La Traversée de Charlevoix
Mountain biking in Quebec
©Outdoor Adventure Canada
the growing popularity of mountain biking we soon find ourselves searching
for more challenging trails to exercise our skills. Situated about 145
kilometers from Quebec City on highway 381 near St. Urbain is the starting
point of La Traversée de Charlevoix, the most challenging mountain
biking trail east of the Rocky Mountains
Charlevoix was named a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 1989
due to its rich culture and its unique ecological diversity. The Charlevoix
region covers a massive 2300 square mile area containing magnificent
forests and the Laurentian Mountains.
The 100 kilometer trail slices through the mountainous
Charlevoix region and should only be attempted by intermediate to advanced
cyclists. You should plan on at least 3 nights and 4 days to complete
Six basic huts are evenly spaced along the route. These
are designed for individuals or small groups of 6 to eight people who
are self sufficient with their own gear and food. If you wish to ride
without your equipment you can stay in the chalets adjacent to each
hut and have your gear and food shuttled to each destination. The chalets
have wood stoves, propane lighting, and furniture and are close to drinking
Expect well trodden but rugged trails as they are left
unmaintained. You will cross beautiful valleys which lay at 200 meters
above see level and climb to heart pounding peaks of 850 meters.
is a nice to visit due to the cooler temperatures and unparalleled splashes
of color. La Traversée de Charlevoix is not for the beginner
but for the mountain bike adventurer that seeks a definite challenge.
Special thanks to Eudore Fortin, president of La
Traversée de Charlevoix, for supplying the excellent photos.
Written by Laurie March
Photos courtesy Eudore Fortin