The Bordeleau family, well known by the snowmobilers who ride the Haute Mauricie, informs us that the conditions are at their best and customers began to appear since the opening of the trail network and the new season.
Your hosts, Jean et Carole
This outfitter is located directly to the "headwaters" of the St. Maurice River. Discovering the Haute-Mauricie by snowmobile is a project getting easier with time. The Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin is located in a strategic position. This is the gateway giving access to all the great territory of the boreal forest.
Using the maps and the Internet, the Gouin Reservoir is very easy to locate. It is a very large body of water submerging over 1789 km ² which characterizes the Haute-Mauricie. This huge star-shaped reservoir is composed of several huge bays and has 5 600 km of shoreline. This reserve holds water which controls the flow of the St-Maurice river to its outlet into the St. Lawrence River near Trois-Rivières. The reservoir is located in the forest with abundant wildlife and beautiful sceneries.
The Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin is close to the complex of dams which were completed in 1917. This site is still easily accessible throughout the year by forest roads and snowmobile trails. The dam is still operated by Hydro Quebec who keep a team of workers at this location. This place was occupied by the work camps during the construction of the Dam Barrage à la Loutre. It was later renamed Barrage Gouin in honor of Lomer Gouin. At the time of its construction, in the early twentieth century, up to 463 workers lived in the neighborhood. Houses, barracks, camps, hospitals, workshops, utility buildings, everything was build to accommodate these people. They were even served by a railroad which was used to transport all the materials for the construction and the needs of workers.
In addition, twenty kilometers from the dam site, a trading post of the Hudson Bay, gave birth to a small village named Attikamek Kikendatch, in 1840. The remains of this small native village can still be found on the island, today. But only the old cimetery is above water level. Some archeologists are doing research in order to properly protect the site.
The Attikamekw Nation has a population of over 6000 people, today. They still occupy the banks of the Gouin Reservoir in north central. The village is called Opitciwan. While many of them are still practicing traditional economy based on resources of the territory, Attikamekw turns increasingly into tourism. It is possible to visit them and learn about their lifestyle. The Bordeleau’s family can guide you on the ices of the Reservoir Gouin. Snowmobiles are the only way to access this territory. You are going to discover this small Attikamek village ,and, among other things, the traditional cooking of Mrs. Petiquay. Opitciwan is located 100 kilometers from the lodge. https://www.opitciwan.ca/index.php/menutouri
For the snowmobilers who would like to explore the eastern part of the Gouin Reservoir, the Bordeleau family will help you discover the most beautiful places and landscapes. Near by the dams, you can also access with your snowmobile these magnificient rapids and sceneries of the Haut-Saint-Maurice region.
Partial view of the village from the main dam spillway
Secondary evacuation of the reservoir.
The primary purpose of Gouin Reservoir is to supply water during the winter to the 12 power plants located along the St. Maurice River. Many of these sites are accessible by snowmobile. They will allow you to observe and photograph the abundant flow of water. You will take some pictures of the dam, of this ancient village with few buildings still used by Hydro-Québec workers, by wildlife officers, by land managers, the fishermen and vacationers.
Riding our snowmobiles a few miles from the Pourvoirie, we reach to a small mountain where several communication towers are installed. From this location, snowmobilers have an incredible panoramic view of the eastern part of the reservoir, known as Brochu Lake.
From the top and close to the communication towers, the view shows the vastness of the East Bay or the Brochu Lake
For snowmobilers interested in wildlife, the area is very gamey. From many trails, accessible only by snowmobile, you will observe the presence of numerous animals and understand a lot better their habits and behavior in winter. Often, wildlife uses the frozen tracks in the snow left by the passage of a snowmobile to move on solid ground. Numerous tracks left by foxes, wolves, lynx in a quest for food, moose tracks, many passages of hares or squirrels are easily observable. Same things to see these habitats of fur-bearing animals and watching the wild birds. Jean and Yves Bordeleau know very well this territory and they will help you discover this rich wildlife.
Can you guess which can leave traces of size of a glove?
Whatever you choose, the traditional cooking among Aboriginal Attikameks Opitciwan or a good night sleep in the traditional locations from the Pourvoirie of Barrage Gouin, you will live a great adventure.
For off-trail riders, a stop at La Patate in the Gouin located at Oskélanéo Bay South can not be ignored. https://www.lapatatedugouin.com . They will find out an oasis in the land of snow. Chantal and Jean-Marc have everything a group of adventurers might need : snack bar, great rooms, convenience store, gasoline and also a resourceful mechanical.
La Patate du Gouin : an oasis in the snow
It is important to remember that Gouin Reservoir made some 5.600 km of shoreline. Do not wander blindly. You must often travel hundreds of miles to get from one place to another. You should use the services of an experienced guide to optimally and safely explore the Gouin reservoir.
Vast bays, hundreds of kilometers away to ride, but still you should be guided well
The Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin has planned different itineraries. They will be to find the best package available based on the duration of your stay and according to your tastes and interests.
If you are looking for a stop for a couple of days with diversified guided tours, a good food, a nice selection of regional microbrewery, the Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin is the ultimate dreamed place for you.
Walleyes, seafood, steaks, delicious soups and desserts, Carole Bordeleau still offers its guests a delicious and generous cuisine.
The Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin is accessible by the forest road # 10 from La Tuque and by snowmobile from trail TQ 83 then one or other of the local snowmobile trails DNA 1 and DNA 2. We also find a small convenience store and service of refueling. The prices are very reasonable.
If you ever ride the Haut-St-Maurice area, you must discover the Pourvoirie du Barrage Gouin !