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LewisQC: how did the Neilson day go? Any advice on a couple of routes for a couple of days riding for first time visitors?
 

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LewisQC: how did the Neilson day go? Any advice on a couple of routes for a couple of days riding for first time visitors?
It was great! Here's the loop I did. From Shanahan building, you take right on the gravel road to get to Neilson Est. This trail is amazing. La Côte à Ti-Oui (Ti-Oui climb) was easier than in my memory. I still had to walk some sections around 20% grade but I pedaled maybe 85% so I PB my time for this climb by 6 minutes I think. You still have to climb a bit after that. Then it's a nice single track with some fast sections downhill, and some more climbing. At the end it's a long and steep downhill. Take right at the end of Neilson Est (there's some signs but you're going fast...).

Then I did Neilson Nord. It's the most scenic trail (some would argue that it's Légende...). Very technical IMO but with lots of flat section along the river.

Neilson Sud is mostly downhill in four section with some short connecting gravel road in-between. Many small waterfalls along this one.

After that I did Petite-Ourse, Grande-Ourse (this one is a one way loop so you ride only the return section), Sapinière, Tomahawk and finally Grande Evasion (another loop so it's the return segment).

This ride took me 3h35. 36km 868m of climbing (strava). I was all by myself and saw zero person on the trail... If you have the legs, you could add Aurore-Boreal or Aurore-Légende.

Another option is to start across the gravel road, down to the river. You cross the river over a narrow bridge then you can do Sucre-d'Orge and Beurre d'Érable (fun green flowy trails). Then you take Grande-Évasion and follow instruction to Aurore (climbing trail for Boréale and Légende). If you can do only one I would suggest Légende, but Boréale is a fun black descent. Then you can get to Chute à Gilles, complete Grande-Ourse which is a loop as I said and finally Grande-Évasion return. Aurore-Boréale-Légende can be done on the return but to make sure you have the legs it's best as I wrote above. Distance will be around 40km with this one if you do either Légende or Boréale. The two trails (+ one more time Aurore to go up) would add probably 7-8km! You could skip Beurre D'Érable and sucre-d'Orge or Grande-Ourse (but this one is really fun).

I hope it's not too confusing (check maps on valleebrasdunord.com and use trailfork). The must do in order IMO Neilson-Nord, Légende, Neilson-Sud, Neilson-Est, Boréale...


 

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Ya, we've got one of those spry youngsters that rides like a mountain goat! We intend to hit Sentiers de Moulin for a day (maybe the 22nd) then over to Shannahan then VBN. We'll be two Trance's and two Santa Cruz'.

Any suggestions on accommodations for 4 guys not wanting to share beds?
I'm going to Sentiers-du-Moulin tomorrow. Really amazing place with some gnarly stuff (hardest trail system in Quebec region). For accommodation Hotel Rocquemont in St-Raymond is a cool place. Trail-head of St-Raymond-VBN (another great place to ride if you have the time) is in the parking lot. Shanahan is a 20 minutes drive.
 

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Woohoo! Sounds like a blast! Thanks for the suggestions, I can't wait to hear about Sentiers-du-Moulin. I had hear the Hotel in St-Raymond is a good place to stay (we like craft beers!) Now the trick is to have enough legs to experience all of this!
 

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I just realized that Neilson Est will be close when you visit. So If you have one day, I'd try to do Aurore-Légende and Neilson NORD-Sud. If you have two days, I'd do Aurore-Boréale, Aurore-Légende plus some trails around that depending on your legs (Grande-Ourse, Petite-Ourse, Chute à Giles, Beurre d'Érable, etc. The next day Neilson Nord +Sud and other trails to complete to get there and return...
 

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You're correct, Neilson Est will be closed. We hope to have two days so your 'two day itinerary' looks great, thanks!
To get to the start of Aurore, and then Neilson Nord, do we shuttle? ride the road? trail?
 

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You're correct, Neilson Est will be closed. We hope to have two days so your 'two day itinerary' looks great, thanks!
To get to the start of Aurore, and then Neilson Nord, do we shuttle? ride the road? trail?
AAAAHHH just back from Sentiers du Moulin... This place is so brutal! Did 18km felt like 40 at VBN... Anyway, back to our topic. Fastest way to Neilson sector (1) is to take connecteur (straight arrow)but since Neilson Est will be close, you will have some gravel road climbing along Neilson Sud on the map. At the start of Neilson Sud, there's some indication to Neilson Nord, it will be a single track at this point. All other trails are on the other side of the river. So for everything else (beside Neilson) you have to take the bridge (see the zoom-in section of the map). Lots of green trail on your left (Chute Delaney is great if you have the time) and blue/black on your right. You can have access to Aurore /Boréale/Légende (2) by following Grande-Evasion and follow the signs... You could also get to Neilson sector by riding Grande-Évasion, chute-à-Gilles and Grande-Ourse (curve arrow).
Hope this help. Have a nice trip to Quebec!!
 

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AAAAHHH just back from Sentiers du Moulin... This place is so brutal! Did 18km felt like 40 at VBN...

Is this a good "AAAAHHH" or a bad "AAAAHHH"? :)
We hope to go to Sentiers du Moulin for a day (or 2?) before VBN. Too tough?
You're doing so well with the tour directions, how about some suggestions for SdM?
In any case you are definitely fueling our jets which is a always a great thing on planning a MTB roadtrip!!
 

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Is this a good "AAAAHHH" or a bad "AAAAHHH"? :)
ahah mostly good but this place is really tough! Sentiers du Moulin (SDM) is really more "enduro" so you're always climbing or descending. So no long epic rides like in Shanahan... Even their green trail would be a blue by other center standard. All expert trails start from Sommet 1 (S1). I usually ride some XC trails to get there: Raph, Baribal, Gros-Buck, Elan, Petit-Buck. This is around 10-12km. From S1 in order of difficulty: QMG (blue), Super-G (black), Léon (black), Viking (double-black), LB1 (double-black) LB2 (proline) and King Kong (pro-line). Super-G is the highest rated on trail fork and gives you a good idea of the degree of difficulty. If you had fun, Léon and/or Viking should be next. If you had enough with Super-G ,QMG is your only other option ;). There's indications for the shortest route to S1. So you can do some fast up&down. To give you an indication, I have yet to ride LB2 or King Kong because double-black are hard enough for me...

How many days of riding will you do? St-Raymond sector of VBN and also E47 Lac-Delage are really fun... If you have four days of riding. I personally would do VBN-Shanahan 2 days, SDM 1 day and VBN-Sr-Raymond or E47 for the remaining day. Or one day in each center if you can hit Légende and Neilson Nord-Sud in the same day... E47 is a 10 minutes drive from SDM.

If you want to have a look before riding I suggest https://mtbqc.ca
There's itinerary idea and POV video... Also BKXC on youtube has some video from his trip in quebec area (SDM, VBN and e47). I know he was back for a new trip 2 weeks ago so hopefully some more good video from QC soon on his channel...
 

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"How many days of riding will you do? St-Raymond sector of VBN and also E47 Lac-Delage are really fun... If you have four days of riding. I personally would do VBN-Shanahan 2 days, SDM 1 day and VBN-Sr-Raymond or E47 for the remaining day. Or one day in each center if you can hit Légende and Neilson Nord-Sud in the same day... E47 is a 10 minutes drive from SDM."

If you want to have a look before riding I suggest https://mtbqc.ca
There's itinerary idea and POV video... Also BKXC on youtube has some video from his trip in quebec area (SDM, VBN and e47). I know he was back for a new trip 2 weeks ago so hopefully some more good video from QC soon on his channel...
Thanks! That's what we are planning, Saturday -Wednesday, hoping the weather holds. One day in SDM, 3 VBN with a day for grace/rest/the best trails.
Your advice has been invaluable, thanks again,
 

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Your advice has been invaluable, thanks again,
Agreed, LewisQC I'm hoping to get out there maaaaybe this fall but more likely next summer, saving this thread for your insight.

Thank you for sharing and being so forthcoming with the details.

Editing to add - if you go here last minute with out plans no worries - the staff on site at VBN are awesome and know the trails inside out and will help plan your route.
 

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We got to sentiers de moulin, rode for the day, it was a blast, Did not disappoint!
Now in Saint Raymond, rode Neilson Nord-Sud yesterday, waiting out the rain and hoping for here then back to Shannahan Wednesday. Amazing area! What a blast!
 

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Looked at the forecast & went to KT instead, 3 days of relatively dry riding.
Still hoping to get up there soon, maybe next week.
 

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Made it up to Shannahan for a solo day & a half, didn’t see anyone on the trails Friday, Saturday was packed with all kinds of people.
The old legs managed nearly 60km in 8hrs out on the trails. Rode like a grand poulet on Neilson Nord on Friday & explored most of the blue trails Saturday.
Will go again before they close if any of my riding buddies can make it.
 

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ffs this site sucks, spent an hour on 2 devices trying to upload pics, ended up uploading to imgur on another forum & copying the links.

nOgc7UZh.jpg

Y2NQUd6h.jpg
 

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I was there friday too. Did 36 km with a friend from another part of Québec. It was his first time in VBN. Too bad Aurore-Boréale-Légende were close... But still a great ride in ideal fall weather
 

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Made it up there again with a bud.
Survived La Legende on Friday by taking most of the chicken options.
Next day most of the Shannahan blue in the morning and then squeezed in an afternoon at St. Raymond.
MTB trails staying open until Oct.20!
 

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Did a 40K ride with my brother at VBN-Shanahan. Trails have just opened the day before. Conditions were excellent. I think I got a little bit over my head and now I have a sore knee... Was a great day anyway

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