ATV ride to l’Étape in Laurentides Park



Table des matières

Since I bought my ATV, the famous outing which goes to the Etape in the Laurentides park has been working on me a lot. This park is an attractive place but you have to take the time to plan to be able to enjoy it.

Preparing for the ride, of course!

When I inquired I noticed that it is better to be well prepared and that you need a minimum of five ATVs. No problem, Facebook makes it easy for me. Creation of the event and off we go! I quickly realized that this walk was not just of interest to me. In a short time, 12 ATVs were added to my pleasure.

It is important before leaving to have a reserve of gasoline and above all to know your fuel autonomy. This will greatly help prevent small glitches. You must provide at least one guide who knows the trails well. Also have iQuad app in your cell phone and download the sector map in off-network mode.

You have to plan for hunting times. During this period the trails in the area are completely closed. On the other hand, they are updated regularly on iQuad. The Fédération Québécoise des Clubs Quads takes care of trail maintenance. It is therefore important to notify the Federation if there is anything abnormal in them. Maintaining and taking care our beautiful trails is everyone’s business.

Beautiful morning

August 26, 2023, 8 a.m., direction Bec-Scie in the beautiful town of La Baie. A wonderful place to join the gang. It was nice and hot. The rain seemed very far from us. The weather looked ideal for this ride of more than 300 km. The parking area and starting location were just perfect.


Upon arriving at our destination, a total of 12 ATVs were waiting. Wow! Believing that there were only a few of them, a pleasure came over me. Prepare the machine and have a little talk with everyone. Then, I speak to remind you of the safety rules and how the day will go. The gas-filled machines and the ATV riders are ready to go.

Wind turbines bigger than you!

Shortly after we leave, wind turbines surround us. I am under the spell of their grandeur. Impressive and disconcerting at the same time, it is incredible to see these machines up close. In the forest, we are so small in what is so big. Believing it to be silent, it is quite crazy to notice that from each movement in the air a loud sound emerges.


It is possible to stop on a plain. Nothing better to admire this panorama. A breathtaking landscape. I highly recommend taking the time to stop there.

What I recommend initially is to register in advance for the ZEC Mars-Moulin. At this point, all you have to do is submit the necessary documents and leave immediately. For our part, we had a guide at the front as well as two trail agents.


We had trails for everyone. And that’s my kind of outing. From somewhat steep gravel trails to more complex ones and into the forest. There is always the possibility of gaining a little more speed in complete safety. As well as working on our technique in certain portions. To make it fun for everyone, we decided to split the gang in two. Which made management easier. A faster group with a desire for adrenaline and power. And a second, more relaxed and secure. Overall, the signage was really good. It is difficult to take a wrong turn or make a mistake.


Pure pleasure!

On several occasions we made stops. Snack, coffee, gas and most importantly, talk together. On the way out, we were treated to a little dust. We cross the Laurentides Park highway beside the gates of hell.


Afterwards, a huge loop takes us via snowmobile trails towards L’Étape. With pleasure, just before arriving at l’Étape, a huge mud hole awaits us. We went from completely clean to very, very dirty in seconds. Once there, everyone fills the machines and their reserves. That’s nice to look at! A great community of ATVs throughout the world.

Time for a good dinner. Some had brought their lunch and for others, a hot dinner. Even the most ambitious have enjoyed their trusty little sausages in bacon. We take a good hour to recharge our batteries and our stomach.

The hour is striking! Everyone towards our machines and the rain comes slowly. Each person puts on their rain suit. Which we will not have regretted. For me, the amount of rain was perfect to keep the dust from rising. For others, a few giggles and wet pants.


Several clearings dotted with raindrops. It was so beautiful! I was happy to lead the second group. At times, I learned which path to take and I was teased a lot for being wrong a few times.

In the Fjord Quad Club, we are lucky to have a magnificent refuge. Some preferred to continue the fun there. But for others, finding dry clothes and a hot shower was much better. All the same, we arrived at the cars around 6:30 p.m. Last count on the odometer, 317 kilometers. Oh dear! What fun!

Important to plan for when planning the ride

We must consider that we are all different, each with our level of ATV experience. Also with increasingly strong and efficient machines. Some ATV riders like adrenaline and challenges. They prefer speed to contemplation of nature. Which can create differences within the group.

As far as possible, when organizing a ride, you should know certain points. You have to know each person’s capabilities. Have some knowledge of the trails in terms of mileage and levels. With a basic analysis, predict the type of ATV riders who may be there as well as their number. A more accessible ride allows new enthusiasts to get started more easily. For a more experienced outing, there will be a possibility of restricting participants. You will also need to consider the level of experience. The type of machine may also come into play.

Text and pictures: Joanie Courcy-Fortin, Columnist