• mountain biking
• whitewater paddling
• via ferrata
• rock climbing
Why Go? With its towering Roman Catholic Church, community ski hill and logging trucks trundling down Main Street, Saint-Raymond may resemble just about any Quebec town. But duck down a trail, head north into the hills, or hop on one of the nearby rivers and it suddenly feels more like a chunk of BC transplanted 60 minutes west of Quebec City.
Play: The mountain bike trails begin behind the Hotel Roquemont, right in town. The mostly cross-country trails are fun, freeride inspired stuff. For more adventure, head about 30 minutes north into Vallee Bras du Nord to the Shannahan sector. This managed recreation area has another 70-odd-km of flowy single track, including the must-do Neilson Trail, which follows bare granite slabs past the waterfalls of its namesake river. For experienced kayakers, paddling the river is a world-class adventure. For the rest of us, the Riviere Bras du Nord is a 17.5-km mellow paddle beneath the granite walls of the valley. High above is an 80-km hiking route with views across the beautiful valley. With eight huts en route, it’s an easy ramble along one of Quebec’s longest hut-to-hut traverses. In between are rock climbs and a via ferrata.
Stay: Camp or rent a cabin or a yurt at Shannahan, the base for most of the fun in Vallee Bras du Nord. In Saint-Raymond, tuck into a room at the Hotel Roquemont, right at the mountain bike trailhead.
Eat: The Hotel Roquemont’s microbrewery and restaurant serves up post-ride-sized portions of traditional and delicious Quebecois fare in a frontier brew-pub atmosphere.