Joliette/Grand-Mere/Riviere Mattawin/St-Zenon/Joliette big loop photo ride-report 9february2019

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With the beautiful sun forecasted and the fast trail conditions, we chose to do one of our classics: The Joliette/Mattawin River big loop


We were a little uncertain after Friday's rain on whether the trails would be icy or not so on Saturday morning we took a look at the interactive map to see the latest grooming and the majority of the trails had been done during the night so we went for the big loop

It is a ride that we make every year (once in each direction!) And that we particularly appreciate for its fast and rolling trails for being so south. The ride gave us 287 miles which when we have good conditions can be done quite easily in the same day. Having no riding partner we did it quite intensive without taking many breaks: We left home at 9:00 in the morning and came back home for supper at 7:00pm

So it's under a beautiful sun and -12C  that we start from home by sled on Saturday morning. The trail was very hard so I dropped the 2 scratchers from the start


It was a stunning sunny day but the wind was very strong. We just rode a bit in the field with the wind sideways and a good draft had made its way in the face of my sweetheart making her a cold spot just between the two eyes and she was feeling like she had just eaten a half-pot of ice cream too fast!!! I took out a sticky hot-pad kit and tinkered her a solution ... not very cute but effective!


Top notch riding apart from the side wind that wants to throw us down the Yam from time to time. My sweethearth no longer complains of the cold, not sure if her brain unfroze... or completely froze!


The more we rode on the #3 to the east and the more new snow we saw after the rain that turned to blowing snow




East of Ste-Ursule, I switched on local trails between #3 and #63 to keep a more direct route. Perfect trail conditions




We did a pit stop in St-Étienne to refuel and then continue to the east. Here crossing la Gabelle dam reservoir ...


On the way up on the other side of the river, some snowmobilers in the group in front of us had been trapped on an ice strip in the hill. I really love my Iceripper track, had not even free spinned


And we go back on the St-Maurice in Grand-Mère


The short stretch up to the junction with the #23 was pretty bumpy. Next was better but being two-up on the Yam, it been up to the height of Grandes Piles before I could open the throttle comfortably 


The St-Maurice river scenery is always as beautiful ...



We then ride to get the #360



And we arrived for lunch at Marineau in Rivière Mattawin around 1:00 pm with about 130miles on the dreammeter


Alot people there but as always a good nice and fast service 


Barely an hour later we left, all 3 full (Kristine, the Yammy and me) on # 360 in St-Zénon direction. Just after the bridge the trail connection has changed place  and the first portion is on a new, more direct and less twisty path. I like it much better for sure.


The classic Mattawin River view


The #360 was like a carpet, beautiful and fast.


We took a break at the summer rest area 440


It's a picnic area, if you want to use the table plan to bring a shovel!


Then back for a lazy-boy ride on the beautiful #360



I chose to cross the river on the dam instead of the bridge, like in old time!


The reservoir level is already considerably lowered ...



The #345 was nice and fast too. As we expected we met a dozer who was starting his run from Cabanon



A last fuel-up for the venture at the l'auberge le Cabanon 


The #23 south was as good, even in front of the dozer that we passed


The only less good section that was bumpy was few miles each side of Réal Massé where #23 and #350 share the same trail, then it was ok and once in the St- Gabriel trails even better. We also crossed their dozer who was leaving for his run too


We finally came back for supper at home at 7:00 pm with 287 miles on the dreammeter. The trails near home had enough loose snow with the day's traffic to ride easily without scratchers.

Once again the big tour did not disappoint us. Even with some rain last week, the trail network is still fully operational and nice: the best of the season is now! where ever you want to ride, do it now.. time flies really fast!!

You can always keep an eye here for trail conditions and more:

Have fun and ride safe!


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14 hours ago, Blueblood said:

Towing you are so lucky to be able to enjoy such beautiful country side from your house.  Always enjoy your postings.

Yes I know, you are right I have one of the best snomobile backyard in the world! thanks for the good words!

14 hours ago, PLAYHARD said:

Congrats & thanks!


You are welcome PLAYHARD,  hoping the recovery goes well for you...

13 hours ago, Jackstraw said:

Gotta love those blue sky days!

Love them two! like I wrote to CARMAN on an other post, I vote for a motion: snow in the night and blue jay day every day!!!

8 hours ago, DareDog said:

I have only been to Quebec twice now and that trail 360 is my favorite.   along the river there is very nice.   

We are two! it's my favotrite too. I have pretty good video footage i did during this run along the river and if I can find the time I will try to mount a video from the #360... 

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