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  1. #1
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    Vallee Bras du Nord

    Anyone been here and care to comment? Worth the trip from central Ontario?

    Mountain biking - Trails - Québec | Vallée Bras-du-Nord
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    YES!!!! Spectacular place, amazing scenery (Mountains! Rivers! Valleys!etc)

    The trails have everything, from smooth and fast to rocky and technical.

    We're planning a last minute camping trip next week and this spot is on our short list of options.

    No guarantee but if I can find some pics I'll post them here.. [EDIT no luck finding pics]

    In the mean time, Vallee Bras Du Nord - Anyone been? - Pinkbike Forum
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

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    Was just there a week ago Bert.

    Shannahan has a good mix of trails, from excavator built flow trails near the parking lot, to more remote, rugged adventure riding further out.

    St. Raymond trails are built primarily built on two hills (one the local ski hill) with a couple km of fun flowy stuff connecting them. In general, it's ride up, then ride down. Each has 2 specific climbing trails (ascent is 70-100m vertical) with everything from beginner to advanced trails coming down.

    Definitely worth the trip. As a note, If you really enjoyed Raystown, you'd enjoy Edmundston, which has 30km of excavator trails, fast flowy, though they don't use the elevation quite as well as in Raystown. We also rode Carrabesset, Maine, which was our favorite of this past little mini-trip we did, but part of the draw was two big downhill trails that required a solid climb. But they are building awesome trail there and more to come. We also stayed at a great mountain top campground, with lake access and very dog friendly.
    Straight outta Rossland

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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    Was just there a week ago Bert.

    Shannahan has a good mix of trails, from excavator built flow trails near the parking lot, to more remote, rugged adventure riding further out.

    St. Raymond trails are built primarily built on two hills (one the local ski hill) with a couple km of fun flowy stuff connecting them. In general, it's ride up, then ride down. Each has 2 specific climbing trails (ascent is 70-100m vertical) with everything from beginner to advanced trails coming down.

    Definitely worth the trip. As a note, If you really enjoyed Raystown, you'd enjoy Edmundston, which has 30km of excavator trails, fast flowy, though they don't use the elevation quite as well as in Raystown. We also rode Carrabesset, Maine, which was our favorite of this past little mini-trip we did, but part of the draw was two big downhill trails that required a solid climb. But they are building awesome trail there and more to come. We also stayed at a great mountain top campground, with lake access and very dog friendly.
    Jeff, you and Tanya sure get around!!! And good for you, keep it up! Life goes by way too quick, trust me lol!
    Yes Shanahan looks pretty cool! Anyone use the Shannahan ( right at trailhead) or Etsanha ( 15' away on the river) campground?
    Edmundston eh? Maybe a return trip to NB should be on my calender for next year!
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_o View Post
    YES!!!! Spectacular place, amazing scenery (Mountains! Rivers! Valleys!etc)

    The trails have everything, from smooth and fast to rocky and technical.

    We're planning a last minute camping trip next week and this spot is on our short list of options.

    No guarantee but if I can find some pics I'll post them here.. [EDIT no luck finding pics]

    In the mean time, Vallee Bras Du Nord - Anyone been? - Pinkbike Forum
    Looks good!!! Thanks for the link
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
    Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a
    wilderness inside - Laurence Gonzales

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Jeff, you and Tanya sure get around!!! And good for you, keep it up! Life goes by way too quick, trust me lol!
    Yes Shanahan looks pretty cool! Anyone use the Shannahan ( right at trailhead) or Etsanha ( 15' away on the river) campground?
    Edmundston eh? Maybe a return trip to NB should be on my calender for next year!
    Edmundston, Vallee Bras-du-Nord and Carrabesset can make a nice little trip if you are looking at a 7-10 days, why i mentioned them, all in really nice spots.

    We camped at Etsanha.....a bit of an adventure. No matter how much I asked (cause I was unsure), they assured me my trailer would fit in the spots along the river. Even when I drove it down (regretted that) and checked in they said no problem. I've gotten my trailer into very tight spots, but this wasn't even close. Some damage later, we bailed and camped a km away in their trailer parking, which was just a field. Your pro-lite would fit just fine however. The river sites seemed pretty nice, no services, which I don't think you use anyway, right along the river, but to me a little crowded/close, especially peak season (and especially for us with 3 dogs). Etsanha is 15 minutes from both Shannahan and St. Raymond trails.

    I'd guess the Shannahan camping is a little more private, not sure if they allow trailers, but yours has the same foot print as many tents, so can't see why not.
    Straight outta Rossland

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Jeff, you and Tanya sure get around!!! And good for you, keep it up! Life goes by way too quick, trust me lol!
    We are trying! Just bought new trail bikes and going to do another 10-12 day trip around New England in mid to late September. Life is short. Ride Bikes.
    Straight outta Rossland

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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    Edmundston, Vallee Bras-du-Nord and Carrabesset can make a nice little trip if you are looking at a 7-10 days, why i mentioned them, all in really nice spots.

    We camped at Etsanha.....a bit of an adventure. No matter how much I asked (cause I was unsure), they assured me my trailer would fit in the spots along the river. Even when I drove it down (regretted that) and checked in they said no problem. I've gotten my trailer into very tight spots, but this wasn't even close. Some damage later, we bailed and camped a km away in their trailer parking, which was just a field. Your pro-lite would fit just fine however. The river sites seemed pretty nice, no services, which I don't think you use anyway, right along the river, but to me a little crowded/close, especially peak season (and especially for us with 3 dogs). Etsanha is 15 minutes from both Shannahan and St. Raymond trails.

    I'd guess the Shannahan camping is a little more private, not sure if they allow trailers, but yours has the same foot print as many tents, so can't see why not.
    Sounds good and yep, I can get my little Suite in just about anywhere no problem. And now I have solar to keep my battery charged, don't need no hookups even for extended camping
    Question on the water for drinking. I see both campgrounds say non-drinking water is available. I assume this water would be fine to drink once boiled or run through a PUR filter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Sounds good and yep, I can get my little Suite in just about anywhere no problem. And now I have solar to keep my battery charged, don't need no hookups even for extended camping
    Question on the water for drinking. I see both campgrounds say non-drinking water is available. I assume this water would be fine to drink once boiled or run through a PUR filter?
    I'm pretty sure they gave us a handout when arriving that the water in the campground near the river was good to drink. Don't quote me on that however, my french is getting rusty these days. The water that was coming out of tap at the RV camping was clean and clear. I'm pretty sure we drank it, though we were were using some large jugs that we had collected elsewhere as well. I'm not usually picky about that however. Certainly it will be fine with filter or boiling.
    Straight outta Rossland

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_o View Post
    YES!!!! Spectacular place, amazing scenery (Mountains! Rivers! Valleys!etc)

    The trails have everything, from smooth and fast to rocky and technical.

    We're planning a last minute camping trip next week and this spot is on our short list of options.

    No guarantee but if I can find some pics I'll post them here.. [EDIT no luck finding pics]

    In the mean time, Vallee Bras Du Nord - Anyone been? - Pinkbike Forum
    Yes, scenery looks spectacular!!! And everyone knows I like taking pics so it could be a toss up battle between riding and shooting!
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
    Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSydor View Post
    I'm pretty sure they gave us a handout when arriving that the water in the campground near the river was good to drink. Don't quote me on that however, my french is getting rusty these days. The water that was coming out of tap at the RV camping was clean and clear. I'm pretty sure we drank it, though we were were using some large jugs that we had collected elsewhere as well. I'm not usually picky about that however. Certainly it will be fine with filter or boiling.
    I have noticed this before in QC and in NB. They tend to specify the water in camp grounds as non-drinking. I don't see that in other places. I can't believe the water is any different in those provinces ...maybe just a way of covering their ass??
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    I have noticed this before in QC and in NB. They tend to specify the water in camp grounds as non-drinking. I don't see that in other places. I can't believe the water is any different in those provinces ...maybe just a way of covering their ass??
    I wonder if there is a requirement to have it tested at regular intervals (if on a well) to meet some sort of insurance/licensing requirement and it's just not done for regularly for various reasons (and hence the need to post not potable)
    Straight outta Rossland

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    Vallee Bras du Nord

    Great trails...Visited there for the first time last month and we were not disappointed. We were originally going to go to Kingdom Trails, but, decided to keep our $$$ in Canada for this trip.

    We enjoyed the XC trails at;
    Vallée Bras Du Nord - Shannahan
    Vallée Bras Du Nord - St Raymond

    MISC INFO
    - the last 5km to Shannahan is a gravel road which has ruts for just about the entire 5km. Slow down or speed up and it's not a problem. They weren't enough keep us from returning the next day!
    - Shannahan has a welcome centre and bike rental/repair shop (limited items)
    - Shannahan does not have any food concessions, so we made sure that we came equipped
    - St Raymond has a welcome centre and a restaurant/brew pub.
    - St Raymond has a proper bike shop with a decent inventory of bikes, parts, clothing, etc...
    - The locals were very friendly in both locations.

    On our way back to Ontario we stayed at Bromont for a couple of days and in addition to the DH runs at Bromont there are some good XC trails close by at Réseau du Mont-Oak Climb, climb and then be rewarded with fun flowing trails.

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    Shannahan Campground

    So I'm leaning towards using the Shannahan campground for the obvious reason that it is right at the trail head. Anyone camp here before or at least check it out? Unfortunately they don't seem to have a sites selection map like one typically sees. They only have 18 sites so I should probably reserve ahead despite going during the week. I also messaged them on their facebook page to get some help

    EDIT: got a lot of info from messaging the campground on facebook, and a phone call. Very helpful young lady and they do have a site map...just had to keep scrolling down lol.
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuprGrovr View Post
    Nice SG ...thanks for sharing. I was wondering which campground to choose, I know CptSydor stayed at the same one you did just a few weeks ago. I decided on Camp Shannahan right at the trail head. Nice to get your comments on the trails too. I read Neilsen is not to be missed, will make note of any others. certainly want to get to a lot of the scenic spots, some of the pics I've seen look fantastic!
    https://www.instagram.com/bertschuh/
    Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a
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    Look forward to a report and pics. BCD, enjoy. Also did do Bromont and Mt Oak Put Buckwallow on top of Horseshoe Valley and add more rock, enjoyable couple hours at latter when we arrived.

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    This place is the real deal. DEFINITELY worth the trip from Ontario. I stopped here on the way back from Nova Scotia at the beginning of July and had an absolute blast.

    If you stay at the Roquemont motel, you have trails literally a few feet from your door. The motel also has its own beer, restaurant and there is a Metro not too far away.

    Like others said, the trails near the motel are mostly flowy type trails built on two hills with trails connecting them both. When I went there, the trails were smooth as butter. As if someone had just cleaned and raked them. They were perfectly manicured.

    Now, out in the Shannahan section (30-40 minute drive into the mountains), is where the real fun begins. The Neilson trail is one of the best trails that I have ridden. I did about 30km of trail the one day and was absolutely blown away and it kicked my ass, but I never stopped smiling.

    I went here solo and still had a blast.

    Pro-tip; download the Ondago app and then download the trail map for both areas. There is absolutely no cell phone service out in the mountains and the paper map doesn't actually seem to be as accurate (especially around the motel).

    Few pictures from my trip - Vallee-Bras-du-Nord Photo Album - Pinkbike

    Also ifyou've been and have climbed the road up to Neilson.....read the comments in this link. It sounds like they are planning to have trail all the way up to the top. East Bound and Down: Quebec, Canada - Pinkbike

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    Also, if anyone goes and needs someone to ride with, send me a message haha. I did this solo, but would LOVE to go back. Always up for new trails and adventures.

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    Awesome!!

    This is an outdoor adventure paradise north west of Quebec City. There are two mtbiking sectors, one at the town of Saint Raymond and the other Shannahan Sector which is ~25' drive further on. I rode and camped at Shannahan. There is a small 18 site unserviced campground at the trailhead. And they have a signature trail called Nielson Nord and Nielson Sud at Shannahan that was the main reason for my coming here. If you love both mtbiking and beautiful scenery then this place is pretty spectacular. I met a great couple, Christine & Silvan from Chicoutimi QC while here, and we spent some nice evenings together around their campfire!
    Vallee Bras-du-Nord offers canoeing/ kayaking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, and various accommodations including yurts & cabins...
    Outdoor destination - Québec | Vallée-Bras-du-Nord

    Link to my pics
    https://goo.gl/photos/5dFesusrvC4hipex6
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    Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a
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    VBN is great super place to ride, both sectors. You can also go to Sentier Dumoulin in Lac Beauport while you are there. The Nielson, you do. Dont let the few miles of gravel road turn you off.

    Supernatural Quebec - Part One - Pinkbike

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    The climb up the road to the start of Nielson was well worth it in my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadmos View Post
    The climb up the road to the start of Nielson was well worth it in my mind.
    Agreed-totally worth it!! My only issue was that the trail is marked as 10K on their map. It's a loop so I assumed it to be a 10K loop. I felt like I rode 10K uphill on the fire road before I even started the descent! When I mentioned this to staff in the visitor centre they told me the 10K is just for the descent along the river, I was told the entire loop is 20K. Well that is pretty confusing to a visitor because at some point on the climb one thinks one missed the turn in to the river having ridden much further than expected! Apparently this is to be corrected on next year's map.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    Agreed-totally worth it!! My only issue was that the trail is marked as 10K on their map. It's a loop so I assumed it to be a 10K loop. I felt like I rode 10K uphill on the fire road before I even started the descent! When I mentioned this to staff in the visitor centre they told me the 10K is just for the descent along the river, I was told the entire loop is 20K. Well that is pretty confusing to a visitor because at some point on the climb one thinks one missed the turn in to the river having ridden much further than expected! Apparently this is to be corrected on next year's map.
    Yeah that is a good point. I didn't even realize how long that trail/road combo was until I got back to the car. I must have read the 10km note as well, but wondered why I felt so tired afterwards haha.

    On the plus side, the water station part way up the road was nice.

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    To be fair, it's 5km of road climb for 10km of singletrack descent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuprGrovr View Post
    To be fair, it's 5km of road climb for 10km of singletrack descent.
    Could be. The staff told me later that it's a 20K loop. Amazing trail regardless with extentions/ alternate access being worked on apparently.

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    I'm planning on riding these trails Oct. 19, 20, and 21. I am renting a car in Montreal and bringing tenting gear. Any tips for me? I heard the Nielson north trail may be closed as of Oct. 10 because of hunting season. Is that true and are other trails affected? If trails are closed, does that mean you can't drive to the trailhead but it's possible to bike in or is it because of safety that it's closed during hunting season?

    Are campgrounds still open those dates I'm planning on going? Here in Saskatchewan, campgrounds are all closed this time of year but that just means the power and water is shut off; there's nothing wrong with still camping. Anything different there?

    Any tips are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rogan

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmilatz View Post
    I'm planning on riding these trails Oct. 19, 20, and 21. I am renting a car in Montreal and bringing tenting gear. Any tips for me? I heard the Nielson north trail may be closed as of Oct. 10 because of hunting season. Is that true and are other trails affected? If trails are closed, does that mean you can't drive to the trailhead but it's possible to bike in or is it because of safety that it's closed during hunting season?

    Are campgrounds still open those dates I'm planning on going? Here in Saskatchewan, campgrounds are all closed this time of year but that just means the power and water is shut off; there's nothing wrong with still camping. Anything different there?

    Any tips are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Rogan
    The campground at Shannahan is unserviced so no water or Hydro anytime. There is water available at the visitor Centre. Yes you should be able to drive to the visitor Centre and campground and ride the other trails. Best advice I can give is to check out their website ...lots of info there. Also call and email staff for answers to specific questions, that's what I did and they were very helpful!. No way would I plan a trip like this based solely on what I read in a forum! Speaking of which, there are some great Vallée BDN threads over on Pinkbike
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    Camped at the Vallee Bra Du Nord area about a week ago. Spent 6 days there. The riding at Shannahan is great.

    Neilson North, South, and East combined to make probably the best trail I've ever ridden. Had more fun there than Moab, and I love Moab.

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    How does this place compare to the Kingdom Trails? We went to Kingdom in August and it was absolutely fantastic. Wondering if our next extended biking weekend should be to VBN or just go back to Kingdom .

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    If you have beginners in your group, then Kingdom might be a better fit.

    If your group are all intermediate to advanced, then VBN might be more to your liking.

    If you like post-ride tiki bars, ice cream shops, pastry, and a lively after-ride scene, then Kingdom.

    If you want to escape from civilization a bit, then VBN.

    Both have great scenery, great riding, and stuff to do off the bike, just in different flavours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
    How does this place compare to the Kingdom Trails? We went to Kingdom in August and it was absolutely fantastic. Wondering if our next extended biking weekend should be to VBN or just go back to Kingdom .

    It doesn't compare to Kingdom. Its in a whole other league. Way better.

    That said, KT is good - don't get me wrong, but I'm one of the few that I know that was not totally thrilled with the place. Seemed too groomed, and too many trails and riders packed into a not so big area. Didn't feel like I was "out there" riding, nor did it have much challenge.


    VBN -

    The lower trails seemed similar to KT. Very nice but very groomed. La Boreal (pardon my spelling/French) was on the lower sections and was challenging and a lot of fun.

    The three Neilson trails are world class. I travel to ride a lot, including both trail/all-mountain and DH, and I've yet to come across a trail I've liked as much (note, I've not been to British Columbia, yet). They have it all, tech up and down, sustained descents, natural gnar, man-made hits and berms. The Neilson East gives you that feeling of really being "out there" as well. As a trail builder myself I can appreciate the amount of work that went into those trails.

    If anyone from VBN is listening, great job !!!

    Please keep some of the trails challenging. The climb to Neilson East was tough, but not as hard as everyone says. It makes the descent worth while and keeps out riders that should not be up there. Not every trail has to be accessible to everyone. Loved the few drops on that trail, including that downed tree launch. Waiting for you to open Mad Max.

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    VBN is great and the Shanahan sector is better than St Raymond. The Neilson trail is a gem. I've been several times and we have skipped the St Raymond trails in favour of riding the nearby Sentiers du Moulin and the Shanahan sectors.

    Neilson East is an amazing trail and a must do experience. The road up is a slog but VBN now offer a limited number of paid shuttles on weekends. If you have your own capable vehicle (4x4) it can be shuttled by purchasing a $10 ZEC pass. You can't park your shuttle vehicle at the top so someone has to be willing to be the round trip shuttle driver.

    The entire Neilson trail is great and worth the trip to experience that alone.

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    VBN has been on our bucket list. Is there a best time to ride?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    VBN has been on our bucket list. Is there a best time to ride?
    Weekends were busy at the bottom trails. But the climbs to the top of the Neilson trails weed out a lot of riders - as it should. Even on the busy weekends I wouldn't say that any of those Neilson trails seemed "busy".

    Of the three Neilsons, South is most accessible and therefore saw more traffic but still not bad at all. Especially when you see how many cars are parked in the lot. North is more of a climb and had even less traffic. East has a pretty intense, steep, loose, climb on double track. It keeps that trail very unpopulated. I've heard too many complain about that climb, but to me it was a great challenge and made the DH all the better. Also, its really not that bad in the granny ring. Heck my 11 y/o son rode it several times. But, on Sunday AM, IIRC, they run a few shuttles to the top. Maybe avoid that.

    Durring the weekday, all the trails were all mine. Virtually empty, and that was during prime time, late August, beautiful weather.

    Working hard to get back for a long weekend before they shut down around the 3rd w/e in Oct.

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    ^ Thanks Miker!
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  38. #38
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    Nice photo on Nielson Nord from their website...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vallee Bras du Nord-21753055_1416317108403473_82967030638633389_o.jpg  

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    Vallee Bras du Nord

    I just got back from a weekend there. It is definitely worth the drive. The pictures don't lie. These trails feature multiple waterfalls, rivers and bridges, and they are MTB only. I have been very few places where features like this are on dedicated trails. I did a Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning ride. Left at 10:30 am and made it back to K-W area at 8:30.

    Camping was easy at Accueil Etsanha but it was a 20 minute drive to the trails. Camping Shannahan would likely be a better option as you can ride out from the campsite.






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    Quote Originally Posted by whezy View Post
    I just got back from a weekend there. It is definitely worth the drive. The pictures don't lie. These trails feature multiple waterfalls, rivers and bridges, and they are MTB only. I have been very few places where features like this are on dedicated trails. I did a Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning ride. Left at 10:30 am and made it back to K-W area at 8:30.

    Camping was easy at Accueil Etsanha but it was a 20 minute drive to the trails. Camping Shannahan would likely be a better option as you can ride out from the campsite.






    Great pics but I can't place where that last one is at. I'd like to stop there next time I'm up. Where is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Great pics but I can't place where that last one is at. I'd like to stop there next time I'm up. Where is it?
    Chute Delaney methinks.

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    Yup Chute Delaney it is.


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    We spent the Thanksgiving long weekend at Vallee Bras du Nord.

    We arrived Friday evening and stayed at the Roquemont, then rode the Saint Raymond trails all day Saturday.

    On arrival we checked out the trail head and the little pump track
    Vallee Bras du Nord-22221530_1297663533695985_2429556644821152183_n.jpg

    We met one of the patrol named Jean. He was amazing and he gave us the heads up that 8km of new trails will be opening next year in Shanahan (can't wait to go back )
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    Fresh beer
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    Cheers... free beer

    Vallee Bras du Nord-22279630_1298417570287248_5514211707207353377_n.jpg
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    Part deux. We drove to Shanahan on Sunday and rode all day. Neilson was closed for hunting so we have an other reason to return
    Although it rain during the night and early morning, the trails were well drained (some small puddles) ; we were careful on the bridges but the rocks were ok. Trails were flowy and buff



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    Nice! Sadly I didn't get back there this season, hopefully next.
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    the photos look good. are the trails technical, twisty?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    the photos look good. are the trails technical, twisty?
    There are the St. Raymond trails, then about 12 miles north are the Shanihan trails.

    There are some trails at each that are techy.

    But, the riding at the two places will be very different. At Shanihan you have the Neilson trails: East, North, South that are amazing. Riding there is on a grander scale. Some of the best single track I've ever ridden. Excellent combination of old school tech and new flow. I prefer tech riding compared to fast, buff, flow. The tech at Shan is tough, though not the toughest I rode. There are a few really cool tech climbs, especially the one on Neilson North, that are long and super cool.


    On lower Shan you have many buff trails, but also a trail called something like Boreal, which is techy up, and has tough features on the way down.


    Just went back this past weekend to camp and got rained out so hit up Quebec City which was cool. Also, be warned that the best trails are shut down due to hunting season.

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    ^ Thanks for the summary MikerJ... very cool we were at VBN at the same time. I have a great deal of respect for the trail builders and community for their efforts to create such fun trail network.

    We can't wait to go back again (before hunting season) to explore the Neilson trails.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    the photos look good. are the trails technical, twisty?
    Thanks. The pics are only a glimpse of what we experienced. The trails are rated beginner, intermediate, black diamond and double black. Lots of signage. Know your limits
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    ^ Thanks for the summary MikerJ... very cool we were at VBN at the same time. I have a great deal of respect for the trail builders and community for their efforts to create such fun trail network.

    We can't wait to go back again (before hunting season) to explore the Neilson trails.

    Cool.

    Yeah the Neilson trails are really something else. Probably some of the best single track I've ever ridden.

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    We made it up there for two days last month, here's a short video of the Neilson trail.



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    The new trail LEGENDE at Vallée-Bras-du-Nord is amazing... More a downhill trail (or enduro) than Neilson but it is truly special. First a flow section with nice berms and small jumps. Then 5 or 6 technical features some of them for experts only (rated double black diamond). The main segment of trail is in the pictures below: you descend on granite following a waterfall.



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vallee Bras du Nord-67139700_640279393049188_6902791414300540928_n.jpg  

    Vallee Bras du Nord-67371080_661951524319346_1852494625411956736_n.jpg  

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    Nice !!!

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    That looks phenomenal, thanks for the update LewisQC.
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    It's a preview from last year but it gives a general idea of Légende in POV

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeZHo7gZoJ8
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    Hunting & season closures from Velo de Montagne - Sentier velo - Quebec | Vallee Bras-du-Nord

    "Voici les sentiers de vélo de montagne fermés à l'occasion de la chasse pour 2019:

    Neilson Est: fermée du 14 au 29 septembre et du 12 au 20 octobre
    Neilson Nord: fermée du 5 au 20 octobre"

    Last day for MTB trails tentatively Oct.14

    Legende short video;
    https://www.facebook.com/valleebrasd...4383003972178/

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    We're coming! Road trip with a bunch of old farts planned for the last week of September. Sorry to hear that Neilson Est is closed but I'm assuming the rest of the trails will not disappoint! Légende looks amazing!

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    Nelson Est is apparently the one trail for old farts to avoid, unless you find a shuttle.
    Trying to firm up plans with 2 buddies for the week of 22nd.
    I'll be one of 2 older farts, both on red & black Rocky Mountain T-Bolts, trying to keep up with a 50yr old punk.

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    Ya, we've got one of those spry youngsters that rides like a mountain goat! We intend to hit Sentiers de Moulin for a day (maybe the 22nd) then over to Shannahan then VBN. We'll be two Trance's and two Santa Cruz'.

    Any suggestions on accommodations for 4 guys not wanting to share beds?

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    Quote Originally Posted by swm View Post
    Nelson Est is apparently the one trail for old farts to avoid, unless you find a shuttle.
    Trying to firm up plans with 2 buddies for the week of 22nd.
    I'll be one of 2 older farts, both on red & black Rocky Mountain T-Bolts, trying to keep up with a 50yr old punk.
    Neilson Est is not that hard. Really a long descent with a mix of steep flow with rock ledge/jump/slab. But you're right, to get there it's the hardest climb in the area. My last time there (2018) it was 35 degrees and I had to walk most of it... It's 2.3km at 14% in a loose fire road. They are supposedly building a single track to go up there. Maybe next year... I'm going to ride the three Neilson tomorrow so I'll see if I can stay on my bike!
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    LewisQC: how did the Neilson day go? Any advice on a couple of routes for a couple of days riding for first time visitors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post
    LewisQC: how did the Neilson day go? Any advice on a couple of routes for a couple of days riding for first time visitors?
    It was great! Here's the loop I did. From Shanahan building, you take right on the gravel road to get to Neilson Est. This trail is amazing. La Côte à Ti-Oui (Ti-Oui climb) was easier than in my memory. I still had to walk some sections around 20% grade but I pedaled maybe 85% so I PB my time for this climb by 6 minutes I think. You still have to climb a bit after that. Then it's a nice single track with some fast sections downhill, and some more climbing. At the end it's a long and steep downhill. Take right at the end of Neilson Est (there's some signs but you're going fast...).

    Then I did Neilson Nord. It's the most scenic trail (some would argue that it's Légende...). Very technical IMO but with lots of flat section along the river.

    Neilson Sud is mostly downhill in four section with some short connecting gravel road in-between. Many small waterfalls along this one.

    After that I did Petite-Ourse, Grande-Ourse (this one is a one way loop so you ride only the return section), Sapinière, Tomahawk and finally Grande Evasion (another loop so it's the return segment).

    This ride took me 3h35. 36km 868m of climbing (strava). I was all by myself and saw zero person on the trail... If you have the legs, you could add Aurore-Boreal or Aurore-Légende.

    Another option is to start across the gravel road, down to the river. You cross the river over a narrow bridge then you can do Sucre-d'Orge and Beurre d'Érable (fun green flowy trails). Then you take Grande-Évasion and follow instruction to Aurore (climbing trail for Boréale and Légende). If you can do only one I would suggest Légende, but Boréale is a fun black descent. Then you can get to Chute à Gilles, complete Grande-Ourse which is a loop as I said and finally Grande-Évasion return. Aurore-Boréale-Légende can be done on the return but to make sure you have the legs it's best as I wrote above. Distance will be around 40km with this one if you do either Légende or Boréale. The two trails (+ one more time Aurore to go up) would add probably 7-8km! You could skip Beurre D'Érable and sucre-d'Orge or Grande-Ourse (but this one is really fun).

    I hope it's not too confusing (check maps on valleebrasdunord.com and use trailfork). The must do in order IMO Neilson-Nord, Légende, Neilson-Sud, Neilson-Est, Boréale...


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vallee Bras du Nord-img_9071-2-.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post
    Ya, we've got one of those spry youngsters that rides like a mountain goat! We intend to hit Sentiers de Moulin for a day (maybe the 22nd) then over to Shannahan then VBN. We'll be two Trance's and two Santa Cruz'.

    Any suggestions on accommodations for 4 guys not wanting to share beds?
    I'm going to Sentiers-du-Moulin tomorrow. Really amazing place with some gnarly stuff (hardest trail system in Quebec region). For accommodation Hotel Rocquemont in St-Raymond is a cool place. Trail-head of St-Raymond-VBN (another great place to ride if you have the time) is in the parking lot. Shanahan is a 20 minutes drive.
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    Woohoo! Sounds like a blast! Thanks for the suggestions, I can't wait to hear about Sentiers-du-Moulin. I had hear the Hotel in St-Raymond is a good place to stay (we like craft beers!) Now the trick is to have enough legs to experience all of this!

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    I just realized that Neilson Est will be close when you visit. So If you have one day, I'd try to do Aurore-Légende and Neilson NORD-Sud. If you have two days, I'd do Aurore-Boréale, Aurore-Légende plus some trails around that depending on your legs (Grande-Ourse, Petite-Ourse, Chute à Giles, Beurre d'Érable, etc. The next day Neilson Nord +Sud and other trails to complete to get there and return...
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    You're correct, Neilson Est will be closed. We hope to have two days so your 'two day itinerary' looks great, thanks!
    To get to the start of Aurore, and then Neilson Nord, do we shuttle? ride the road? trail?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post
    You're correct, Neilson Est will be closed. We hope to have two days so your 'two day itinerary' looks great, thanks!
    To get to the start of Aurore, and then Neilson Nord, do we shuttle? ride the road? trail?
    AAAAHHH just back from Sentiers du Moulin... This place is so brutal! Did 18km felt like 40 at VBN... Anyway, back to our topic. Fastest way to Neilson sector (1) is to take connecteur (straight arrow)but since Neilson Est will be close, you will have some gravel road climbing along Neilson Sud on the map. At the start of Neilson Sud, there's some indication to Neilson Nord, it will be a single track at this point. All other trails are on the other side of the river. So for everything else (beside Neilson) you have to take the bridge (see the zoom-in section of the map). Lots of green trail on your left (Chute Delaney is great if you have the time) and blue/black on your right. You can have access to Aurore /Boréale/Légende (2) by following Grande-Evasion and follow the signs... You could also get to Neilson sector by riding Grande-Évasion, chute-à-Gilles and Grande-Ourse (curve arrow).
    Hope this help. Have a nice trip to Quebec!!
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    [QUOTE=LewisQC;14316953]AAAAHHH just back from Sentiers du Moulin... This place is so brutal! Did 18km felt like 40 at VBN...

    Is this a good "AAAAHHH" or a bad "AAAAHHH"?
    We hope to go to Sentiers du Moulin for a day (or 2?) before VBN. Too tough?
    You're doing so well with the tour directions, how about some suggestions for SdM?
    In any case you are definitely fueling our jets which is a always a great thing on planning a MTB roadtrip!!

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    [QUOTE=Can2pir;14317757]
    Quote Originally Posted by LewisQC View Post
    Is this a good "AAAAHHH" or a bad "AAAAHHH"?
    ahah mostly good but this place is really tough! Sentiers du Moulin (SDM) is really more "enduro" so you're always climbing or descending. So no long epic rides like in Shanahan... Even their green trail would be a blue by other center standard. All expert trails start from Sommet 1 (S1). I usually ride some XC trails to get there: Raph, Baribal, Gros-Buck, Elan, Petit-Buck. This is around 10-12km. From S1 in order of difficulty: QMG (blue), Super-G (black), Léon (black), Viking (double-black), LB1 (double-black) LB2 (proline) and King Kong (pro-line). Super-G is the highest rated on trail fork and gives you a good idea of the degree of difficulty. If you had fun, Léon and/or Viking should be next. If you had enough with Super-G ,QMG is your only other option . There's indications for the shortest route to S1. So you can do some fast up&down. To give you an indication, I have yet to ride LB2 or King Kong because double-black are hard enough for me...

    How many days of riding will you do? St-Raymond sector of VBN and also E47 Lac-Delage are really fun... If you have four days of riding. I personally would do VBN-Shanahan 2 days, SDM 1 day and VBN-Sr-Raymond or E47 for the remaining day. Or one day in each center if you can hit Légende and Neilson Nord-Sud in the same day... E47 is a 10 minutes drive from SDM.

    If you want to have a look before riding I suggest https://mtbqc.ca
    There's itinerary idea and POV video... Also BKXC on youtube has some video from his trip in quebec area (SDM, VBN and e47). I know he was back for a new trip 2 weeks ago so hopefully some more good video from QC soon on his channel...
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    [QUOTE=LewisQC;14317973]
    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post


    "How many days of riding will you do? St-Raymond sector of VBN and also E47 Lac-Delage are really fun... If you have four days of riding. I personally would do VBN-Shanahan 2 days, SDM 1 day and VBN-Sr-Raymond or E47 for the remaining day. Or one day in each center if you can hit Légende and Neilson Nord-Sud in the same day... E47 is a 10 minutes drive from SDM."

    If you want to have a look before riding I suggest https://mtbqc.ca
    There's itinerary idea and POV video... Also BKXC on youtube has some video from his trip in quebec area (SDM, VBN and e47). I know he was back for a new trip 2 weeks ago so hopefully some more good video from QC soon on his channel...
    Thanks! That's what we are planning, Saturday -Wednesday, hoping the weather holds. One day in SDM, 3 VBN with a day for grace/rest/the best trails.
    Your advice has been invaluable, thanks again,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Can2pir View Post

    Your advice has been invaluable, thanks again,
    Agreed, LewisQC I'm hoping to get out there maaaaybe this fall but more likely next summer, saving this thread for your insight.

    Thank you for sharing and being so forthcoming with the details.

    Editing to add - if you go here last minute with out plans no worries - the staff on site at VBN are awesome and know the trails inside out and will help plan your route.
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  72. #72
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    [QUOTE=Can2pir;14318317]
    Quote Originally Posted by LewisQC View Post

    Your advice has been invaluable, thanks again,
    I had really good advices by Canadmos a few weeks ago for my trip in Georgian Bay Area so decided to return the favor! Too bad weather isn't really good at the moment here in Quebec
    Last edited by LewisQC; 09-23-2019 at 06:59 PM.
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    We got to sentiers de moulin, rode for the day, it was a blast, Did not disappoint!
    Now in Saint Raymond, rode Neilson Nord-Sud yesterday, waiting out the rain and hoping for here then back to Shannahan Wednesday. Amazing area! What a blast!

  74. #74
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    Looked at the forecast & went to KT instead, 3 days of relatively dry riding.
    Still hoping to get up there soon, maybe next week.

  75. #75
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    Made it up to Shannahan for a solo day & a half, didn’t see anyone on the trails Friday, Saturday was packed with all kinds of people.
    The old legs managed nearly 60km in 8hrs out on the trails. Rode like a grand poulet on Neilson Nord on Friday & explored most of the blue trails Saturday.
    Will go again before they close if any of my riding buddies can make it.

  76. #76
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    ffs this site sucks, spent an hour on 2 devices trying to upload pics, ended up uploading to imgur on another forum & copying the links.

    Vallee Bras du Nord-nogc7uzh.jpg

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    I was there friday too. Did 36 km with a friend from another part of Québec. It was his first time in VBN. Too bad Aurore-Boréale-Légende were close... But still a great ride in ideal fall weather
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    Made it up there again with a bud.
    Survived La Legende on Friday by taking most of the chicken options.
    Next day most of the Shannahan blue in the morning and then squeezed in an afternoon at St. Raymond.
    MTB trails staying open until Oct.20!

  79. #79
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    Did a 40K ride with my brother at VBN-Shanahan. Trails have just opened the day before. Conditions were excellent. I think I got a little bit over my head and now I have a sore knee... Was a great day anyway

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  80. #80
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    ^ Love this place! Your pics are awesome! I hope to go back again
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by LewisQC View Post
    Did a 40K ride with my brother at VBN-Shanahan. Trails have just opened the day before. Conditions were excellent.
    Already dry? That's early!

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by borisotto View Post
    Already dry? That's early!
    Yeah! Only upper Boreal and Neilson Est were closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LewisQC View Post
    Yeah! Only upper Boreal and Neilson Est were closed.
    Nice!
    How was the black flies situation? Are there any restrictions on driving there from Ontario you've heard about?

  84. #84
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    I hate mosquitos so I did use some repellent but not my brother. While riding it was ok, even when we stop for 10-15 minutes for a snack (just walking around at a slow pace was enough to stay bite free). But back in the parking lot, it was insane...

    I'm not sure if it's ok to travel at the moment but E47 (Lac Delage) and VBN have put mesures in place to allow trail riding while respecting social health recommandation (online only ticket, lots of sanitizer available, etc). For now' it's ok cause it was quite on weekdays but since lots of team sport won't be available as usual, there's a more and more people getting into biking in general and mtb in particular. E47 were out of sticker for annual membership last week because of higher demand than usual. Personally I will try riding on weekdays (What I usually do anyway...)
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  85. #85
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    Got it, thanks for sharing!

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by borisotto View Post
    Nice!
    Are there any restrictions on driving there from Ontario you've heard about?
    Most regional travel restrictions/guidelines have been removed since Wednesday. Things are changing daily, I can't keep up. Behave accordingly of course. Where to stay or eat is another story. Numbers are down significantly this week, we'll see what happens as more things open up.

    QC gov't info here, good luck trying to figure it all out;
    https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/heal...9-coronavirus/

  87. #87
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    Just returned from here and Sentier Du Moulin. These are some of the most amazing trails I have ever seen and ridden. Some trails are very technical so if you don't like technical climbing and descending this might not be the best for you. That being said most features have ride arounds or you can just walk them.

    Neilson Est is closed as they are rerouting a section of trail around a moose habitat but should be open again in a few weeks.

  88. #88
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    Did you camp? How many days were you there? How were the "covid" issues?
    We'd be coming from ontario and probably stay 5 days.

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    We stayed at the Hotel Roquemont right in St Raymond. It is basically the trail head for the Valle Bras Du Nord (St Raymond Sector) and has a restaurant, microbrewery and bike shop all tied into the same place. It is only 30mins to Shannahan sector and about 45min to E47 and 1hr to Sentier Du Moulin.

    COVID wasn't an issue and trails are generally 1 way. Everyone was very welcoming and employees at restaurants wore masks and same as people at Valle Bras Du Nords store in Shannahan Sector.

    Depending on your riding ability 5 days will let you cover most of the trails. If Neilson is fully open I would suggest leaving 1 day to do it all as the views are amazing and the trails are a grind in some spots if you aren't use to the tech riding. You can easily cover St Raymond in 1 big day if you want and then Sentier Du Moulin would be 2 days (again depends on your ability).

  90. #90
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    Yes, We went last year in late September, the Hotel was booked but ate at the restaurant (great poutine!)
    Airbnb'd Sentier du Moulin, and St. Raymond. Hoping to go in August this year, all things considered and camp nearby. Didn't hit E47, looks promising too!
    Loved Shannahan but couldn't do Legend, it was closed. Tech stuff is a great challenge just at the edge for our old bodies!!
    What a blast.
    Thanks for the info.

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