Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route
The Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route is part of the Bikepack Adventures Grand Depart routes. This route combines both the Canadian Shield 400 and the Northwest Quebec Explorer, giving the rider a total distance of 900km and 10,850 metres of elevation gain.
This route will take you through, over and across some of the most rugged and beautiful parts of Western Quebec. With the vast majority of the route being unpaved, this route takes you over hills and mountains, around beautiful hard to reach lakes, on some of the best rail trail in the region and along backcountry roads that are for the most part free of traffic.
Within close proximity of Ottawa and Montreal, the CSBR isn’t very far from a big city. Featuring national and provincial parks, ski hills, nature reserves and rail trail, the route will take you through forests that were once the building block of this country.
This route takes you through some difficult terrain that will reward you with epic scenery, amazing riding and an adventure you will never forget.
* Elevation denoted based off statistics from RideWithGPS. When more accurate numbers present themselves, this will be updated.
This route was created by Chris Panasky, founder of the Bikepack Adventures Podcast.
- Provincial and Regional Parks: Riding through Gatineau Park is always a pleasure. Being in a provincial park so close to the nation’s capital is a great way to explore the national capital region. The Montagne du Diable Regional Park will provide you with lots of remote riding through Northwest Quebec on every type of surface imaginable.
- Nature Reserve: The Papineau Labelle Nature Reserve is an epic area of lakes and wilderness that will challenge your bike handling abilities as you ride on roads littered with loose gravel and fist-sized rocks, cross country ski trails and unmaintained roads that require 4-wheel drive.
- Single-track/double-track: Getting off the bigger trails and onto some of the single-track will challenge every mountain biker out there. Some great sections can be found in Gatineau Park, Mont Ste. Marie and Montagne du Diable. Steep double-track climbs and flowing descents take the rider on some of the best trails in the parks.
- Rail-trails: The Veloroute des Draveurs, Chelsea Community Trail and Petit Train du Nord give you a chance to cover some ground while enjoying the views.
- Viewpoints: Check out the Champlain and Étienne-Brûlé lookouts in the Gatineau Park, for some fantastic views of the mighty Ottawa River and all the farmland that grows along it’s banks. The radio tower in Mont Ste. Marie will give you amazing views of the ski resort before descending some epic trails. Crossing the historically important Gatineau River, the Paugan Dam was built nearly 100 years ago and provides epic views of the Gatineau River and Outaouais region.
- Lac Cayamant: This 10km long lake takes you through some beautiful cottage country. But be prepared for the challenge that will come shortly after you pass the lake. You will reach an unserviced road that puts other unserviced roads to shame.
- Covered Bridges: The CS1000 route crosses many covered bridges that were of vital importance to the development of the area. They also make for great photo opportunities along the way.
- Remote hiking trails: Some parts of this route take you onto hiking trails which may require you to hike-a-bike if it is too steep, rocky, swampy, etc.