Bicycling Magazine Montréal, QC: Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook 

This 7-mile teaser is an intro to the tight, winding, technical terrain at Coaticook's Parc de la Gorge. Hit rock obstacles, steep switchbacks, or a family-friendly center loop that will satisfy all.

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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 11 Oct 2009 5:38:46 PM
Activity: Mountain Biking
State: California (CA)
Distance: 6.91 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 917 ft
Total Loss: 912 ft
Net Change: 5 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: California, Canada, Coaticook, Montréal, Québec
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

Combine a top rated campground with over 12 miles of winding trails in the 615-acre Parc de la Gorge in Coaticook. This recreation area is a worthwhile weekend riding destination about 100 miles east of Montréal and the same distance northeast of Burlington, Vermont. The winding trails range from wide-open doubletrack to tight, twisting, and technical singletrack that is laced with roots and sprinkled with rock features, bridges, and some super steep switchbacks.

This 7-mile route hits some of the singletrack highlights but scratches the surface of the park's advanced-level trails which all branch off a 4.6-mile beginner-level center loop. This route begins by following the center loop clockwise from the welcome center (where there are showers available post ride) and adds loop trails of both intermediate and advanced levels that wind between oak and maple trees. Cross over a few streams to a valley overlook and to a series of super-steep switchbacks known as the Kamakazi.

Technical roots (slippery when wet!) and rocks are abundant on the Coaticook trails. Test your skills with a few intermediate loops before barreling onto black-diamond terrain. Also, check trail conditions with the park before driving out; they sometimes close the trails due to rain.

-Mapped by Sacred Rides

TO TRAILHEAD: From the US border on I-91 drive 2.1 km on Route 55 N. Exit at QC 20. Turn left on Route 143 for 14.8 km and turn right at Route 141 for 19 km. Turn left at Rue Main O for 0.2 km and turn left on Rue Child for 1.7 km. Bear right on Rue Michaud for 0.8 km and turn right on Rue Saint-Marc for 0.4 km.

Position Format: Datum:

Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Distance: 6.91 mi Points: 445
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 45.145172, -71.797902
Begin by studying the map kiosk at the trailhead just north of the round barn. There's a quick roll on the wide-open doubletrack around the playing field before the trail climbs into the trees.


Location: 45.150089, -71.794456
This route's first spin off the center loop comes at mile 0.8 where you'll continue straight on the advanced-rated #4 trail and skirt a water-treatment facility up ahead. You could stay right to stay on the center loop instead.


Location: 45.149470, -71.792518
Turn left onto #5 La Marmotte which loops wide and adds 0.3 mile before rejoining the doubletrack just 150 feet ahead.


Location: 45.153302, -71.791099
Turn left on the intermediate-level #7 Les Archers, which winds nearly 1 mile west then follows the river as it joins #8 La Maudite. This section is densely flanked by shrubs and trees and the trail is crisscrossed with roots for a fast but challenging ride.


Location: 45.154072, -71.789480
There is a 2-foot drop preceding this stream crossing on #11 La Ruisseau. Try to maintain speed, but watch your angle crossing over the wet wooden bridge and winding uphill toward another crossing of the same stream. If you're lacking confidence, consider hoping off your saddle before you're mid-stream to avoid falling in the river.


Location: 45.148654, -71.789441
As with most of the junctions on this route, you could skip this left turn onto #13 La Bamby, to shave distance and time from this route.


Location: 45.149237, -71.787849
This route continues straight on #13 La Bambay, but skips the advanced-level loops (#15, #16, #17, and #18), branching off it to the left.


Location: 45.147940, -71.791583
Just before the highest point on the park's bike trails you'll tuck into a tree-shrouded viewpoint above the valley. There is a bench here and the peaceful spot just off the center loop is a reward riders of every level can look forward to.


Location: 45.142207, -71.790955
These enormous dropping switchbacks at the southern end of the loop are on the Kamakazi Trail. Rustic signs and dark trees hint at the slightly ominous switchbacks up ahead.


Location: 45.142086, -71.795397
The winding curves that bring the trail east toward loop-end are set in a majestic maple forest and are a fun, fast finish to the ride. The final curve drops toward a small jump where the trail widens. Be ready for it if you'd like to catch (or avoid catching) air.


Location: 45.143607, -71.794538
The last stretch of the loop winds downhill on a series of easy switchbacks that roll toward the finish. As the trail flattens out, look for a last-minute ramp that offers an opportunity to show off as you approach loop end and turn back toward the welcome center.

Round Barn

Location: 45.145081, -71.797677
The welcome center is housed in a round barn. Inside are restrooms, a small shop, and showers for cleaning up post-ride. © Kristy Holland

Map Kiosk

Location: 45.145176, -71.797870
Take a look at the map kiosk before heading out on the main trail that winds to the left from the welcome center. © Kristy Holland


Location: 45.145138, -71.797744
Though most of the trails this ride covers are bike-only, there are many outdoor activities and trail systems in the Parc de la Gorge. © Kristy Holland


Location: 45.148692, -71.793702
The trail traces a steep ridgeline that drops away on both sides. Stay focused on the trail and continue downhill toward the switchbacks ahead. © Kristy Holland


Location: 45.150391, -71.793553
Rocky armoring is a common challenge on advanced-level trails. Expect to see more if you veer from the center loop. © Kristy Holland


Location: 45.149607, -71.792482
© Kristy Holland

Rock Ramp

Location: 45.153297, -71.791019
This rock obstacle is a fun diversion at the junction between trails #6 and #7. © Kristy Holland

Trailside Treehouse

Location: 45.152806, -71.794160
© Kristy Holland

Wide Trail

Location: 45.153986, -71.795148
Some sections of intermediate- and advanced-rated trails round the edges of the park and follow doubletrack or access roads between sections of singletrack. © Kristy Holland

View Point

Location: 45.147943, -71.791502
An open clearing just off the center loop provides a bench and resting point for weary riders. © Kristy Holland

Center Loop

Location: 45.146496, -71.790374
© Kristy Holland


Location: 45.145360, -71.789210
The trail junctions are clearly marked and easy to follow, though these trailside map kiosks are less frequent, the well-planned trail system is easy to navigate. © Kristy Holland


Location: 45.142040, -71.793623
Directional arrows warn of the steep and difficult terrain up ahead. There are some huge, steep switchbacks on the Kamakazi Trail. © Kristy Holland

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