Mountain Biking in Quebec: a Photo Journal

August 20, 2020

You prob­a­bly know about Que­bec’s maple syrup and french fries cov­ered in cheese curds and gravy, but did you know it has an equal­ly delec­table net­work of pur­pose-built sin­gle­track? And that net­work is with­in just a short dri­ve of the UNESCO World Her­itage Site of Old Québec City. Sim­ply put, Que­bec is moun­tain bik­ing wonderland.

New for 2020, we’ve linked togeth­er all four major trail net­works near Quebec’s cap­i­tal for two mul­ti-day, ful­ly-guid­ed expe­ri­ences: our six-day, coed Great Que­bec Escape and our five-day wom­en’s-only Wilder­ness and Water­falls Retreat. In addi­tion to the region’s amaz­ing rid­ing and stun­ning scenery, we’ll explore the cap­ti­vat­ing cul­ture, cui­sine, hos­pi­tal­i­ty and joie-de-vivre Que­bec is famous for.

If you live in North Amer­i­ca, chances are you’ve heard whis­pers of the bound­ary-push­ing trail build­ing that’s been hap­pen­ing in such impos­si­ble-to-pro­nounce places as Val­lée Bras-du-Nord and Sen­tiers du Moulin. (Or at the very least, you’ve heard of the leg­end of Mont St-Anne through decades of World Cup rac­ing). Here’s your chance to sam­ple all the goods—not in a race for­mat but in a fun and immer­sive experience—with all the care, atten­tion, and thought you’ve come to expect from a Sacred Ride, brought to you by a phe­nom­e­nal team of local guides who cre­ate the ulti­mate escape to la belle province.

Check out this pho­to jour­nal for a taste of what’s to come. Then get ready to check this incred­i­ble des­ti­na­tion off your buck­et list!

Old Québec City 

With its wind­ing cob­ble­stone streets, the unmis­tak­able Château Fron­tenac and the abun­dance of muse­ums, art gal­leries, and cof­fee shops, Old Que­bec exudes Euro­pean charm at every turn. Let your­self be tak­en in by love­ly auberges, exquis­ite cui­sine, and fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry as the only for­ti­fied city north of Mex­i­co and the birth­place of French North Amer­i­ca. Whether your taste buds lead you to pou­tine, foie gras, or maple tof­fee, you’ll fall in love with Old Québec.

Come for the mountain biking... stay for the culture, cuisine, and beautiful sites in Quebec

Quebec City is lovely… but you said something about mountain biking?

Ok, let’s get to what you came here for: once you’ve had your fill of pou­tine, which of these places will you check out first?

Empire 47: The World’s Premier Fatbiking Center

Only 30 min­utes from down­town, Empire 47 (or E47 for short) sits at the 47th par­al­lel and is well-known as the world’s pre­mier fat­bik­ing cen­tre, with over 45km of per­fect­ly groomed fat­bike trails. That said, rest assured the sum­mer­time sin­gle­track is just as wor­thy of fame and admi­ra­tion. With machine-built and hand sculpt­ed trails like Huron, Kama­su­trail, and Belze­brute, you’ll find that berms, bridges, flow lines, and mas­sive rock slabs dat­ing back to the last ice age blend into a cap­ti­vat­ing melt­ing pot. With a pump track and a flow trail near the entrance, Empire 47 is the per­fect start­ing point to ease into Que­bec riding.

Images: Éti­enne Dionne

Sentiers du Moulin: If You’re Still Not Convinced That They Take Mountain Biking Seriously in Quebec…

Maybe this will change your mind: Only 25 min­utes from down­town, an incred­i­bly ded­i­cat­ed crew spent well over 10,000 vol­un­teer hours build­ing the trails at Sen­tiers du Moulin. You can’t help but feel the pas­sion, devo­tion and deter­mi­na­tion etched into every berm, bridge, and rock gar­den on trails like Super G, QMG and the all-new Slab City, a mas­ter­piece-of-a-trail that feels like one end­less slab of Cana­di­an Shield. With two sides of a moun­tain and over 40km of per­fect­ly sculpt­ed trails to explore, Sen­tiers du Moulin will leave you grin­ning from ear to ear.

Woman Mountain Biking Down Wood Trail in Quebec

Images: Éti­enne Dionne

Mont St. Anne: Old School DH Lines and Technical XC Sections

Mont Saint Anne has deep roots in the moun­tain bike rac­ing world dat­ing back 30 years, host­ing its first UCI Moun­tain Bike World Cham­pi­onship in 1991. It’s home to some of the row­di­est, gnarli­est, and steep­est ter­rain on the East Coast, where old school DH lines and tech­ni­cal XC sec­tions meld into a mod­ern day Enduro melt­ing pot. With the more recent addi­tion of fun, flowy, blue-lev­el trails like La Bout­taboutte, La Grisante, l’Adorila and La Cairn, MSA should be at the top of any pas­sion­ate moun­tain bik­er’s buck­et list.

Mountain biking in Quebec is a singletrack wonderland!

Images: Andy Vathis

Vallée Bras-du-Nord: Ribbons of Perfectly Carved, Purpose-Built Singletrack

No trip to Que­bec City is com­plete with­out a vis­it to Val­lée Bras-du-Nord, only 1‑hr away from down­town. With two sep­a­rate sec­tors (Saint Ray­mond and Shan­na­han), VBN is home not only to incred­i­ble pur­pose-built sin­gle­track, but to pris­tine and tru­ly mes­mer­iz­ing scenery. So wild and rugged is the land­scape in Shan­na­han, you’ll have a hard time believ­ing you’re just an hour away from an inter­na­tion­al air­port and a bustling metrop­o­lis. An undu­lat­ing rib­bon of per­fect­ly carved sin­gle­track gives you rag­ing rivers, strik­ing water­falls, and gran­ite cliffs jut­ting from the for­est floor. Trails like the Neil­son and the all-new Légende —which fea­tures a mas­sive slab ride next to a plum­met­ing waterfall—can only be described as works of art that show­case the area’s var­ied land­scapes in all their glo­ry. Pre­pare to be amazed!

Mountain biking in the Vallée Bras-du-Nord outside of Quebec City

Images: Fran­cis Fontaine