As glaciers started retreating at the end of the last ice age, they left in their wake a rugged landscape of deep valleys, towering cliffs, and wild rivers — a mountain biker’s paradise was created.
In addition to this land’s unique geography, it took the dedication, resolve and savoir-faire of its people — the Québécois — to build trails beyond compare in four distinct networks. Trails so masterfully designed, so expertly sculpted and so remarkably linked together through mind-bending craftsmanship and woodwork that one must truly ride them to believe they exist. Add to it each network’s close proximity to charming Old Quebec City, the only fortified city in the Americas north of Mexico, and you have all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience.
This exclusive itinerary brings together the vastness and beauty of the region along with incomparable Quebec hospitality, remarkable accommodations and mouth-watering French Canadian cuisine. The whole of which is seamlessly delivered by an unparalleled team of passionate local guides, each of whom has played a pivotal role in the development, maintenance and advocacy of each network.
Not since cheese curds, French Fries and sauce brune have melded together has there been such a winning combo. We can’t wait for you to dig in and indulge.
Is This Ride For You?
You’re an experienced rider who loves a mix of flowy lines and techy gnar. You love exploring new trails with scenic views and unique features, whether navigating over rock gardens, rolling over ladder bridges or meandering alongside a flowing river. You enjoy getting a bit of air off a set of roots or a small rock drop, and get excited at the thought of long rock slabs. You don’t mind working through some tough climbs if it means reaching a spectacular view or being rewarded with an epic descent. You’re not intimidated at the thought of 2–5 hours of riding per day (at a fairly relaxed pace) over 6 days. The thought of Québécois folklore and cuisine (think poutine, maple syrup and tourtière) gets you giddier than a kid in a candy shop.
Day 1. Empire 47
We’ll pick you up in the morning at Jean-Lesage International Airport (YQB) and at our recommended hotel in Old Quebec. Pour a little maple syrup in your coffee as we have an exciting first day ahead of us! We’ll drive to Lac Delage and head to Empire 47 (which sits at the 47th parallel), where we’ll talk shop, get changed, build bikes, fill up water bladders and grab homemade snacks.
E47 is well-known as the world’s premier fatbiking centre, but rest assured the summertime singletrack is just as worthy of admiration as the groomed winter loops. We’ll warm up and get our legs spinning on the pump track and bike park (try to spot the downed Cessna!) before heading into a nice mix of intermediate-level trails. We’ll sample the goods on Huron, Kamasutrail and Belzébrute where berms, flow lines and stunning vistas await.
Back at the parking lot, we’ll clean up, load up bikes and grab a bite at nearby Pascal le Boulanger for delicious sandwiches and patisseries. Once bellies are full and thirst quenched, we’ll check in to our trendy hotel & resort for the next 3 nights, Entourage sur-le-Lac, overlooking beautiful Lac Beauport. Hop in the hot tub, go for a swim or grab a paddle and try SUP’ing… you’ll soon discover that life is better on a mountain bike AND at the lake.
Day 2. Sentiers du Moulin
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel (be sure to try cretons!), we’ll drive a short distance to the famed Sentiers du Moulin where rocky terrain and modern-day trail building blend to make for an unforgettable destination. We’ll tour the brand new, state-of-the-art welcome centre and learn about the fascinating history of the area’s riding scene.
The trails here of all levels have been built thanks to a dedicated crew and over 10,000 hours of volunteer work. You can’t help but feel the passion, devotion and determination etched into every berm, bridge and rock garden. We’ll start off on the likes of Raph, Gros Buck and QMGbefore hitting Québec’s most popular trail, Super G. We’ll regroup for a delicious trailside lunch made up of baguettes, local cheeses and a bounty of produits du terroir. Rejoice!
In the afternoon, we’ll head to the other side of the mountain (the Tourbillon sector) to sample some of the latest and most badass trail creations imaginable. We’ll check out Slab City, a masterpiece-of-a-trail that flows like one giant piece of Canadian Shield. For the absolute experts in the group, we’ll head for an optional ride on Wolverine; an impressive and extremely challenging maelstrom of granite, dirt, woodwork, and steep slabs. Not for the faint of heart! Others will want a second go of Slab City after having tested out the granite’s grippiness, before winding down for beers at Archibald microbrewery followed by Chez Boub’s famous poutine. What a day!
Day 3. Mont-Saint-Anne
Today, we’ll hit the road for the mythical Mont-Saint-Anne (be sure to catch a glimpse of the 83-metre tall Montmorency Falls on the way!). MSA 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 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 and La Grisante, MSA is bound to leave you smiling from ear to ear. And those looking for more gravity-fed adrenaline, we’ll possibly dip into the more challenging La Yable, L’Érablière and La Vietnam. We’ll take a well-deserved break for lunch at the foot of a magical waterfall to soak in the scenery and refuel.
In the afternoon, we’ll keep the laughs going with a few mellow jump lines and high-speed flowy sections on l’Adorila and La Cairn, before cleaning up to head into Old Quebec City for dinner. You’ll walk back in time as you stroll down cobblestone streets, peruse shops, catch some live music and dine at one of our recommended restaurants for classic Québécois cuisine or fresh local gastronomie, before heading back to Lac Beauport for a good night’s rest.
Day 4. Vallée Bras-du-Nord, Saint-Raymond
We’ll have an earlier breakfast and pack up as we’ll be changing accommodations today. We’re heading north to Saint-Raymond to discover one of two sectors of the famed Vallée Bras-du-Nord. Get ready for some serious action-packed fun!
We’ll start climbing on Sentier du Roquemont and La Montée du Belvédère, before blasting down the grin-inducing Tablerone and Le Grand Eggan. We’ll do a lap of the XC loop l’Écho des Julien before winding down on Monsieur Roland. Of course, we’d be remiss not to hit La Tommy L’Paquet, named after (you guessed it) our famous assistant guide! It’s a short but fun slopestyle-esque trail filled with berms, bridges and lots of jumps (all rollable)… tons of fun, just like Tommy! We’ll end up at the Brasserie Roquement for lunch and a sampling of their refreshing brews. You’ll want to check out the local bike shop, Frenette, and pick up some VBN swag to help support the local trails (and look super cool, too).
We’ll then drive to Shannahan to our lovely abode in the heart of the valley — a stunning backcountry eco-lodge equipped with BBQs, bike wash station and cozy fireplaces — for the final two nights. With very little cell service and much less Wifi, you’ll have little choice but to truly unwind, disconnect and admire your surroundings. This afternoon, the world is your oyster; you can chill out by the river, go for a scenic hike or venture on a via ferrata to a stunning waterfall. Back at the lodge, we’ll enjoy an amazing BBQ feast and share photos, footage and laughs from the day.
Day 5. Vallée Braas-du-Nord, Shannahan
We have an absolutely epic day in store today, with trails that are bound to leave you speechless and dumbfounded by their sheer beauty. So wild and rugged is the landscape, you’ll have a hard time believing we’re just an hour away from an international airport and a bustling metropolis. Plus, being steps away from the trails in our private eco-lodge, we’ll be able to take full advantage of the day ahead of us.
If we’re lucky, we’ll hop in pickup trucks to save us the grunt-of-a-climb to Neilson Est (something only our local guides can pull off!). And here the adventure begins: the full Neilson trail (Est, Nord and Sud) can only be described as a work of art that showcases the area’s varied landscapes in all their glory. Raging rivers, striking waterfalls and granite cliffs jutting from the forest floor are brought together by an undulating ribbon of perfectly carved singletrack. Perhaps one of the coolest aspects of these trails is that they were built in partnership with Projet Jeunesse, a program that puts shovels and pulaskis in the hands of at-risk youth and provides them with valuable skills and meaningful work through trail building.
As we break by the Neilson river, we’ll gain an understanding as to why this land is deemed sacred to the Huron-Wendat First Nations of the area. A spectacular catered lunch awaits on the banks of the river where we’ll feast on local and traditional delicacies and sit stunned by our magical surroundings. We’ll ride all the way back to our lodge on a mix of flowy blue trails and finally kick back, crack a beer and jump in the river to cool down. In the evening, we’ll enjoy our final BBQ dinner together before cranking some classic Québécois folk around a bonfire (where maple whiskey is known to flow generously) and celebrate the incredible days of riding we’ve shared together.
Day 6. Chute Delaney et Légende
There’s no hiding the fact that we’ve kept la cerise sur le sundae for last. Once caffeinated, we’ll hop on our bikes and ride over to the captivating Delaney waterfall. And seeing as no trip to Québec is complete without a healthy serving of local, organic maple syrup, we’ll indulge in true Québécois fashion in an outdoor breakfast of thick French Toast and fruit… right at the foot of the waterfall!
As if that wasn’t indulgent enough, we’ll begin a short ride on the super fun La Boréale and the brand-new Légende, which features a massive slab ride next to a plummeting waterfall that culminates with a stunning panoramic view of the valley below. Then it’s onto the classic Chute à Gilles, where we’ll cross the very same waterfall from below, before making our escape on Grande Évasion. We’ll head back to the lodge to clean up, pack bikes, load the van and bid our farewell to this beautiful region. Then it’s off the airport by 4:00 pm for those catching a flight, and back to Old Quebec for those extending their trip. Au revoir et à la prochaine!