Several winters ago, while saddle bagging through Quebec’s Laurentides Region, our crew overnighted in Mont-Laurier. I remember being very impressed with trail access into the town and the snowmobile-friendly feel of the place.
I’d also heard about the nearby Montagne du Diable, Devil’s Mountain. So when the time came last winter for a Supertrax destination article about staging day rides from a Quebec location, Mont-Laurier was a top choice.
The Town of Mont-Laurier (pop. 13,799) is located centrally in the Province of Quebec in what’s known as the Upper Laurentians. The Laurentian Mountain range extends from the Adirondacks in New York State and runs north of and parallel to the St. Lawrence River.
For those trailering in, Mont-Laurier is only 187 miles from Massena, NY and 238 miles from Burlington VT. It’s also 160 miles (250 km) northwest of Montreal and 134 miles (216 km) north of Ottawa, most of it uphill.
ABOUT THE TRAILS
We quickly discovered why Mont-Laurier and area is such a popular snowmobiling destination. Such renown starts with reliable and lasting, elevation-generated snow that averages 137 in (350 cm) each season. This wintery phenomenon enables over 1,560 mi (2,512 km) of well-maintained snowmobile trails, including several exceptional day loop options out of Mont-Laurier.
WHERE WE RODE
For our day ride visit, we looped north one day for lunch at Pourvoirie Meekos (Regional Trail 319) after checking out the Kiamika Reservoir (Local Trail 253).
Another day we circled east to The Town of Nomininque on Trans Quebec Trail 63 and took in the Chutes du Lac-Cunières (Local Trail 221).
Then we embarked on a third day’s ride westward to the Baskatong Reservoir (Regional Trail 322), Chutes du Windigo (Windigo Falls – Local Trail 228) and the must-see Devil’s Mountain (Local Trail 229).
Devil’s Mountain is the area’s premier attraction for snowmobilers. As the second highest elevation in the Laurentians after Mont-Tremblant, this peak features a panoramic south-facing lookout complimented by basic refreshments at the rustic relais perched on the mountain’s edge.
MORE RIDING OPTIONS
Each one of the loops we did could range from about 125 miles to more than double that, depending on which trails you choose. Most of these routes follow forest access roads and old logging corridors, which make exploring the Laurentian uplands even more of a treat.
Meanwhile, for those with more time, or who enjoy even bigger miles and wilderness riding, a network north of Mont-Laurier known as the “Wood Runner Trails” offers several longer circuits serviced by remote outfitters (“Pourvoiries” in French).
STAGING DAY RIDES
One of the major benefits of staging day rides from one location is not having to search for new lodging every night. Another is not having to pack up and leave each morning. But best of all is finding one location, for both town and lodging, that makes returning after a memorable day’s ride even more enjoyable. And that’s what we experienced in Mont-Laurier and at the Comfort Inn.
The Comfort Inn Mont-Laurier is located at the east end of town on the main street, Boulevard Albiny Paquette (Highway 117), beside Trans Quebec Trail 63.
Snowmobiles are allowed to travel on the south side sidewalk, so there’s good access to the same services available to automobiles along this thoroughfare.
Local residents are generally very welcoming of snowmobilers riding here, stepping aside or offering warm smiles. Meanwhile, snowmobile access to all the area trails and loops is just north or east of the Comfort Inn.
Mont-Laurier isn’t the only snowmobile-friendly town in Quebec. And Laurentides is only one of their eight regional choices of snowmobiling destinations. But both are top-notch examples of what makes La Belle Province so special. And why so many touring riders choose to snowmobile from Mont-Laurier in Laurentides again and again.
What’s more, this three-day adventure is an ideal choice for those wanting to take advantage of Quebec’s Free Weekend on January 18 & 19, 2020. And for those who love both snowmobiling and downhill skiing, why not combine them into one fun-filled family vacation? Mont-Tremblant is only 65 miles (105 km) down the road from Mont-Laurier!
Where We Stayed:
Get More Info: