world up there.

    Where to stay?

  9. #9
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    You're getting some great advice here and you're in good hands.

    If you have any unanswered questions send [email protected] an email - he's an awesome and helpful guy who is very active in the area, and a builder of many of those trails.

    Enjoy the trip this place is an incredible experience and a true 'destination' mtb network.
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    Great! This is what I needed to hear. I wasn't sure if I'd have hard pack roads like VT for the Stigmata. Sounds like Remedy FS and Hardtail would be fun.

    I'll check out your photos. Looking forward to it.

    If I were to hit it in mid May, would it be reasonable to say no black flies yet and snow melted? Mud season? I don't want to guess as my snowall has been lackluster but different world up there.

    Where to stay?
    That will all depend on the sort of spring weather we get, it's different every year. Where I am we having a mega snow year this winter, probably heading towards a record. When this all melts it's going to be very wet for quite some time. Last spring was opposite, very dry and it carried right through summer. My suggestion is early May start emailing Giles Morneau. His contact info is on the mountain biking section of their website. He is the go to guy for info. I also got good intel by telephone and by messaging back and forth on their fb page!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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  11. #11
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    one of my favourite Shannahan videos...



    ..and a good over view..

    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

  12. #12
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    That's great info. Looking at the videos aND pics...I wanna go now!!!

  13. #13
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    ^^Open year round!!
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

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    Can't really add anything else to this, other than to echo what other people have already mentioned and to say that the riding is great.

    I went the week following Canada Day. The weather was pretty much the same as here in Ontario; hot. Lots of water there to cool off in, though. I also do not recall much in the way of bugs and I don't think that I even put any bug spray on.

    I stayed in the motel in St Raymond. It was cheap, beer/food on site and some of the trails are literally a few feet from your room. Couldn't be better.

    One tip I have is to download the Ondago app to your phone and then grab the maps. There is no cell phone reception in the Shanahan area, so having the offline map using GPS was a great tool (and seemed more accurate than the paper map).

    I wouldn't worry about what bike to bring, as long as its not your downhill bike. Ride what you are most comfortable with. Some trails are very smooth, others are rocky. But nothing over the top.

    Vallee-Bras-du-Nord Photo Album - Pinkbike

    One thing that I'm curious about is if they close the trails when it rains. On the last day of my trip, it literally rained for 20 hours so I didn't even bother trying to ride.

  15. #15
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    Photo spots: La Neilson, Chute a Gilles, Chute Delanie.

    Temperature: it is north, but not that far north. I can't imagine the average summertime temps being more than a degree or two below what they are in NY state.

    When to go: mid-September would be my choice. Leaves changing colour (but hopefully not falling yet), fewer biting bugs around, cooler evenings better for camping, less humid than the height of summer. May might be mucky if they have a late spring thaw.

    Salut!

  16. #16
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    Hi Everyone, Gilles Morneau here, Biscut followed your advice and wrote to me, let's share the answer:
    "Opening: Usually, we open the trails in mid-may. And yes we are buried under snow like never before, so maybe opening can be delayed. But there is no automatic correlation between amount of snow and mud season. Depends way more of the kind of spring we have. So if i were you, i'd plan for last week of may, or hold off for July. (less mosquitos in may).

    Accomodation: We have a really cool hotel/pub/microbrewery called The Roquemont Hotel where bikers hang out, in the village of st-raymond, at the trailhead of one of our two hubs.

    To stay more into the wild, you have options at the Shannahan trail hub:
    Cottages for 6 to 12 people, fully equipped, one has a nice garage to store bikes
    camping, where you have toilets but no running water and no showers.

    we also have nice Yurts, but you cannot park your car there, you have to walk/ride a few kms, so less popular with bikers.

    Language: Not speaking french was "not a problem" when i asked to guys like you coming from the States, after tehir stay. the staff of the Valley is bilingual, riders are, some citizens in St-raymond are a bit less educated but you'll manage to get and do whetever you need. will just add local colour to your experience."


    For Canadmos who wondered if we close trails in case of rain: We do it only in extreme situations. We have closed the trails for maybe 2-3 days in the last whole 5 years. We know you are coming from far away so we don't want to ruin your vacation by closing at the first rain. However we rely on your judgment, you know it when it rains so much and your wheels create ruts that will need hours of maintenance. You understand that if our crews spend their time repairing the trails, they spend less time opening new trails. We prefer opening new trails, you like new trails, so be wise! :-)

    scoop: our signature trail The Neilson will be upgraded with a new section this summer, which will make it EPIC.

  17. #17
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    Tuned in.

    I plan to head up this coming season.

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    I was interested so I posted up and due to your answers I am definitely going to make the trip! Looking forward to it!! Now to decide when.
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  19. #19
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    I had a wonderful trip to Vallée last summer. The Neilson was the highlight of my season trail wise. I only wish there'd been someone to laugh at the hilarious cries of joy I made on the way down. Literally never stopped once to look at the scenery, but I caught some of it in my peripheral vision.

    I thought all the facilities were wonderful. Very cool feel out at Shannahan. You feel like you're away from it all. Best to stock up and just enjoy being out there. There's a nice river you can soak it after the ride.

    Heads up. No cell reception out there for this Telus user.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamfromCanada View Post
    I had a wonderful trip to Vallée last summer. The Neilson was the highlight of my season trail wise. I only wish there'd been someone to laugh at the hilarious cries of joy I made on the way down. Literally never stopped once to look at the scenery, but I caught some of it in my peripheral vision.

    I thought all the facilities were wonderful. Very cool feel out at Shannahan. You feel like you're away from it all. Best to stock up and just enjoy being out there. There's a nice river you can soak it after the ride.

    Heads up. No cell reception out there for this Telus user.

    No cell reception for anyone I think.

    This is VERY inconvenient when Gilles has sent you a nice, detailed email about a great route to follow and you can't access it at the trail head when you have a map in front of you (and fail to do any pre-ride research).

    Consequently, you ride every other trail but Neilson, leaving it until the end. But you are feeling slightly off so you head straight back to the car and call it a day. You get back to your campsite, pull up the email to be reminded that Neilson is THE trail to ride in Shannahan. You ride St. Raymond the next day, intending to return to ride Neilson on day 3, and it's pouring rain

    My story. The end.
    Straight outta Rossland

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    No cell reception for anyone I think.

    This is VERY inconvenient when Gilles has sent you a nice, detailed email about a great route to follow and you can't access it at the trail head when you have a map in front of you (and fail to do any pre-ride research).

    Consequently, you ride every other trail but Neilson, leaving it until the end. But you are feeling slightly off so you head straight back to the car and call it a day. You get back to your campsite, pull up the email to be reminded that Neilson is THE trail to ride in Shannahan. You ride St. Raymond the next day, intending to return to ride Neilson on day 3, and it's pouring rain

    My story. The end.
    Still way better than a day at work !

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    No cell reception for anyone I think.

    This is VERY inconvenient when Gilles has sent you a nice, detailed email about a great route to follow and you can't access it at the trail head when you have a map in front of you (and fail to do any pre-ride research).

    Consequently, you ride every other trail but Neilson, leaving it until the end. But you are feeling slightly off so you head straight back to the car and call it a day. You get back to your campsite, pull up the email to be reminded that Neilson is THE trail to ride in Shannahan. You ride St. Raymond the next day, intending to return to ride Neilson on day 3, and it's pouring rain

    My story. The end.
    Correct ..I'm with Bell and had no coverage at Shannahan.
    Jeff, knowing of many of the amazing places you have ridden and are going to be riding, I can't be feeling TOO sorry for you! Questions ...based on the above then, there is cell reception at the campground on the river? Can you save maps from Trailforks to the phone then access them from phone memory? Did you ride David trail and if so was it worth it's 24K ? I read in another thread that it wasn't!!! I didn't get to it on my visit last year

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Correct ..I'm with Bell and had no coverage at Shannahan.
    Jeff, knowing of many of the amazing places you have ridden and are going to be riding, I can't be feeling TOO sorry for you! Questions ...based on the above then, there is cell reception at the campground on the river? Can you save maps from Trailforks to the phone then access them from phone memory? Did you ride David trail and if so was it worth it's 24K ? I read in another thread that it wasn't!!! I didn't get to it on my visit last year
    We got spotty reception at Camping Etsanha. Enough to pull up stuff if patient. We were however not down by the river but rather in their 'RV' camping up top, not sure if there is better or worse reception there (1-2km apart). I have trailforks on my phone, with downloaded maps, but haven't seem to have much luck with it 'offline'. I had picked up a paper map when we bought the pass, just failed to recall what trails Gilles had said was a must do (which was Neilson). So we essentially went clockwise, when Gilles recommended doing the trails counter.

    And we didn't do David, it was closed. I should have said we did all the trails centralized around the river, about 30km, without Neilson. Intention was to do it, but I had left a bottle of Eload on my bike, in the back of the truck for a couple days, then for some reason left in on my bike for the ride and drank out of it. By the time we got to Neilson (which we were going to do last) I had a big tummy ache and decided to head back.

    Hopefully we'll make it back in the near future to ride there again. We combined that trip with Carrabesset and Edmunston. Good week of riding.
    Straight outta Rossland

  24. #24
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    Ah that's it I remember now! David was also closed when I was there. Neilson will be getting an extention as I was told while there, and confirmed by Giles in this thread. I don't know if that is via new trail or by linking it to other existing trail

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    I personally wouldn't bother with Trailsforks, for this area. The free offline maps in the Ondago app are awesome.

    Should also note if you stay at the Roquemont motel, they also have a secure bike lockup area. You have to request a key from reception and then return it after accessing the room. You can lock your bike to racks in that secured room. Pretty nice for if you want to go do something else and not have to worry about the bike(s).

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    Hi, here's more information about:
    CELL PHONE: you guys are addicted to the signal, lol . When you come in the valley, we want you to unplug, free your mind, enter the ride zone, so Ondago offline is your best bet, and checking the e-mail Gilles sent you with trails recommendations

    If you absolutely need the signal, you go into the Shannahan Welcome center, (on on the stairs when it is closed), we have a cell signal booster which makes it possible to have a basic connection at all times, whoever is your phone supplier.

    DAVID TRAIL: It was closed all 2016 season, because it was blocked by a beaver dam and we can't disturb those animals except in major cases. And let's be honest about it, it was added to our network the first years, to add mileage, but now we have enough single track to give you a few days of happiness, and that trail wasn't used enough and nobody requested its return, so we just decided to cancel it for 2017. Same thing for Tomahawk trail. And we are in reflection about Descente aux Enfers, maybe we'll close it, maybe we'll rerun the part that was destructed last spring.

    NEILSON: Most of you have ridden Neilson North(#4-5 on the map) and South(#6 on the map). We just added Neilson East (#1,2,3), which will replace the gravel road up to Neilson South. You will instead have to climb/push west coast style the famous "Côte à Ti-Oui", a steep rutted forest road for (at least) 30 minutes, which will make you regret the old time when you had a granny gear. Then you (mostly) descend towards Neilson south trailhead, with the option of climbing even higher with loop#3. After that, you go do Neilson North as usual. Guys who have tried this new section last fall were amazed to say the least. This way, Neilson will become an epic one-day ride. We'll be testing this summer a shuttle on designed days to avoid the "Côte à Ti-Oui climb for the faint at heart.

    This summer, we'll be adding single track along section #4 and even upper, to take off the gravel road climb and add a bunch of super-nice waterfalls.Looking for Advice on Vallee Bras Du Nord Shannahan-neilson-est.jpg

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGILZ View Post
    Hi, here's more information about:
    CELL PHONE: you guys are addicted to the signal, lol . When you come in the valley, we want you to unplug, free your mind, enter the ride zone, so Ondago offline is your best bet, and checking the e-mail Gilles sent you with trails recommendations

    If you absolutely need the signal, you go into the Shannahan Welcome center, (on on the stairs when it is closed), we have a cell signal booster which makes it possible to have a basic connection at all times, whoever is your phone supplier.

    DAVID TRAIL: It was closed all 2016 season, because it was blocked by a beaver dam and we can't disturb those animals except in major cases. And let's be honest about it, it was added to our network the first years, to add mileage, but now we have enough single track to give you a few days of happiness, and that trail wasn't used enough and nobody requested its return, so we just decided to cancel it for 2017. Same thing for Tomahawk trail. And we are in reflection about Descente aux Enfers, maybe we'll close it, maybe we'll rerun the part that was destructed last spring.

    NEILSON: Most of you have ridden Neilson North(#4-5 on the map) and South(#6 on the map). We just added Neilson East (#1,2,3), which will replace the gravel road up to Neilson South. You will instead have to climb/push west coast style the famous "Côte à Ti-Oui", a steep rutted forest road for (at least) 30 minutes, which will make you regret the old time when you had a granny gear. Then you (mostly) descend towards Neilson south trailhead, with the option of climbing even higher with loop#3. After that, you go do Neilson North as usual. Guys who have tried this new section last fall were amazed to say the least. This way, Neilson will become an epic one-day ride. We'll be testing this summer a shuttle on designed days to avoid the "Côte à Ti-Oui climb for the faint at heart.

    This summer, we'll be adding single track along section #4 and even upper, to take off the gravel road climb and add a bunch of super-nice waterfalls.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Neilson est.jpg 
Views:	228 
Size:	95.2 KB 
ID:	1121263

    Holy crap man. I'm excited. Neilson was already great enough!

  28. #28
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    I did the Côte à Ti-Oui climb in Raid Bras du Nord several years ago. That climb is no joke. Redlining all the way up in granny gear!

    I am looking forward to trying out the descent on Neilson East.

    Merci!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGILZ View Post
    Hi, here's more information about:
    CELL PHONE: you guys are addicted to the signal, lol . When you come in the valley, we want you to unplug, free your mind, enter the ride zone, so Ondago offline is your best bet, and checking the e-mail Gilles sent you with trails recommendations

    If you absolutely need the signal, you go into the Shannahan Welcome center, (on on the stairs when it is closed), we have a cell signal booster which makes it possible to have a basic connection at all times, whoever is your phone supplier.

    DAVID TRAIL: It was closed all 2016 season, because it was blocked by a beaver dam and we can't disturb those animals except in major cases. And let's be honest about it, it was added to our network the first years, to add mileage, but now we have enough single track to give you a few days of happiness, and that trail wasn't used enough and nobody requested its return, so we just decided to cancel it for 2017. Same thing for Tomahawk trail. And we are in reflection about Descente aux Enfers, maybe we'll close it, maybe we'll rerun the part that was destructed last spring.

    NEILSON: Most of you have ridden Neilson North(#4-5 on the map) and South(#6 on the map). We just added Neilson East (#1,2,3), which will replace the gravel road up to Neilson South. You will instead have to climb/push west coast style the famous "Côte à Ti-Oui", a steep rutted forest road for (at least) 30 minutes, which will make you regret the old time when you had a granny gear. Then you (mostly) descend towards Neilson south trailhead, with the option of climbing even higher with loop#3. After that, you go do Neilson North as usual. Guys who have tried this new section last fall were amazed to say the least. This way, Neilson will become an epic one-day ride. We'll be testing this summer a shuttle on designed days to avoid the "Côte à Ti-Oui climb for the faint at heart.

    This summer, we'll be adding single track along section #4 and even upper, to take off the gravel road climb and add a bunch of super-nice waterfalls.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Neilson est.jpg 
Views:	228 
Size:	95.2 KB 
ID:	1121263
    Thanks for all your work there Gilles and keeping us up to date. You just convinced me I need to return this summer.
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

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    "We'll be testing this summer a shuttle on designed days to avoid the "Côte à Ti-Oui climb for the faint at heart.". Plan on coming out for several days with above avg skilled 14 year old rider. Can go all day at Kingdom in VT but certainly don't want to kill him on any epic distances and long rides UP to do the epic shorter trails I read about here. Shuttles if available in parts can open up a lot more area to some who are skilled enough but lack some climbing strength or fitness. Myself at 55 shy away alittle when I Trail one looking at map.thx

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    With your 14 ear old rider, you should indeed try to come on a day where the shuttle will be operating, or if not possible, take him to do only Neilson North and/or Neilson south. Côte à Ti-oui is for adults, or at least 16 like my son. At 58, i'm still able to climb it and you should be. lol

    I will try not to forget to post here when we have decided the days the shuttle will be operating. thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGILZ View Post
    With your 14 ear old rider, you should indeed try to come on a day where the shuttle will be operating, or if not possible, take him to do only Neilson North and/or Neilson south. Côte à Ti-oui is for adults, or at least 16 like my son. At 58, i'm still able to climb it and you should be. lol

    I will try not to forget to post here when we have decided the days the shuttle will be operating. thanks.
    Sounds good , Thanks I look forward to Shedule. 👍🏽

  33. #33
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    Thanks to this thread 6 of us are heading to Vallee Bras Du Nord for a week in August. House is rented and I am already stoked after watching videos of Neilson. With five days to ride we are thinking of heading over to Sentiers du Moulin for a day as well.

  34. #34
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    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Shannahan Sector...

    Nice ride report and sweet pics popped up on Pinkbike a few days ago!
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/the-mo...nord-2017.html
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Check out mtbqc.ca

    Some great ride here: MTBQC.ca. These routes looks particularly good: M. Neilson and Enduro Noir.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    Some great ride here: MTBQC.ca. These routes looks particularly good: M. Neilson and Enduro Noir.
    Nicely done website!
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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    Went to Shanahan yesterday for first time. I've been reading about this place for a few weeks now, and how amazing the Neilson was, well I decided to give it a go, well half of it anyway since I was short on time.
    So I'm a newb to mtb, been road riding for years, have been really getting into mtb over the last year.
    The climb up cote a ti Oui was amazingly hard but the ride down was great, really well done and really fun, the views were amazing, I found the Neilson south was harder than I can handle just yet and had to walk some parts. I wiped out bad on one of the bridges, the trail kicked my ass, But all in all it was a hell of a challenge, I questioned my sanity while doing it, but will definitely go back to do the full Neilson.

    If your up for a challenge. Or are a better rider than me, I reccomend it all the way.

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    I was there on Sunday. It just keeps growing.

    There's a new climbing route that bypasses a portion of the road if you are biking up to the start of Neilson Nord. There's an extra section tacked onto Le Grand Ourse that passes a feathery waterfall. Very nice. L'Aurore has been extended much further up the mountain side and Le Boreal now starts where it ends. There is another new flow trail (Nutella?) near Delaney falls that we didn't have time to do.

    When we arrived there around noon, the parking lot was full, a new parking lot across the road was almost full, and when we returned to the parking lot after our ride, there were cars parked on the road. Despite that, we never felt the trails we rode were crowded at all. I assume most people chose to ride the easier flow trails to the south, or they retreated early to cool off in the river.

    So much good riding within an hour of Quebec city! And not just at VBDN. Sentiers du Moulin, Lac Delage, MSA....
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  40. #40
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    ^ Thank you for the updates Ray.V.!

    We loved VBN both Shannon and St Raymond and hope to visit again this fall.
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  41. #41
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    To add...

    Since hitting up VBN last season we've been back quite a few times despite the five hour drive. The Neilson trails are really great. Old school challenging tech combined with new school flow.

    To the builders... great job, keep up the good work, and please keep at least some of your trails challenging on the downs and the climbs.

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    Sorry if I'm late in the game. Everything has been said but I can add this:

    For Nelson North I always try to avoid the climb on the infamous "Côte à Ti-Oui". What I do is take my pick-up truck and once at the Shanahan welcome center I try to meet other biker groups who also have a pick-up. We all shuttle up using one truck and then take the other one after the ride to go get the first truck. There is an additional 10$ entry fee, which we usually split with the other riders.

    Works every time.

  43. #43
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    Back after our vacation in the Vallee....... WOW!
    Trails were awesome. Campground (Chalet Estanha) was quiet and located between St.Raymond and Shannahan.
    The trail builders are setting the standard for all others to follow.
    We'll be back.

  44. #44
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    Got back from my 1st trip up there, talking about going again before season ends.
    Note trail closings for hunting;
    Neilson Nord - Sept.29 - Oct.14
    Neilson Est - Oct.6 - Oct.14
    Monsieur Rolland - Oct.8 to end of season
    This info is on the home page but couldn't find it on the english pages.
    Destination plein air - Quebec | Vallee Bras-du-Nord

    edit: cleaned up the link
    Last edited by swm; 10-01-2018 at 07:13 AM.

  45. #45
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    Thank you for the update swm! One of my favorite trails at St Raymond was Monsieur Rolland. While riding last fall, we met Monsieur Rolland's niece and her friends riding that very trail
    Last edited by cyclelicious; 09-29-2018 at 05:34 AM.
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    A few of us went again in August and had an absolute blast.

    The gravel climb up to the start of Neilson East is freakin' savage. Doubly so when we did it in near 40c temperature. But its worth the climb. And Mad Max at the top of Neilson East had just opened; it adds more to the climbing, but the steep, loamy and root filled descent was worth it. It looked like we were setting new track on that trail.

    This time around we camped at Shannahan, which was very nice being a quick two minute ride via trail to the main parking lot. The camp sites are clean and very nice, with little bugs. The only two downside I saw, is that the sites are very close together and there is not much in the way of privacy. But that said, everyone who was camping there at the time was friendly and great.

    La Boreale was great too. The guys I was with liked that trail the most, probably because of the better climb up to the start of it. But Neilson as a whole is my favourite...



    Riding onto this bridge is a bit of a mind trick...As you roll up to it, you can't see the ending and looks like a huge drop or you'll go sailing to the moon. haha
    Last edited by Canadmos; 10-03-2018 at 08:54 AM.

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    Can't open your pics and would love to see them.

    The climb to East Neilson, I feel is a right of passage - one must do it in order to deserve the descent ! I don't think it would be the same without that climb. Its also a great gauge of fitness - If I can make it up, no stopping, no dab, then I'm in fighting shape. (Its finally got me looking at a 12 speed.) That climb also weeds out many riders that might be in over their heads, and that gives East a feeling of being "out there", or away from it all. I'm not sure a trail with that kind of steep vert would handle too much brake dragging.

    Mad Max was pretty darn rugged. In the modern era of man-made, buffed out kiddie tracks it was a very welcome experience.

    If I lived closer I'd be riding Shanahan every week.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Can't open your pics and would love to see them.

    The climb to East Neilson, I feel is a right of passage - one must do it in order to deserve the descent ! I don't think it would be the same without that climb. Its also a great gauge of fitness - If I can make it up, no stopping, no dab, then I'm in fighting shape. (Its finally got me looking at a 12 speed.) That climb also weeds out many riders that might be in over their heads, and that gives East a feeling of being "out there", or away from it all. I'm not sure a trail with that kind of steep vert would handle too much brake dragging.

    Mad Max was pretty darn rugged. In the modern era of man-made, buffed out kiddie tracks it was a very welcome experience.

    If I lived closer I'd be riding Shanahan every week.
    Not sure why they stopped working. Changed them to a different url. Rest of the pictures are here, though this trip I didn't take too many...

    https://www.pinkbike.com/u/Canadmos/album/Quebec-2018/

    Regarding that climb, we didn't even come to close to riding a third of the way up it. That "road" is friggin' steep, but not only that, it is all loose rocks, so it really is a challenge. And like I mentioned it was nearly 40 degrees that day. But if you can make it up it, props to you, that's amazing haha.

  49. #49
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    The campsite does not have any drinkable water. There is no shower or flush toilet. What is best place to stay here?

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    The campsite does not have any drinkable water. There is no shower or flush toilet. What is best place to stay here?

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Well, it is called camping....

    Some spots to stay in have been mentioned in here, with even some information on them.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadmos View Post
    Well, it is called camping....
    exactly ...lol.
    I had no problem with drinking the water from the tap at visitor centre. Also there is pipe running out from a stream on the fire road climb up to Neilson Nord.
    Obviously put there to collect drinking water and it was delish!
    Last edited by BlackCanoeDog; 10-10-2018 at 09:48 AM.
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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  52. #52
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    The building where you get your trail pass at Shannahan has drinking water. Or at least it did back in July. Also sinks and flush toilets IIRC, if you are missing those luxuries.

    The spring along the access road is a mandatory stop for us every time we do the Neilson trails.

    Showers: take a dip in the river at the end of your ride.

    If you don't want to rough it, there are chalets for rent, some of which have running water and electricity. But those can be expensive if you don't have friends to split the cost with. You can always stay in town and drive less than 30 minutes to Shannahan.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    The building where you get your trail pass at Shannahan has drinking water. Or at least it did back in July. Also sinks and flush toilets IIRC, if you are missing those luxuries.

    The spring along the access road is a mandatory stop for us every time we do the Neilson trails.

    Showers: take a dip in the river at the end of your ride.

    If you don't want to rough it, there are chalets for rent, some of which have running water and electricity. But those can be expensive if you don't have friends to split the cost with. You can always stay in town and drive less than 30 minutes to Shannahan.
    Is the river water clean?

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  54. #54
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    Clean enough to dip your stinky little toes in, Jean-Luc.
    Mountain bikers are generally a rational bunch...until someone moves a rock on our favorite trail and we lose our minds - LMN

  55. #55
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    came across this nice little vid on the Freehub site. I recognize the trails that this was filmed at VBN....

    https://youtu.be/MrjmaFhXlTg
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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  56. #56
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    Any word on trail conditions around Quebec city? We are planning on heading up June 1st weekend. Planned on VBN, E47 and Sentier Du Moulin. Seems most things are still closed from winter?

  57. #57
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    Most of the official openings will happen this weekend, but conditions aren't great. We got lots of snow last winter and we've seen lots of rain and cold weather so far this spring... You'll be able to ride, but not all of the networks will be open so just set realistic expectations
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF - Quebec City Area
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    Most of the official openings will happen this weekend, but conditions aren't great. We got lots of snow last winter and we've seen lots of rain and cold weather so far this spring... You'll be able to ride, but not all of the networks will be open so just set realistic expectations
    Anyone know when the "new" trail/line on Neilson will open? Anything else new we should keep our eyes peeled for? Headed out July 4 weekend.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    Most of the official openings will happen this weekend, but conditions aren't great. We got lots of snow last winter and we've seen lots of rain and cold weather so far this spring... You'll be able to ride, but not all of the networks will be open so just set realistic expectations
    I’m going with a group in a week. Would there be enough to ride to make an 8 hour drive worth it?

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo View Post
    Anyone know when the "new" trail/line on Neilson will open? Anything else new we should keep our eyes peeled for? Headed out July 4 weekend.
    Not sure what's the new Neilson line you're refering to, but if it's ready but unrideable now, it should be OK for July 4... I've seen some good looking trail work on Sentiers du Moulin Instagram, but if it's new-new stuff, I doublt it will be rideable in July. Regardless, this place rocks anyway!
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by elongate View Post
    I’m going with a group in a week. Would there be enough to ride to make an 8 hour drive worth it?
    It all depends on what you want to ride and where you're coming from, but yes, should be!
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    It all depends on what you want to ride and where you're coming from, but yes, should be!
    Coming from London Ontario. The website says 25 of 29 are open so that’s good enough for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    Not sure what's the new Neilson line you're refering to, but if it's ready but unrideable now, it should be OK for July 4... I've seen some good looking trail work on Sentiers du Moulin Instagram, but if it's new-new stuff, I doublt it will be rideable in July. Regardless, this place rocks anyway!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo View Post
    Anyone know when the "new" trail/line on Neilson will open? Anything else new we should keep our eyes peeled for? Headed out July 4 weekend.
    Check this out at 8:00 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdikje5ooBw

    When we went last august they were digging a new trail close to the water fall crossing on Chute a Gilles. Don't know if that includes that big rock roll....

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadmos View Post
    Check this out at 8:00 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdikje5ooBw

    When we went last august they were digging a new trail close to the water fall crossing on Chute a Gilles. Don't know if that includes that big rock roll....
    I'm the guy in orange riding with them Not sure if it's going to be open, I heard that access rights needs to be sorted out. It's this trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeZHo7gZoJ8. It's a good one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvi View Post
    I'm the guy in orange riding with them Not sure if it's going to be open, I heard that access rights needs to be sorted out. It's this trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeZHo7gZoJ8. It's a good one!
    That's pretty cool. Was I close to the spot? The trail we saw them digging looked like it went up the hill from the water fall area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadmos View Post
    That's pretty cool. Was I close to the spot? The trail we saw them digging looked like it went up the hill from the water fall area.
    Yes, the waterfall section is the upper part of the creek crossing on Chute à Gilles. The trailhead will likely be around the Aurore+Boreal wooden bridge, not sure where.
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  67. #67
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    Excellent. That trail looks amazing. Can't wait to get back to VBN this season. Is that trail to be open/accessable this season?

  68. #68
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    some great shots of the Nielson trails along side the river at Vallee Bras du Nord as the second of three QC trails featured in this video...

    https://youtu.be/Cyd5uL0V-Ck
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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