You can read the first part of our journey here Quebec North Shore ATV trip 2023 on the ATV Trail Rider web page,
Quebec North Shore ATV trip 2023 – Day 3: Baie-Trinité – Sept-Îles
Another beautiful day! The weather forecast calls for rain in the afternoon. We leave Baie-Trinité towards Sept-Îles. We cross the ZEC Trinité, it’s a beautiful path.
Just before arriving at Rivière-Pentecôte, we cross a wind turbine construction site for the Apuiat project; there is a lot of big machinery. We stop a few times to let them pass. Shortly before arriving near route 138, we take a small path to go to the belvedere to observe the beautiful Quartoze-Arpents falls of the Pentecôte river.
We decide to go for a quick visit to the village of Rivière-Pentecôte where the federated trail ends in a dead end. We had difficulty finding our way in this sector, iQuad does not seem up to date. He takes us to a piece of land between two streets on which there are no longer any wheel tracks. We retrace our steps to find another path. Additionally, further on, the trail is severely damaged. We end up finding a path and take a break on the edge of the river.
Break at Gallix
Afterwards, we retrace our steps, heading towards Port-Cartier for dinner.
Arriving in Gallix, the sky darkens and in the distance we see lightning. A good storm is coming. The further we advanced, the more intense the rain mixed with hail became. Ice balls as big as from 1.5 cm to 2 cm! We are on the Hydro lines with no forest nearby, we decide to take a break on a wooded trail. We didn’t want to turn into lightning rods.
Coming out, the paths were covered with hail, it felt like winter. The scene was apocalyptic with steam smoke everywhere. We had to put our machines in 4×4 mode, because it was swaying a lot. It felt like we were riding on marbles.
We head to the Gallix ski resort, at the top of the mountain. We can see in the distance that there are good showers.
Then, we head towards Sept-Îles. We cross Clarke City, a former industrial town. The trail passes between the renovated Sainte-Marguerite dam and the hydroelectric power station. Formerly, it belonged to the Clarke brothers and was used to supply the Gulf Pulp and Paper mill and the village. This is also where the first railway development in the region took place. Moreover, the federated trail passes partly on this old rail.
We reached the destination after traveling 233 km.
An interesting little observation: the trail follows and crosses the same high voltage lines between Les Escoumins and Sept-Îles. As if we were following the path of electricity in reverse.
Quebec North Shore ATV trip 2023 – Day 4: Visit Sept-Îles
We are lucky, yet another great day. Since we don’t go to Sept-Îles every weekend, the goal of the ride is to do all the trails in the area.
We decide to go see the Falls of the Rapides River. You have to walk the last 100 meters, but it’s worth the detour.
We retrace our steps a little to go north, towards Lake Deschênes. A poorly maintained and narrow path with several puddles and improvised bridges. We loved doing this part, it’s different. It works our muscles and sharpens our senses. Then, we went for a little walk to Lake Daigle.
We retrace our steps again to go towards downtown Sept-Îles and then to “Forges”. This is the name of the path that leads to Pointe de Moisie, a sandy area on the edge of the river and the Moisie River. Heading towards these places, we come across numerous lookouts which offer a view towards the city of Sept-Îles and the river, it is absolutely beautiful.
Finale at Rivière Moisie
It’s already almost the end, we take the path again to go to the ZEC de la Rivière Moisie campsite. It is the end of the federated trail which is furthest east on the North Shore. Three kilometers before arriving at the campsite, we are surprised by torrential rain. Arriving at the final destination, we took shelter under the roof of a local canteen while waiting for it to pass.
We and our family who followed us by road, met at this place around 1:30 p.m. to load our ATVs on the trailer. Indeed, as we don’t have enough vacation days, the plan was to return home by truck. Once the ATVs are securely attached, we buy a good dinner at the canteen to recharge our batteries before taking the long road home.
Quebec North Shore ATV trip 2023 – Final words
It’s quite an adventure to take a trip to the North Shore. It is a very beautiful region with many new infrastructures and beautiful views. It’s wild, we feel that it’s far from everything. The federated trails are well maintained and the running surface is sandy, which allows us to keep a good pace. Plus, it’s winding all the way, you don’t get bored of riding.
There are a lot of trails and forest roads in this area, but the advantage of using the federated trails is the certainty that you can travel between two points in complete safety.
Despite the remoteness, this region deserves to be known. We will definitely go back. We hope that one day we will be able to travel on the federated trail between Baie-Comeau and Godbout. Otherwise, we will surely take up the challenge of crossing the famous water hole!
Finally, one last point: I wouldn’t want to finish the article without a special thank you to Pierre-Luc Cyr from Northen Adventure for his valuable advice.
See you next ride!
Text: Eric Leblanc