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The White Route of Lower-North-Shore

Winter is the ideal time to discover the Lower North Shore, which is draped in immaculate blue and white. While the maritime service has stopped for the winter period, snowmobilers speed along the waterway with sheer freedom. Maintained and marked by the Ministère des Transport, the Route Blanche is the preferred means for citizens to travel from one village to another. Festivals, sports tournaments and other events are all reasons to say Bonjour, Hello or Kuei when visiting Francophone, Anglophone and Innu villages located along the littoral, which is covered in ice. The Coasters will be thrilled to show you their favorite winter refuges, hidden in the back country where grouse hunting and miraculous ice fishing is just waiting for you!

 

The White trail

The White trail is a snowmobile trail primarily intended for residents of the Basse-Côte-Nord to facilitate their winter travel. It is also the only continuous land link between Natashquan (Pointe-Parent) and Blanc-Sablon. This vast territory, part of which borders the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is not connected to the rest of Quebec by road. During the winter season, the Ministère des Transports maintains the White Route, a nearly 525 km snowmobile trail between Natashquan (Pointe-Parent) and Blanc-Sablon. Over the winter, the course of the white road may vary depending on obstacles (rivers and lakes) and the weather conditions.

The transport network
Highway 138 leading to the Lower North Shore has stopped at Kegaska since September 26, 2013. In order to serve the populations further east, boats and planes refuel the inhabitants with foodstuffs and other consumer goods. In the summer, the Department of Transport also maintained some sections of road between certain communities, such as Vieux-Fort and Blanc-Sablon. When winter arrives, the White Road takes over the traffic between the villages.

The distance between the villages of the Lower North Shore

  • Kegaska - La Romaine: 57 km
  • La Romaine - Chevery: 100 km
  • Chevery - Harrington Harbour: 16 km
  • Harrington Harbour - Whale Head (gasoline only): 33 km
  • Whale Head - Mutton Bay: 28 km
  • Mutton Bay - La Tabatière: 9 km
  • La Tabatière - Saint-Augustin: 62 km
  • Saint-Augustin - Saint-Paul River: 104 km
  • Rivière-Saint-Paul - Blanc-Sablon: 63 km


Check the Route Blanche trail conditions on the map of Quebec City 511 by checking in the Route Blanche menu.

Some tips
Since the Lower North Shore is a relatively isolated and wild area, it is preferable to prepare well before taking the Route blanche. Since the cellular phone does not work, nothing should be left to chance. It is therefore recommended to travel in groups of at least two snowmobilers and to be accompanied by a rescuer. To plan your trip, visit www.tourismecote-nord.com or call 1-888-463-0808.

If weather conditions deteriorate, travellers have the option of stopping at one of the 21 shelters maintained by the Department. They contain a wood stove and a supply of firewood. Of course, shelters must be used only in the event of an emergency and users must replace the elements used or inform an office of the Ministry of Transport. Food and lodging services, as well as gas stations, are located in most communities along the road.

The essential equipment

  • Spare parts (belt, candle, headlight bulb, etc.)
  • Fire lighters, lighters and matches
  • Candles
  • Metal container
  • Rope (6 metres) 13 mm in diameter
  • Dry food for one day
  • Flashlight Canvas tarpaulin
  • First aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Can of gasoline

Some tools

  • Kit provided with snowmobile
  • Knife
  • Shovel
  • Axe or hatchet

Dress properly

  • Put on warm clothes and dry quickly
  • Put on several thin garments instead of one thicker garment
  • Wear waterproof boots
  • Have spare wool stockings, mittens and gloves

In case of failure

  • Always stay in the marked path
  • Choose the shortest route between two camps for a walk
  • Faced with the impossibility of moving, build a shelter with a tarp, make a fire and wait for help. 

 

 

Here is a list of accommodation in the Lower-North-Shore

 

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