St-Zénon/Rivière Mattawin by #345+360 trails photo ride-report 17december2016

Recommended Posts

Finally done, our first ride this season along with here our first ride report! We surely crossed Hden that posted earlier with pretty much the same path but in reverse: we did Cabanon/ Mattawin round trip


Saturday morning, around -18C very gray sky and snow. Starting from the Auberge Le Cabanon parking lot in St-Zénon


Dooright had trace the route for us earlier this last week and it was an easy one to pick this path knowing that the vast majority of the trail is on forest road base so it is easy to get beautiful trails condition even with a limited snow cover


There are a few miles from the start of the auberge out of these forest roads which still lack some snow but on this Saturday morning, freshly groomed with cold temperature it seemed almost perfect. Once back on the main road, it feels like in the middle of the season, almost no rocks and very beautiful


Here at the entrance of the Mastigouche wildlife reserve


What helps a lot is that the firsts snowfalls threy got were very wet, which once frozen left a dense and compact material on the ground rather than fluffy snow this is what explains the good trail condition the snow cover still thin at about a foot before the precipitation of the weekend.


In many spots this snow had stay in the trees creating magnificent scenery



Here the Mattawin River Bridge



There are a couple miles more rough after the bridge


Until we get on the #360 in Zec Chapeau de paille territory.

Very nice trail


The trail is groomed up to the junction with #345 north to Lake Repos outfitter. Then there are a 10 miles that were not groomed yet before joining the section maintained by Mattawin. Honestly, apart from a few trees that have fallen in the road and it did not really made a big difference and it is still a pretty fast section while staying alert.


Here on the section maintained by Matawin with the glaciers that begin to form


Very nice and fast


This section along the river is always very nice to ride.



The beauties of winter



It looks like this on many miles !!



The #360 at its best


All this on a beautiful and fast trail


The last miles to join the Marineau auberge once out of the Zec are obviously less beautiful because the base is more rough and there are still some holes not completely clogged but it ride well even two-up. Here the classic view of the Mattawin River


We arrived at noon at the auberge Marineau with a little less than 80 miles on the dreammeter. We had a good lunch break and were nicely received as always.


The sun tend to point a bit after the lunch. Here a snowy section just after the bridge leaving from the Auberge


The view over the river with a little more light


We took the reverse path on the #360 to return


It looks like mid January in this area


We must pay attention to the branches that can hit our helmet. I got screwed and almost lost my Gopro when it got hit by one that I had missed and got ejected in the side trail snow.



It was snowing a little less in the afternoon



glaciers section seen the other way



Here in the ungroomed section, the worst pass with a lying tree in the trail that you must care of. There are a couple others that just partially obstruct the trail (I don’t even let the throttle) and all them can be seen very well in advance no problem


And although it was not yet groomed, we pushed some good speed spikes without problem


Since the #360 was riding so well, we decided to push up to the Taureau Dam before returning to the Cabanon. Minimum as beautiful if not better on this side


Dam crossing is no longer possible but it is still a nice place to take a break


On the return on the #345 not far after the Mattawin bridge we crossed the dozer


And we continued at a good pace towards the south. We took a small break at the entrance of the  Mastigouche reserve


We finally got back at the trailer a little before 4:30 pm with 178miles on the dreameter, not bad for a first ride.


In summary already very good for a season start, very few rocks and the snow that is actually falling in quantity will help to improve the conditions and widen the trail network. Temperatures are winter one and the lakes and rivers are actually at freezing, we can safely say that the snowmobile season is already begin and we will be able to enjoy it for the Christmas holidays!

You may want to take a look here to follow how the trails opening will go on, many details here:






Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Jackstraw said:

Nice report Alain, hopefully this is the start of a record season! Eager to get up there, just realized yesterday my passport expired in May. Ugh!

Hey Jim,

Guess your head has been a little busy eh?

Good luck with everything!



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome report, much appreciated as always.  You may want to attach the lanyard to your go pro in case it pops off it doesn't end up on the trial...

The Dam is a nice spot for pics.  Its probably a good thing they don't let people cross there anymore..  It was always a bit sketchy especially when the snow gets deep and the rollers up and down get beat in that can't be groomed out.  Surprised nobody ever went off the edge.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report as usual.  Much better start than last year.

Yes get a lanyard for the go pro with a little plastic clip. The glue on those mounts fails sometimes so although I don't like making holes in my sleds body panels I use bolts on the mounts every where.  Even the little plastic go pro sticky back mounts (except on my helmet).

There's a little road that T's off 345 to get to the east side of the dam (that must be blocked off).  The continuous trail is the 360 north of the dam and and along the river.


Edited by actionjack

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding report, as always, Alain!  You had a memorable first ride.  Appreciate your sharing!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Snobeeler said:

Thanks Towing, what is up with not being able to cross the Dam? Is there a reroute?

Yes,you cross the river on the bridge he took pics of before you get to the dam coming from the Cabanon.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.