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actionjack

Saint-Donat village fighting to reopen parc gates.

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I haven't seen this mentioned here so I am going to post it up. 

 

I had cleared my schedule for a weekend to get to Quebec to put some more miles to finish off my season on my new sled. I watched the grooming delay before and after the warm-up and based on that decided to go to Saint-Donat. My last hope for having a riding partner canceled at the last minute but it's not easy for me to clear out my schedule so I went anyway by myself. The grooming delay feature turned out to be a good predictor of conditions.  The trails around SD were excellent  although the lakes were glare ice. 

I'm an admitted hotel snob and so I got a room at the new hotel Le  Suisse spa. This is a great stop to ride to if you're with the wives. You have to get here from the local trail coming from the north of town.  All of the town restaurants are walking distance from here but luckily the closest, 8e. . ., was excellent. 

I had to switch hotels so I got a room at Auberge La Cuilliere a Pot. Basic room in the rustique (original building). The place was pretty empty. They told me about a demonstration planned to implore the government to allow access through the parc once again via the Sentier Caribou. I did not attend the event and made a loop returning to an early empty bar. 

I wound up spending a lot of time talking to the owners. He speaks English perfectly, she not as much, but enough to serve us Americans to check in and give directions etc. The owner is obviously very invested in the town and they made news recently announcing how much business is down in the village since closing the parc gates to motoneigeists.  The town organized a protest of sorts which is what the video is about. 

I encouraged Gaston to try promoting to us more online including here at QR and the other popular sites - kind of a-la-Bernard. Their parking lot is across the street from the SDQ and there are cameras on the room parking. 

When vacancy is high their restaurant closes after lunch. They offered me some menus to have food delivered and ultimately they opened the kitchen and made me a meal right there. Un gros merci pour ca. This was my first time to the Saint-Donat area and I liked it. Seems like a good place to loop from and also a good relais on a tour. 

I wish them success with their struggles with the parc gates. If 317 and the parc gates opened next season that would seem to be quite a boon to them.  Hopefully they will join and keep us up to date on local conditions.  Trails around Saint-Donat were in great shape. The farther south ice and overheating was more of an issue and cast an even brighter light on good conditions around St-Donat especially in comparison to Notre dame de la Merci. I have to guess they (NDDLM) have a groomer issue as their trails were rock hard 2' - 3' rollers. 

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On 3/10/2017 at 1:12 PM, actionjack said:

I haven't seen this mentioned here so I am going to post it up. 

I had cleared my schedule for a weekend to get to Quebec to put some more miles to finish off my season on my new sled. I watched the grooming delay before and after the warm-up and based on that decided to go to Saint-Donat. My last hope for having a riding partner canceled at the last minute but it's not easy for me to clear out my schedule so I went anyway by myself. The grooming delay feature turned out to be a good predictor of conditions.  The trails around SD were excellent  although the lakes were glare ice. 

I'm an admitted hotel snob and so I got a room at the new hotel Le  Suisse spa. This is a great stop to ride to if you're with the wives. You have to get here from the local trail coming from the north of town.  All of the town restaurants are walking distance from here but luckily the closest, 8e. . ., was excellent. 

I had to switch hotels so I got a room at Auberge La Cuilliere a Pot. Basic room in the rustique (original building). The place was pretty empty. They told me about a demonstration planned to implore the government to allow access through the parc once again via the Sentier Caribou. I did not attend the event and made a loop returning to an early empty bar. 

I wound up spending a lot of time talking to the owners. He speaks English perfectly, she not as much, but enough to serve us Americans to check in and give directions etc. The owner is obviously very invested in the town and they made news recently announcing how much business is down in the village since closing the parc gates to motoneigeists.  The town organized a protest of sorts which is what the video is about. 

I encouraged Gaston to try promoting to us more online including here at QR and the other popular sites - kind of a-la-Bernard. Their parking lot is across the street from the SDQ and there are cameras on the room parking. 

When vacancy is high their restaurant closes after lunch. They offered me some menus to have food delivered and ultimately they opened the kitchen and made me a meal right there. Un gros merci pour ca. This was my first time to the Saint-Donat area and I liked it. Seems like a good place to loop from and also a good relais on a tour. 

I wish them success with their struggles with the parc gates. If 317 and the parc gates opened next season that would seem to be quite a boon to them.  Hopefully they will join and keep us up to date on local conditions.  Trails around Saint-Donat were in great shape. The farther south ice and overheating was more of an issue and cast an even brighter light on good conditions around St-Donat especially in comparison to Notre dame de la Merci. I have to guess they (NDDLM) have a groomer issue as their trails were rock hard 2' - 3' rollers. 

Yes I hope they succeed too. Opening that Tremblant parc 33 trail along with the connector between St Agathe and Tremblant town could have the potential to change snowmobiling in this area immensely. I know I for one, would be likely to start in this area more often as it is a shorter drive and with the short connector trail would give many options to day trip from as well as saddlebag out of. Years ago St Donat was a popular area for American snowmobiliers to start from. The Pot was a popular place. It has been slowly dying as a snowmobile haven though and now with the closure of the Tremblant Parc trail, will certainly put it under. That being said though, its a two way street. They have to get their act together at the Pot. The service is horrible. Food not really good, very dated rooms etc. We likely wont stay there again unless these issues are addressed. But the town of St Donat is still on my radar if the can at least get the connector trail open out of St Agathe and definately if they can reopen the parc trail. I did not know about the Le Suisse spa. I will check that out. Also the club in the area is notorious for inconstant grooming. Sometimes the trails are great, sometimes they rival tug hill for the size of the moguls. Not sure why that is. But I dont go to Quebec for bumpy trails. I wonder sometimes how much politics get involved with trail making decisions. The lanaudiere and laurentides regions are pretty much set with their hubs of operation, Mt Laurier and St Michele Des Saints being those. But I gotta think the town of Mt Tremblant has some pull in that arena and adding the connector trail plus the parc trail could potentially add a third "hub" centralized  between the two areas, around St Agathe, St Donat or Mt Tremblant area for sure. I also know alot of Montreal locals have second homes or vacation property in this area and not sure how they feel about increased sled traffic in the area. Not sure if that comes into play or not. Anyway's it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I know i will be paying attention to all the latest developments the best I can

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Well as you can see in the video the local businesses seem to think they need the sledding business back. It was by chance that I made contact and friends with the owners.  I agree they need to sharpen their game some but they gave me the impression that was their plan. I only ate breakfast there twice and the food and service was more than acceptable (it's only breakfast after all). The lobby and public restroom needed some attention. The rooms in the Rustique need minor updates only IMO. I'm a little surprised I haven't seen them interact more yet on here HCS TC or other sites. It was a narrow window of time and regions but the Saint Donat trails were top shape considering recent weather before I was there. 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Sledwhore said:

Anyone hear any more on this???Ice??

Sorry, got nothing on this. 

I think unfortunately you will not see the trail in the parc open again. Just my opinion. I would love to be wrong on this. 

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They put a lot of effort into their manifestation in the video. Hopefully their efforts are continuing. I booked a house in the area for a planned weekend trip. Getting to St Donat is way easier for me than QC or Chicoutimi. 

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