Mountain Biking: 5 Epic Trails to Discover in Québec City

Mountain biking on the longest rock slab in Sentiers du moulin
Sentiers du Moulin, Andy Vathis

The beautiful European looking city has built a strong reputation of being an awesome riding destination over the years. With over 400 km (250 mi) of high quality singletracks within less than an hour's drive, the hardest part is choosing which trails to ride! Here are 5 top suggestions for your next trip to Québec City.
 

  • 1

    Histoire sans fin - Le Massif de Charlevoix

    Level: intermediate
    Length: 5,5 km

    Located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in la Petite-Rivière-Saint-François, part of the beautiful Charlevoix region, le Massif offers a breathtaking panorama, on the top of its amazing surrounding nature. While it is possible to take the time to enjoy all that beauty during the ride up on the chairlift, the descents are also great opportunities to admire it all. 

    “Histoire sans fin” has an impressive vertical drop of over 650 m, which will allow you to ride through different natural ecosystems, depending on the altitude. From a tightly packed coniferous forest, through a wide open and sparse maple grove (green in the summer and multicoloured in the fall), this fun and flowy trail ends in a yellow birch forest, located at the base of the mountain and right next to the beautiful St-Lawrence River. You will definitely be amazed by all you will get to see on your way down! This trail is laid out in order to allow riders to safely take breaks while admiring the landscape... of course!  

    • Suggested itinerary: 
      Bus jaune: 3 km 
      Histoire sans fin: 5.5 km 
      Basilic: 2.5 km 
      Return to the summit by the chairlift

    This route is a real treat for those who enjoy a smooth descent, since 8.5 out of the 11 km is fast, flowy and fun downhill. It is the longest trail east of the Rockies and it passes by the Mont Liguori’s hut, which is the perfect place to grab a snack before heading out for a long ride.

    Le Massif de Charlevoix is growing at a rapid pace and will have nearly 40 km of downhill trails by the end of the 2022 season. Renowned for its long mechanically-worked trails and accessible to beginner and intermediate riders, the center is now offering more kilometres of expert trails, which kept most of their raw and natural look and features. In addition to that, numerous developments at the summit are allowing riders to progress, while safely practicing and improving their skills. There is also a practice loop and an initiation to downhill trail, which will both give you a good idea of what to expect on the mountain. 

  • 2

    Grisante - Mont-Sainte-Anne

    Level: easy
    Length: 6.3 km

    Wanna try downhill riding? This trail is for you! Enjoy the unique experience of riding down the famous Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré mountain, from the summit to the base, on this fun singletrack which drops 573 m! 

    Completely revamped in 2021, Grisante 2.0 is pretty much just pure pleasure for all cyclists, but beginners and families will especially appreciate this long and safe descent. 

    This is basically because the layout has been created in order to increase the pleasure and reduce the risks. With its 3 to 5 feet wide, it was mechanically modified in order to eliminate all obstacles and technical challenges. This obviously increases the flow of the trail, while making the ride smoother and easier. The series of berms definitely offer a nice dose of adrenaline, so be ready to hear a lot of screams of joy! 

    A few stops are necessary to rest your arms and legs. Bonus: the gorgeous view over the St. Lawrence River you will get to enjoy on the ride up in the gondola.   

    • Suggested itinerary:
      Chairlift
      Grisante: 6.3 km

    Mont-Sainte-Anne is the only park in Québec City where you can enjoy cross-country, enduro and downhill trails on the same mountain. Even though it has the international reputation of being a park for expert riders (due to the high level of difficulty of its technical terrain), the mountain is now attracting amateurs with its new trails, which were designed to be accessible to all levels of riding. 

  • 3

    Slab City - Sentiers du Moulin

    Level: Expert
    Length: 1.5 km

    This is definitely the trail which impresses the most riders who visit this bike park located in Lac-Beauport for the first time! Why? Well, it is the world’s longest rock slab which can be ridden on a mountain bike! Apart from a few wooden bridges and rock gardens, Slab City is basically a pure rock slab trail of 1.5 km. 

    The granite found on the Maelstrom Mountain is porous, which makes the rock really grippy, even in the rain. It is definitely a unique feeling!  The trail starts with an obstacle which will give you a great idea of the technical level to expect during the whole descent. This will basically allow you decide if you should keep on going further down or not, since speed & breaking control are unnegotiable on that trail. The unique views of the Québec City area make this ride even more amazing! It is definitely worth it to take a few breaks and admire the gorgeous landscape. 

    Slab City is a trail for experts. Intermediate riders wishing to experiment this style of trail can ride its little sister named the Vortex. You will find the same slab, the same granite, the same views, but just a little less commitment and technical obstacles. Lots of fun guaranteed in both of them! To get there, riders need to climb up the Tourbillon trail, then take the Crête du Lynx. From there, they have the option of trying the Vortex, or to go directly to the terrace, which marks the beginning of the Slab City. 

    • Suggested itinerary: 
      Tourbillon: 2 km
      Crête du Lynx*: 1.1 km
      Slab City: 1.5 km
      Klondike: 1.6 km
      Crête du Lynx: 250 m
      Maelstrom : 2.3 km
      *Option: Vortex (+ 3 km)

    Les Sentiers du Moulin offers more than 60 km of cross-country trails, enduro and freestyle trails, mainly recognized for their high technical level. Intermediate and expert riders will definitely find challenges meeting their expectations.

  • 4

    Belzébrute - Empire 47

    Level: intermediate, with expert options
    Length: 3.4km

    This is an intermediate level singletrack, with a descent that will delight lovers of fast and flowy trails. There are many turns and rollable obstacles, which are contributing to a safe and enjoyable experience.
    The originality of this trail is marked by its alternative lines named "La Brute", which are basically expert lines added to the main riding trail. These optional lines were built with more technical features & obstacles of expert level, like drops, long rock slabs and sections with slopes. 

    A few relaunches are necessary in order to keep a good cruising speed and to optimize the pleasure of the descent. It is a trail that we love to do over and over again, since it is the perfect way to discover and practice new obstacles in a progressive way. Each descent is unique, depending on the line chosen!

    Reaching the beginning of Belzébrute requires a long climb, but the effort is worth it. Once on top, you will find a shelter with a terrace. It is the perfect spot to take a break or a snack, while enjoying the view of Stoneham and the Marais du Nord. Several viewpoints on the descent will make you appreciate riding this trail even more!
     

    • Suggested itinerary: 
      Familiale: 1 km
      Montée de lait: 1.9 km
      Montée de la soif: 2.2 km
      Belzébrute: 3.4 km
      Reconstituée Nord: 600 m
      Familiale: 1 km

    With over 60 kilometres of trails, Empire 47 is the perfect family destination, with its diversified network, its jump lines and skills park. You will also find the largest pump track available in Quebec’s region, which is the perfect opportunity to all riders, to practice their skills and safely progress while having fun! 
     

  • 5

    The 3 Neilson - Vallée Bras-du-Nord

    Level: difficult
    Length: 27 km

    Vallée du Bras-du-Nord is filled with rivers and waterfalls, which makes riding there even more exceptional. The Neilson trio trails will allow you to explore all of that gorgeousness, while having a blast riding your bike! The view from the top is simply breathtaking and trails are unique and awesome.

    This cross-country singletrack is truly epic! The views, the variety and the technical level of the terrain... not to mention the dizzying descents in this heavenly environment... It just all adds up as you ride!
    With its 400 meters of elevation gain, it is essential to bring water, snacks and to take breaks along the way. The scenery is so beautiful that stops are more like “rewards” than anything else, to be honest!  
    There is nothing better than relaxing your legs directly in the river (next to the welcome center), after a long and tiring day of riding.

    • Suggested itinerary: 
      Langue de Boa: 5 km
      Neilson Est: 11.7 km
      Neilson Nord:  10.5 km 
      Neilson Sud: 3.1 km

    La Vallée du Bras-du-Nord is definitely a must-see outdoor destination in the Québec City area. It has a vast network of over 110 km of singletracks, available in its 2 sites (Secteur Saint-Raymond and Secteur Shannahan). There is also 80 km of hiking trails available, 17.5 km of calm water river descent and a very cool via ferrata which is worth trying out during your stay. So just keep in mind that you might want to stick around for a few days, in order to explore this gorgeous area! Good thing that a wide range of accommodations is available on-site: campground, shacks, yurts and comfortable chalets. This will allow you to rest while making the best out of your visit in this amazing valley. 


Marie-Christine Daigneault
Marie-Christine Daignault

Sportswoman, coach and patroller, Marie-Christine Daignault, journalist, specializes in the outdoors. Founder of Éditions Filles de Bois, her ultimate goal is to promote the image of women in mountain sports.
 

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