Name: The Gaspesian Loop

Distance: 2000 kilometers

Rating: Mostly Class 2, some class 1 and a bit of class 3

Accommodations: Camping, lodges, and camping

Location: SE Quebec, the Gaspe Bay Peninsula

Created by: Xavier Taddie

Unless otherwise noted all photoswer taken by Xavier 



The Gaspesian Loop is more than 2,000 kilometers in distance that travels gravel roads, small roads and some paved road in the Chaleur Bay region.  It travels across Zec’s, wildlife reserves and along paved coastal roads.

web size gasperoute
 


The start is in St Eloi Station in the Lower St. Lawrence.  The route then takes you towards Matane, Cap Chat, Cape Sixteen, Gaspésie National Park, Chic Choc Wildlife Reserve, Murdochville Grande Vallée Gaspé Pointe à la Renommée, Percé, Chaleur Bay, Mission St. Louis, Campbellton New Brunswick, Edmundston NB, and returns to Quebec by Témiscouata on unpaved tracks finally arriving in St Michel de Bellechasse on the Lower St Lawrence.

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The route was created during explorations that took about a year.  The route is 60 to 70% non paved roads.

The route utilizes forestry roads, unpaved backroads and paved roads. It crosses four ZEC areas, Sepaq wildlife reserves and 2 outfitters.  Prepare to pay a fee between 8 to 10 dollars per ZEC you encounter.  The fee can be paid at the “poste d’enregistrement” or registration office located at the entry to these ZEC’s.

The route Begins in the town of St Eloi Station in the Lower St Lawrence exit of the highway 20 east, before 3 pistoles.

After few kilometers, it take gravel back roads to the town of St Clément. After St Clément, it once again takes a gravel back road going to the towns of Ste Rita, Lac des Aigles and St Narcisse de Rimouski.

From St Clément to St. Narcisse de Rimouski, it’s a succession of gravels roads with little asphalt road.

After St Narcisse, this section bring you in the ZEC of Lower St Lawrence area. Just follow track going to the Sepaq Rimouski wildlife reserve. A few kilometers after, you’ll see the registration office of the Sepaq.  1 km after, there is the Zec office registration. The track enters this Zec.  After a few kilometers the tracks leaves the Zec and enters the Rimouski Wildlife Reserve for a few kilometers.  You then enter the Le Chasseur outfitter region.  You cross the outfitter to Grand Kedgwick Lake and then the 30 milles area. At this point, you enter once again in the Zec of Lower St Lawrence, to the exit of the Zec. At this point the gravel road bring you to the town of St Zenon du Lac Humqui.

Just before arriving in St Zénon, there is a beautiful view on the gravel road.



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At St Zenon, you’ll take a pavec road for 1 kilometer, and take again gravel roads to St Irene and Matapedia Lake. Arriving at Matapedia Lake, take left diection to Val Brillant, on a gravel road on the other side of the lake. This gravel road brings you to St Vianney and Matane. Before Matane, it’s paved roads for 40 km to l’Anse à la croix. It’s the greatest paved road of this section in my opinion.

At this point the route takes gravel roads in the Matanane Sepaq Wildlife reserve.

In the Sepaq, don’t take diections to the Matane Lake, because near the top of Matane Lake, the way is closed (impossible with a 4WD, and I’m not sure for a bike, but take the left track to cross the reserve). When you exit the sepaq, you’ll enter in the Cap Chat Zec. After having crossed the zec, you’ll stop at the registration office, and if there is nobody there it is a self-registration station.


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After that, follow directions to Cap Chat.

From Cap Chat to St Joachim de Tourelle it’s a paved coastal road, and then gravel roads to Cap Zeize. On this gravel road there is a beautiful place for the camping at the Islet Lake with tables, shelter.  It’s not an official campground but a great backcountry camping location.

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Between this place and Cap Seize, in the woods there is a beautiful cemetery.

After Cap Seize, the trip takes a paved road across the Gaspesie National Park.  After the Gîte du Mont Albert, a gravel road on the left brings you to the Sepaq Chic Choc wildlife reserve. Crossing it, you’ll go to the town of Murduchville and the wind farms of Copper Mount and Miller mount. Just after Murdochville, a gravel road brings you to Grande Vallée on the coast.

After Grande Vallée it’s a 14 km paved road along the coast, and then a gravel track return to the town of Gaspé.

Before entering the town of Gaspé, there is a track that brings to Pointe à la Renommée, but it’s impossible to take it in 4WD, but I think that on a bike it’s Ok. Otherwise you follow the main gravel road to Gaspé.

Now, between Gaspé and Percé, it’s a paved road along the beautiful coast. This 84 km of paved road is an extremely scenic drive.

In the touristy town of Percé take a ride to Mount Ste Anne. This trail brings you to a beautiful viewpoint of the “Perce Rock”.  The town of Perce has multiple hotels and campgrounds but due to the town being quite popular with tourists the summer season see’s large crowds so a reservation is recommended if you intend to stay in this area overnight.


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After Percé, there is a long paved road section. 214 km along the coast, the scenery is superb although it can be a slow drive due to the tourists who frequent the area.  This is because after Des Anses Zec, it’s not possible to travel in the Sepaq Port Daniel Wildlife reserve. Entering in the reserve, there’s no more bridge. So, I had to make a U turn, and come back on the Road 132. The trail is here, but no the bridge. Shame! (TFTB NOTE: we also ran into this river with a decommissioned bridge, it will only be rebuilt if future logging happens in the area)

Just before the town of Maria there is a beautiful place to stop in the Indian Micmac reserve in Gesgapegiag. It’s possible to rent a canoe or a tipi to sleep in. They are very friendly and nice and this is certainly a recommended stop on the route.

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Just past the town of Carlton, you take another gravel road to Mission St Louis which brings you to the town of Nouvelle Ouest. At this point you take paved roads to Campbellton NB.

In the Restigouche Valley, a Forestry road brings you near Edmundston NB.  Just past Edmundston gravel and forestry trails bring you back into Quebec.

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A combination of paved and unpaved roads brings you to the town of St Michel de Bellechasse in the Lower St Lawrence , this town marks the end of the route.


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Enjoy and have a nice trip

Xavier

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