Snowmobile Tour in New Brunswick


by : Daniel Sasseville
Read all articles from Daniel Sasseville
Publish on : 2016-03-28
 

Provincial Trail 19 the day after a snowstorm
Provincial Trail 19 the day after a snowstorm

Hi, fellow snowmobilers !

Last year, we went snowmobiling on New Brunswick trails to visit this beautiful province, to know its people better and to see the quality and type of their snowmobile trails.

Even if we really appreciated our adventure, we had noticed some problems with signage on trails that could have caused problems to snowmobilers from outside New Brunswick. However, the scenery and residents were extraordinary.

We had talked about it with some directors of the New Brunswick snowmobile world and they had been very attentive to our observations. We must say that the Province of New Brunswick would like to attrack more snowmobiling tourists.

This year, we went back on February 7-12, 2016 and we noticed lots of modifications. We are happy to present our congratulations to NBFSC directors.

2016 TOUR

This year, we were five snowmobilers together, four were collaborators of this web magazine SledMagazine.com and one was a proud representative of New Brunswick snowmobilers, Mr Yves Cormier from Edmundston.  

Members of our tour.

Members of our tour. From left, the collaborators of SledMagazine.com, Dominique Maheu, Daniel Sasseville, Yves Therrien, and Yves Cormier (President of Club Motoneige De La Rivière Verte Club 76 in charge of grooming operations in Moose Valley area) and François Pereira

We left from the Quality Inn in Edmundston. Dominique Maheu will soon present an article about the places where we stayed.

JOUR 1

So, we left from Edmundston towards Bathurst via Saint-Quentin.

At first, there was much less snow this year compared with last year, but still there was enough.

We started our tour under extreme cold temperature, on Provincial Trail 12 that goes around Edmundston. There is also a local trail that is a shortcut across town, but scenery is much nicer on the provincial trail.

PT 12 runs mainly on hilly wide-open spaces. We cross nice villages and during some time, the trail runs along both Trans Canada Highway and USA frontier.

PT 12 crossing some villages
PT 12 crossing some villages
PT 12 crossing some villages
PT 12 crossing some villages

Snowmobiling along the american frontier
Snowmobiling along the american frontier

Just before Saint-Léonard, we take PT 19 towards Saint-Quentin; it runs on a former railway line.
Just before Saint-Léonard, we take PT 19 towards Saint-Quentin; it runs on a former railway line.

Once in Saint-Quentin, we find the clubhouse in the old railroad station.
Once in Saint-Quentin, we find the clubhouse in the old railroad station.

After Saint-Quentin, PT 19 brings us towards Mount Carleton and the closer we get, the more snow we enjoy. This trail is wide; remember that there is no speed limit in New Brunswick. Despite this, we did not meet any snowmobiler who was riding dangerously fast.

 

PT 19 towards Mount CarletonPT 19 towards Mount Carleton
PT 19 towards Mount Carleton

Mount Carleton is part of Mount Carleton Provincial Park. We ride on roads that are not maintained in winter, only groomed for snowmobiles.

 

PT 19 in Mount Carleton Provincial Park on roads not maintained in winter
PT 19 in Mount Carleton Provincial Park on roads not maintained in winter

We wanted to ride on the new local trail that goes across Mount Carleton and brings us to Popple Depot on PT 23, but the trail was not ready yet, two bridges were still to be achieved.

We were snowmobiling mainly in forest since Saint-Quentin. We found many shelters all along the network to warm up.

One of the many relays found everywhere on New Brunswick snowmobile trails
One of the many relays found everywhere on New Brunswick snowmobile trails 

Arrived in Bathurst, we stayed at the Atlantic Host Hotel for 2 nights.

Lodging at the Atlantic Host Hotel in Bathurst
Lodging at the Atlantic Host Hotel in Bathurst

Indoor snowmobile parking is available at the Atlantic Host Hotel in Bathurst.
Indoor snowmobile parking is available at the Atlantic Host Hotel in Bathurst.

Day 2

On the following day, a snowstorm hit the region and we decided to ride anyway towards the Acadian Peninsula.

 

Heading for the Acadian Peninsula
Heading for the Acadian Peninsula

To reach the Acadian Peninsula, we must go to Nepisiguit Falls in order to cross the river on the first bridge we meet and come back to Bathurst, but on the south shore. On this side, PT 19 runs on a former railway line. Trail to Caraquet is mainly in forest, so we have a good vision despite the important snowfall.

 

PT 19 on a former railway line
PT 19 on a former railway line

Heavy snow is falling and we are the first ones to ride here.
Heavy snow is falling and we are the first ones to ride here.

One of the relays found in the Acadian Peninsula
One of the relays found in the Acadian Peninsula

From Caraquet, we wanted to ride towards Lamèque, but the snowstorm slowed us down; so, our group headed for Tracadie-Sheila via PT 48.
From Caraquet, we wanted to ride towards Lamèque, but the snowstorm slowed us down; so, our group headed for Tracadie-Sheila via PT 48. 

Just before Inkerman, we cross the bay (trail runs along the sea) on the longest bridge ever used by our group of snowmobilers.
Just before Inkerman, we cross the bay (trail runs along the sea) on the longest bridge ever used by our group of snowmobilers.

A little after Tracadie-Sheila, we left PT 48 that runs along the sea to take PT 23. About 40 to 50 cm of powder snow had already fallen, forming snowdrifts of several feet high. This trail goes in forest and on a road not cleared in winter and very wide.

 

We were on PT 23, but our group felt like riding off-trail.We were on PT 23, but our group felt like riding off-trail.
We were on PT 23, but our group felt like riding off-trail.

Riding in such conditions was a great experience. We promised ourselves to come back here and to reach the tip of the Acadian Peninsula.

DAY 3

On our third day, we headed for Campbellton and made detours to visit some places. Trails are mostly wide and well groomed, so we quickly ride lots of kilometers.

 

Nice conditions on PT 19 to PT 24
Nice conditions on PT 19 to PT 24

Opening PT 24 the day after the snowstorm
Opening PT 24 the day after the snowstorm

We met a groomer operator on trail 285 and we took time to talk with him. People of New Brunswick are really very friendly. This trail reaches the shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence. 

 

Chatting with a groomer operator
Chatting with a groomer operator

View of the Gulf of St Lawrence from trail 285
View of the Gulf of St Lawrence from trail 285

View of Gaspésie still from trail 285
View of Gaspésie still from trail 285

Later, we cross some villages and reach PT 17 to go directly to Campbellton.

View of Campbellton (at far, the bridge to Pointe-à-la-Croix in the Province of Québec)
View of Campbellton (at far, the bridge to Pointe-à-la-Croix in the Province of Québec) 

From Campbellton, if you want to cross to the Province of Québec, you must load your snowmobile on a platform because you cannot cross the bridge on your machine. 

You will find below, details you need to know about this. The platform operator is located in Campbellton, not far from the Quality Inn.

 

When the river or the bay is frozen enough, a trail is marked by the snowmobile club. But this year, ice was only 2-3 in./5-7 cm thick, which was not enough.

As we were ahead of schedule, Yves Cormier took us to a panoramic viewpoint that was well worth the detour. We rode on local trails to visit, but you could also take PT 17 towards Kedgwick and at about 20-25 km from Campbellton, you come across Regional Trail 236 that brings you to the summit and to an outstanding view of the region.

View on trail 236
View on trail 236

We stayed at the Quality Inn in Campbellton, at the end of PT 17 right by the bridge to Pointe-à-la-Croix, Québec. The trail runs along the bay in Carleton, which enables us to see part of the Gaspésie from another angle.

 

View of Gaspésie from PT 17 in Campbellton
View of Gaspésie from PT 17 in Campbellton

PT 17 runs along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Campbellton
PT 17 runs along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Campbellton

Quality Inn Campbellton
Quality Inn Campbellton

DAY 4

On the fourth day, our group headed for Moose Valley territory via PT 17, also a former railway line. The trail goes through the backyard of Club Restigouche, a relay and check point for permits.

 

Club Restigouche clubhouse
Club Restigouche clubhouse

Arrived in Kedgwick, PT 17 leaves the old railway line and we ride mainly on a road not cleared in winter. This trail is mostly groomed like a highway, one grooming per way with a sort of median strip made of snow.

 

PT 17 near Moose Valley territory, groomed like a highway
PT 17 near Moose Valley territory, groomed like a highway

Regional Trail 150 in Moose Valley territory, groomed by Club 76
Regional Trail 150 in Moose Valley territory, groomed by Club 76

Trail 135 still in Moose Valley territory
Trail 135 still in Moose Valley territory

From the Province of Québec, you can also reach Moose Valley trails by Regional Trail 548 in Biencourt.
From the Province of Québec, you can also reach Moose Valley trails by Regional Trail 548 in Biencourt.

Our group saw many moose tracks in Moose Valley territory. During our trip, we met some on a few occasions; they travel in group on trails, so be on watch, they are huge.

We stayed at the Moose Valley Sporting Lodge, a place to discover and very busy. Snowmobilers meet and eat in the main building and stay in cabins.

Our cabin at Moose Valley Sporting Lodge
Our cabin at Moose Valley Sporting Lodge

The main building of Moose Valley Sporting Lodge
The main building of Moose Valley Sporting Lodge

While we were there, a new trail has been opened from Amqui, in the Province of Québec. The trail goes on Humqui Lake and brings you in Moose Valley trails maintained by Club 76 members who, by the way, do an excellent job.

DAY 5

On our last day, a very cold one, our group headed for our final destination, Edmundston.

In matter of groomer, you can see the dates of the last grooming operation on the web site of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (NBFSC). Trails are groomed as needed; so, even if it is indicated that a trail has been groomed 4 or 5 days ago, it may still be very nice. We did not meet many snowmobilers on trails, we were travelling on weekdays.

As for last year, people were always very friendly, trails were very well groomed, except for a few sections due to the snowstorm. We had to open some tracks until all was groomed, but many trails had been groomed before the storm, so the bottom was in good condition.

Signage has been greatly improved, at intersections you know which way to go. In fields, clubs members have installed markers, like we do in the Province of Québec. They added pointers in curves and signs that tell you to reduce speed. And all signs are both in French and in English.

In matter of fuel supply, our group never came close to be short of fuel. There are many signs indicating the distance to the next gas station. Finally, there are lots of shelters for warm-up.

Usually, this sign announces a sharp bend or a possible danger
Usually, this sign announces a sharp bend or a possible danger

Sign indicating on which provincial trail you are riding
Sign indicating on which provincial trail you are riding

Sign at intersection for plenty of informations
Sign at intersection for plenty of informations

Sign indicating many curves ahead
Sign indicating many curves ahead

As you may guest, we really liked our snowmobile adventure in New Brunswick and we recommend it strongly. For lodging informations, please read the article written by Dominique Maheu following our tour.

For more details and to see the New Brunswick interactive trail map, please visit the web site of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs.

Same as in the Province of Québec, a trail permit is needed to ride on trails. Here are the costs for 2015-2016.

Permit Type Price
Seasonal

245,00 $ + HST 
Before December 15, 2015 : 175,00 $ + HST

Antique 50,00 $ + HST
Classic 95,00 $ + HST
Family (3rd and subsequent) 95,00 $ + HST
One-Day 40,00 $  HST included
Three-Day 80,00 $  HST included
Seven-Day 125,00 $  HST included

Finally, we invite you to visit New Brunswick on your snowmobile, you will not regret it.

 

Dominique Maheu, Daniel Sasseville, Yves Therrien, Yves Cormier, François Pereira, photo taken along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Campbellton
Dominique Maheu, Daniel Sasseville, Yves Therrien, Yves Cormier, François Pereira, photo taken along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Campbellton

Daniel Sasseville on the summit reachable by trail 236
Daniel Sasseville on the summit reachable by trail 236




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