With silver trails of impeccably groomed powder, pristine forests, and awe-inspiring vistas, Quebec knows a thing or two about snowmobiling. With the awesome raw power of my Yamaha snowmobile beneath me, I had the chance to experience this first hand with Evasion Sport in Saguenay when I was put behind the “wheel” and ripped it along the Trans-Québec Trail 83.
What I was most impressed about snowmobiling from the Lac Saint-Jean region of Saguenay was just how well groomed everything was. Whether it was coming out of our chalet, deep in the woods, or through a local's farm, every inch of snow along the way was pat down to perfection. It's no wonder that people outside the province and even out of the country will travel hours just to ride Quebec's expansive network of trails.
The trail's are so legit and professionally maintained (through the volunteer driven FCMQ) that they're run like mini highways with little signposts that mark Trans-Québec trail number. Yes they're actually numbered.
As I asked more questions, the more I realized how huge the network actually is. The Saguenay-Charelevoix-Québec triangle alone is 5,200 km (3,230 mi.) long. Link that with the whole province and the number grows to 33,000 km (20,500 mi.). Now that's some serious snowmobiling.
Going full throttle with Evasion Sport
There's nothing like having the power of a vehicle on tank-like tracks and ski's for directional control at your fingertips – heated fingertips at that. Evasion Sport was equipped with some fancy snowmobiles that had a bunch of switches and dials that overwhelmed even me. Back in the day there weren't things like hand and seat warmers with multiple intensity settings. Talk about luxury!
I could tell you I took it safe on the trail but then I'd be lying. Where'd the fun be in humming along at 35 km/h (22 mph)when you can go 80 km/h (50 mph)? If you watch and listen to the video closely , you'll notice several massive bursts of speed. That was me playing around with how fast I could rev the snowmobile up to.
This is also where I throw in the disclaimer “please don't try this at home kids” because you do have to be pretty careful about keeping your distance from the snowmobile in front of you. There were a few times I got a little worried because I was getting pretty close the the lead snowmobile and I could feel mine slide forward despite pumping the brakes.
Blazing Trail 83
The 40 km (25 mi.) round trip excursion with Evasion Sport was an absolute thrill. There was ample time to really get to know our snowmobiles and really open up the engine on straight aways if you wanted to. I couldn't complain about the scenery either as we meandered our way through the forest and got jaw-dropping views of Lac Saint-Jean at the top of the hillside. There and back took a total of 2 hours including a few pitstops along the way to take photos.
To quote Will Smith on this one, “I got to get me one of these!”
Need to know before you go
- Address – 2639, Route 170, Laterrière, Québec, G7N 1A8
- Phone – 1-855-886-1021
- Note: Website is in French only. I would encourage you to call to reserve.
- Evasion Sports does not have a fixed price list. Instead they will customize a quote based on your needs.
- Evasion Sport can transport the snowmobiles directly to your location or starting point.
- There are several snowmobile models to choose from.
- Evasion Sport provides snowmobiling helmet, jacket, pants and gloves.
- Make sure you have layers underneath. I simply replaced my jacket with theirs and slipped their snowmobiling pants on top of my own snow pants.
- Having good neck protection is key too as the wind will be hitting you hard.
- If you're looking to do snowmobiling from Lac Saint-Jean as I did, I would highly recommend Chalets & Spa Lac Saint-Jean for a perfect combination of charming wood cabins and relaxing Nordic spa which is just what I needed after a day of fun in the snow.
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