TheClub des amoureux de la motoneige de Matane (snowmobile trails)
Known for its exceptional snowfall, La Matanie offers unforgettable experiences to snowmobile enthusiasts. Discover nearly 350 km of trails maintained by theClub des amoureux de la motoneige de Mataneand the priceless beauty of the river and mountain landscapes. In the region of Matane, you have the beauty of the St. Lawrence river, but you have also the beginning of the Chic-Chocs mountain range. Our snowmobile trails extends from Saint-Damase in La Matapédia, south of Baie-des-Sables, to the Relais de La Cache located in the heart of the Chic-Chocs. This is a huge territory to cover! A superb playground awaits you.
Before you leave, here are a few things to do:
Plan your itinerary - Consult the Gaspésie snowmobile trails interactive map;
To be safe, tell someone you know about your itinerary;
Get your trail permit: all snowmobilers are required to have a trail permit in order to use the trails in the pronvince of Quebec. This can be done through theFédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québecwebsite or by phone at 1-844-253-4343.
Good practices to adopt when snowmobiling:
Keep to your right ont the trails and keep a good distance from other snowmobiles;
Drive at the indicated speed and according to your own abilities (physical, degree of comfort, etc.) and to other conditions such as the weather;
Don't throw your garbage on or off the trails. Keep it with you and dispose of it in a garbage can;
Be respectful when you are near residences and when passing other users (cross-country skiing, snowshoeing);
Avoid driving after hours - at night the resurfacers are at work and it is not safe to venture out on the trails;
Stop at road crossings;
Avoid waterways except on club-marked trails;
Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol;
It is mandatory for the owner of a snowmobile to have at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance and to carry proof of this insurance;
Change regarding the newact respecting off-highway vehicules: for drivers aged 16 and 17, they must have a valid driver's license in addition to the training.
Helmets must be worn at all times while riding (Article 52.2. OHV Act).
To learn more about the laws and regulations,click here.
Some areas are prohibited for off-trail snowmobiling.Consult the map of prohibited areasin the Gaspé Peninsula for off-trail snowmobiling. Not respecting the rules is detrimental to the sport of snowmobiling. In the Matanie, there are currently no off-trail sectors available. Please respect the zones and stay on the trails so as not to interfere with pass agreements.
Snowmobile Relay Stations
A large network of trails means many snowmobile relay stations and shelters where you can take a break, get warm and have a bite to eat. Plan a few stops during your tour:
Relais St-Paulin, Les Méchins (Saint-Paulin-Dalibaire): Open. Located on the Trans-Qc 5 trail between Les Méchins and the Camp Simoneau shelter, near the intersection to take the 595 trail. Restaurant service.
Relais de la Cache, TNO Rivière-Bonjour: Open. Located on trail 595, near route 299. Gas, convenience store, meals and lodging.
Camp Simoneau shelter, TNO Rivière-Bonjour: Open. Located on trail 595 between the St-Paulin snowmobile clubhouse and the Faribault outfitter. Equipped with a wood stove.
Canton Richard shelter, TNO Rivière-Bonjour: Open. Located on trail 595 between the Faribault outfitter and Relais de la Cache. Equipped with a wood stove.
Moderation tastes better! Drinking and driving don't go together, and that goes for snowmobiling too. Remember that snowmobiling is an off-road activity and takes place in a natural, unpredictable and uncontrollable environment. If you drink at a snowmobile clubhouse or a shelter, have a second sober driver who can take over and drive your snowmobile. Zero Alcohol - Your Smart Choice!
Snowmobile routes ideas
Thanks to its geographical location, Matane is the perfect base camp to take off in the morning and choose one of the many routes available to you. As the gateway to the Chic-Chocs, you will find yourself in a true mountain playground where snow and nature take center stage! In addition, several hotels in our region offer snowmobilers the possibility of leaving their car in a long-term parking lot so that they can make a trip of more than one night before returning to Matane. Be inspired by our snowmobile routes that crisscross the Gaspé Peninsula and whose departure points are all located in Matane.
What should I do if I come across an animal while snowmobiling?
Slow down or turn off the engine completely to avoid scaring them;
Stay calm, do not shout;
Do not disturb them in their ravage or chase them;
Do everything you can to avoid injuring it;
Turn back if the animal does not run away or if you find yourself in a ravine.
By adopting these good habits, you contribute to responsible snowmobiling by reducing its impact on wildlife and to the positive impact of this important activity, particularly for the tourism industry.
Backcountry and off-track touring skiing
As a non-profit cooperative, Vertigo-Aventures offers guided backcountry skiing trips in the Matane Wildlife Reserve, an unparalleled playground in the Chic-Chocs Mountains. More precisely, in the area of Mont Blanc, Craggy and Pointu, this paradise exclusive to their clients which is undoubtedly an extraordinary backcountry skiing area, offers a multitude of downhill itineraries on numerous slopes that will satisfy both the novice and the expert. This type of natural terrain for powder skiing is probably nowhere as developed in Eastern America.
The guided trip, which lasts a minimum of 3 days, is designed for groups of 3 to 10 sliders, from beginners to experts in off-track skiing, telemark or snowboarding. Members of Aventure Écotourisme Québec, their services include 30 km of snowmobile access, lodging in a yurt or prospector tent, as well as the indispensable certified avalanche guide.
Very comfortable 4-staraccommodations in an untamed natural environment: this is the concept of Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs. Unique in Eastern Canada, it is perched at an altitude of 615 m in the heart of the Matane Wildlife Reserve. Well-being, pleasure and tranquility are key words here.
Inside the lodge you'll find a cozy atmosphere where nothing is neglected by the innkeeper and his team. Outside, there are 60 km2 of nature where you can enjoy your favourite activities in the company of experienced guides in an exclusive area: snowshoeing, alpine touring, Hok skiing, splitboarding, etc. Step in the spa after a day of activities and enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fireplace while the head chef makes dinner for you! Only 18 rooms: privacy guaranteed.
Located 10 minutes from downtown Matane, discover the Mont Castor ski resort where the snow is 100% natural! In operation for over 70 years, Mont Castor is the very first ski resort to have opened its doors in Eastern Quebec in 1947. The mountain offers superb glades and 19 trails from beginner to expert, including a snow park and an enchanted forest. Two tubing runs and a training hill are also accessible via a magic carpet lift. In the evening, three slopes are lit up. An alpine touring trail gives you access to the mountain with your ski touring equipment. For snowshoeing enthusiasts, there is a 4 km trail around the mountain, along a stream.
You will find all the services on site: restaurant, bar, quipment rental and repair shop, snow school, ski club and security and ski patrol.
Shared by two organizations (the cross-country ski club and the mountain biking club) for the practice of three winter sports, the Igloo trails located in Matane offers 18 km of cross-country ski trails, 12 km of snowshoeing trails and 8 km of fatbike trails. Never tried a fatbike? Are you curious to experience it? The Club de vélo éolien offers fatbike rentals. The Igloo trails, a stone's throw from downtown, but completely in the wild!
The Matane Wildlife Reserve
From the John Registration Centre, the Matane Wildlife Reserve offers free access to three snowshoeing trails: two loops located near the John Registration Centre, 1.5 km and 2 km long, and a longer 7 km loop on the International Appalachian Trail.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing local trails
Thanks to winter sports enthusiasts and generous volunteers, each municipality in the region of Matane has great discoveries to offer and trails for the whole family and all levels of ability. Whether it's for a simple walk, a snowshoeing trip or for a longer cross-country ski tour, consult our complete repertoire of everything that is offered on our territory.
The gym centre of the Cégep de Matane now offers snowshoe and cross-country ski equiments rental. Available to all, it is possible to rent an equipment for 24 hours or a weekend no matter where you go in our region. Note however that they only have adult sizes.
Have you ever dreamed of going dogsledding? Only 10 minutes from Matane, in the municipality of Saint-Ulric, Aventure Pattes Blanches offers you a unique experience on a magnificent trail that sometimes overlooks the St. Lawrence River or passes by wind turbines. You will discover a kennel with about 40 dogs. Take a short sled driving course, participate in the installation of harnesses for the outing and care for the dogs on the way back. Allow half a day for this activity, of which 1 hour will be for the sled ride.