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Northbound's 2023 season


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Hi people, I decided to post some details and pics from our last ride this season. Trail conditions are a mute point this late, but there may be some new information that someone could use planning next year's trip. Besides no one at home cares about our snowmobile pics.😞 Don't expect to Towing's quality reports, but I'll do my best. First of all I retired Jan 2020 so we spent that winter in PQ, as well as in 2022. Good winters, not much posting from me. 

    Jeff and Sandy 

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We got to the Delta this year, mid January. We day rode for 4 or 5 days to remember which button did what. Plus I was sporting a 3 month old knee, and I was testing the water. It was fine. 

   We left on a northern loop on the 23rd. We were joined by Joel and Linda sledgirl,and Dawn and Keith. We had a great time with great people. They'd never yet made it to chibougmau. We slept in st. Felicien, chibougmau, Level, then we looped up to Matagami, (no one had been there) and slept in Amos. Slomo trail, thanks for the rodeway inn recommendation. The next day they headed south back towards the Delta, we headed west. They had other plans. We continued and stayed in Rouyn, then Temiscaming, then Pembroke. We usually cross at new lisk, but trails were not yet good in that area. We crossed at Rapids des Joachim's. After Pembroke we overnighted in Maniwaki, lac Taureau, then Latuque, where we had the pleasure of visiting with Andyman. Trails were mostly all good with exception of Ontario leg. In their defense it was a bumpy Sunday, and Ontario had limited riding areas open at that time. The other area that is often problematic is the area after crossing the border in the Ladysmith-danford lake area. Not knocking their area at all, but GPS is handy. There's a lot of cottage roads mixed in the trail mix, and not everything is signed perfectly. And in their defense, I don't think they get alot of tourists through there, and the locals, who have been very helpful to us in the past, know their way through









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We got back to the Delta on 2-2 just hours ahead of that extreme cold and wind. Soon our friends from across the pond arrived and we visited and day rode with many friends for almost 2 weeks. Our group represented Ohio, Michigan, Ottawa, the UK ( where they speak proper English😄) and Massachusetts We had a great time.





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On 2-15 our saddlebags were looking sad sitting in the corner so we reluctantly had to leave the party😞. We rode to the doubletree Quebec city, used to be the 4 pts. Early lunch at Mt Apica, great trails all day. They used to have a free shuttle into Quebec city, that we really enjoyed. Last year it wasn't operating, but I assumed it would be back up this year, but was not. Another casualty.





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Next day we headed to the colibri for the shuttle. We had gotten a little  🌧️ last evening so we had scratchers down. At a RR crossing, one of my scratchers caught the rail a just about tore off. I was able to bend it around so it would somewhat work. Our scratchers are the spring loaded skidoo scratchers that we've had on many sleds through the years with no problems. I guess bad luck and a snow free crossing was bad combination. Now if the rails aren't snow packed, I clip them up. 

   The colibri transport vehicle was better than in past years, but the trailer this yr is a drive on- back off. Still $40 a sled.

  We had planned 2 days at the Normandin (the old Bernieres) to taxi into the city, plus there are 2 good dinner options across the Rd. The Normandin restaurant and a st Hubert. A storm happened the next day with some snow and a lot of snow. We stayed in as the highway from Q city to RDL was closed part of the day and the taxis were suspended. So we took a cab into the city the next day, and stayed a 3rd night.






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Day 5 to RDL. Not a pretty day, but trails were perfect. Good choice to wait a day for the groomers to fix the wind damage. We stay at the Levesque, no offense to you, Mike at all. We've staged from the universal with the truck which works great, but if we're just passing through we like the view from the Levesque and they do have a good restaurant. They are not although, as snowmobile oriented as the Universal. The Levesque used to be a little more of a challenge to get to, but now the trail ends right in front.










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Day 6 to New Brunswick. I know this is a Quebec forum, so if this offends you skip ahead 5 or 6 days, but I know some Quebec Riders that do venture south, so this is for you.

This was only our 3rd trip into NB, so I'm no expert at all. We rode from RDL to Grand falls about 220 easy kms. We stopped for a lobster roll, passing by the casino in Edmonton (thanks slomo trail). We stayed at a Best Western, dinner at Tim's across the road, good free breakfast in the am.






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Day 7 to Bathurst. 280k Rode through the Christmas mountains, very pretty scenery, nice lunch at Mont Carlton lodge. Most of the trails were good but inside the park they needed groomed. We later heard that inside the park the grooming is performed by park staff, 8 hrs a day M-F. Not nearly  the same attention most clubs give. Once again this is what "we were told" not substantiated fact. I know others have had different experiences, just reporting what we saw. One day may have made all the difference. I have the NB app on my phone but the grooming info is not nearly as good as PQ. They show trails in 4 colors groomed 1-2 days ago, 3-4 days ago, then I think 5-7 days then over 7. I know green is usually good, yellow is sometimes ok either of the browns are usually bad. At least in our experience. In Bathurst we stayed at Atlantic Host. The good, right on the trail, decent restaurant, good fish dinner. The bad, the room smelled like wet carpet. Next time I'd try Danny's to compare.






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Day 8, to McNamee 236k a short day because we had planned a longer route through the park, but after yesterday took a direct route. Lunch at Tim's in Doaktown. Got some M&M meals in the gas station and a salad at the grocery for supper. We stayed at Wilson's Lodge, ate in our cabin which was very nice. We got there early afternoon and really enjoyed our stay.









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Day 9 to Bristol 160k another short day. We had planned to go to plaster Rock then Fredericton, miramichi then Campbellton. But snow was thin and getting icier south so we headed north. My crippled scratcher broke off yesterday. We had heard about a cool rail car room in Bristol (again thanks slomo trail) It was called Shamrock suites, very nice, but no food nearby. We again stopped at a grocery enroute and picked up frozen dinners and salads. On the way,  to avoid going any further south than required we took the 405 trail approx 60 km long, showed green on map.😳 About half way in we came to a completely open river, I mean no ice. No signs, no detours. We knew the groomer had stopped at last road crossing. Usually you can see scratches on the road, marks along side and find your way. Nothing here. Checked phone found bridge in town not too far, flipped down the wheels and headed that way. After one cool down stop got to Stanley and a bridge. Went into a little store and a nice, we'll intentioned guy gave me directions. It went something like this....go down this road until you come to a barn with a red roof, go behind it and you'll find a trail, follow it until you come to a steep uphill on your left, go up it........anyway, we made it back. Many of the trails we were on were rail trails, but they were not boring or monotonous. Many followed pretty rivers and went through interesting towns. The rest of the day was great. When we got to the rail car early, I called the doo dealer in Grand falls to see if they had my scratchers in stock and could swap it for me tomorrow when we pass through, they said sure









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Day 10 short day to Edmundston. 148k Woke up to fresh snow for a nice change. Short hop to Grand Falls. Dealer put on my scratchers and I talked then into servicing our clutches. Very good dealer! When we were waiting we saw that they had the new improved skidoo muffs. (Thanks Linda) We carry old Katahdin muffs that look like elephant ears for cold days. Not real good to get your hands into but they fold nicely in the saddlebags. I really like wearing muffs with real light gloves, so tried the old style skidoo muffs last year but felt too restrictive. Sandy didn't like them either for the same reason. The new ones are much better so guess who got them. Now I need a pair. The dealer we were at had only one pair. Every dealer we've been to since don't even know about the new style. The old style is #860201144 The new ones are #860202207. The new ones are yellow on the inside. We stayed at the Quality suites next to the casino in Edmundston. Nice hotel. No sled parking in front. dammit!





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Day 11 to Campbellton 248k Very nice ride today, trails all smooth, mostly railbed, last section following very pretty river. Tim's for lunch, Quality inn for the night. Heard sobering story the next morning. The day before we passed on the same trail a man was killed hitting a tree. It was a group within 15 minutes of finishing their 5 day loop. RIP










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Day 12 to Amqui. Took trailer transport across river. They pick you up at the hotel. $40 a sled. Mundles towing. Stayed at the Ambassador Got the honor of dinner with groomer. A very good time with a good friend.







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Day 14 to mont Louis.  Lunch in st- Anne- des- monts. Stayed at Auberge L Amarre. They bought the house next door to the west. So this year and last we got a room over there. The room we now get is bigger than on the original side. The place is very simple, but spotless, and good food. Trails were good today







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Day 15 to bonoventure. Headed east on the 5 to the 597 to murdockville for gas, then to L cache for lunch. We've stayed in New rich but usually head to Bonaventure to the grande pre. 20 yrs ago it was nice, unfortunately it hadn't been improved since. There used to be a nice restaurant nearby, been closed for at least 5 or 6 yrs. We walk to a nearby subway for supper. New Rich is getting pricey and they  were full. (Lucky for me) As far as the ride today, unfortunately visibility wasn't great. But we caught up to the groomer just before L cache that we had been following😀









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It is great to see you back posting on QuebecRider. Many readers have missed your very informative day by day updates and critiques of lodging and food.  I had never heard of the Train Cars in Bristol, thanks for sharing. My group experienced Aubergue L Amarre a couple weeks back. Definitely on the list of places to stay now.  Keep up posting, I can't help but to think one highlites is just around the corner.t

Great to read your updates again.


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Day 16 to Gaspe. Got gas and lunch in Chandler. Took the 597 up to the cutoff for Gaspe. We stay at hotel plante. It's easy to get to, has a laundry and now a pool in the new section. We like Gaspe and had reservations for 3 nights. Nice restaurants and nice town to walk around in. We made reservations wks before our trip, but the new section was suppose full so we booked another room. All their rooms are nice, but the new section has a great view. A couple of days before arrival I went online and now they had availability. I think Jack may be on to something. He said he wonders if these booking sites buy up and block rooms, and then if they don't sell them, they throw them back. 🤨. Anyway Steven and Kelly came into town and we had a nice dinner and visit. The old Adams motel is now Rodeway and their restaurant is now st Hubert. There are a couple of other good restaurants in town along with a little mall, a Tim's, Mcdonalds, Dixie Lee and a grocery











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Day 18 to st-anne-des-monts. We left Gaspe after only 2 nights. Watching the weather as I always do it looked like some snow and wind was coming, so we wanted to get through the mountains beforehand. I'm just an old guy with his wife to help of we get stuck😞 We found a good lunch spot in mont Louis called Chester Chez Louise. Sandwiches, chicken, simple but good. Very nice lady, not much English but very friendly. The place is pretty easy to get to. And is big inside, room for helmets ect. Us snowmobilers seem to take alot of space. BTW neither of the motels restaurants in Mt st Pierre where we sometimes stop were open for lunch, I had called the day before. In MSA we stayed at motel and cie. Although they have a good restaurant we were full from lunch so walked to subway for light supper.







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Day 19 to Matane. Short ride so went through amqui for lunch. Back at the Quality inn for 2 nights because we were a day ahead of schedule now. Also close to the quality inn is gas, a skidoo dealer, a st Hubert express, a Walmart and cdn tire.



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Day 21 to Sept isle. Caught the 8:00 ferry to Godbout. Breakfast onboard. Gas and lunch stop in port Cartier. Stayed at Quality inn in Sept isle. Good free breakfast, free laundry, good Chinese restaurant, mikes restaurant, st Huberts, Tim's, McDonald's, a mall, Walmart all nearby. We had planned 3 nights there, because that is also a stop we like. The day there had a little rain. Next day high of 50F next day 45 ish. So we watched the already low snow around town melt. I was nervous. Called a friend who lives in Baie Comeau. He assured me don't worry, may be some puddles in the woods but once away from the coast it was ok. He was right. Thanks Harold










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Day 24 to Baie Comeau. I'm sure we looked ridiculous riding our snowmobiles out of town across grass and dirt, but once in the woods everything was fine. (Part of the adventure) We did have one little puddle jump in the morning. Sandy's sled once in NB, once on the way to Sept isle and now about 3 times today. Sometimes when she would stop at road crossing or something her engine light would come on and she'd get a message something like "press start to go". The engine would not die but she had no throttle. She'd shut it off, restart and it would be fine. We stopped at bay eternity for gas and a snack. I called the doo dealer in Baie Comeau with low expectations, after all, this was noon on a Friday. They said if we could get there by 4, they could look at it. We did and they did. It was the electronic throttle. I was pretty thrilled they diagnosed it so easily and even more thrilled they had the part. We were on our way within an hour. GREAT DEALER. We stayed at Hotel Le Manoir. Sort of a quirky place but our room had a great view and we had a really good meal.









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Day 25 to Sacre Coeur nice ride today. Too warm 32f. Lunch and gas in forestville. The area that last year we got transported around is now open. Hard to tell where it begins or ends. We passed an area that looked like hadn't been groomed recently, but still good and a couple of 50kph signs. I guess that was the area. We stayed at the coronet. Another place unchanged for years. But they have a restaurant, gas, a little store and the rooms are clean. Unfortunately they no longer offer the package.😕http://quebecrider.com/forums/uploads/monthly_2023_03/PXL_20230311_160510357.thumb.jpg.98b7a1c971bac390fbc15be68dbb06ba.jpg






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Day 26 to La malbaie. Took the free ferry at Tadoussac. We had no wait. Drove right on and the ferry left. Very low snow coming through Tadoussac. Nice ride today. Stayed at the Petit Manoir du Casino, our normal haunt. Can't afford the big house😳 Thanks Linda for the info on the deal, stay 2 nights get 25% off, so.....we stayed 2 nights. Went to their pool, ate one night in their restaurant, pretty good, one night next door at the st huberts in the casino.

And if you think our sleds look dirty in that pic, you should see them now











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Day 28 To Quebec city. Trails in pretty good condition considering the low snow and warm weather. Lunch and gas in Baie st Paul. Spent the night again at Doubletree. Ordered in good pizza from Salvatore's.http://quebecrider.com/forums/uploads/monthly_2023_03/PXL_20230314_171005766.thumb.jpg.e21e967c66be70c38e06a91642147abb.jpg




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