Quebec’s Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean

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Land of Whales & Tremendous Snowmobile Trails

By: John Arkwright

When snowmobile conditions at home are less than favorable or you’re looking for early or late season riding, head for the Saguenay region, northeast of Quebec City.

This region is legendary for its volumes of snow, especially around Mont Valin and because it borders the St Lawrence and Sagueaney Rivers, whale sightings are more than just a possibility.

The clubs groom 2400 miles (3600km) of trails and these are some of the best signed trails I’ve ridden. This area has an actual snow-base for 22 weeks a year! Works for me!

On a recent tour we spent four days riding with John Donahue, recent winner of a snowmobile contest for himself and nine of his friends.

We joined John and his enthusiastic group at St Raymond and rode Trans Quebec Trail 23 through L’Etape and on into the region of Saguenay. The plan was to ride north around Lac Saint-Jean but, like in many other areas in Eastern North America, the snow was skinny in some places even away up there.

No big deal, a few detours were taken away from the lake onto club trails. The trails are a hoot to ride and I really enjoyed the abundance of inter-connecting local trails (my favorite).

Several times during a day of riding you will see the mountains in the distance in Mont Valin National Park.

Later we rode south out of Chicoutimi on Trans Quebec 83 and on this day I experienced some of my finest riding ever.

Our destination was the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu and Casino in Charlevoix Region and I’ve gotta tell you, if you’re in the vicinity, make sure you stay for a night. I guarantee you will not regret it!

I don’t know how many miles we rode on this trip, but I will tell you this, I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.

Snowmobiling in this region is fantastic: The trail quality, scenery and hospitality are all top drawer.

If I had to make any suggestions I would tell you to bring you’re ‘A-game’ warmest clothing and a very good helmet equipped with an electric visor.

It gets colder than a Witch’s Heart (really cold) up here. Oh, yeah. A high windshield is also a must! Follow these suggestions and I guarantee you’ll have the ride of a lifetime!

For information on this region call 877-253-8387 or visit:

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