l’Escapade is a trail just west of Montreal. It is in Rigaud, near Mont Rigaud just out of town -- it's a perfect XC gem and discovery. The trail is groomed for 2 tracks every Thursday and the day after a storm. The trail is basically a loop with rolling hills, there is the option to start at the bottom and ski up the hill to the loop from 2 locations (but don't do this if you are skiing -- it's better to park at the upper parking lot of Bourget). Doing the basic rectangle is about 14kms. Starting from the bottom and then skiing the loop makes it about 20kms.
There are picnic tables around the trail, very good trail maps at all the starting points and throughout the trail. The picnic tables are now completely buried under snow and difficult to find. There are a number of view points, the main one being on the south side of the trail giving views, when clear, of the St Lawrence river and further into New York State.
Information and a trail map can be found here (French):
The loop has some advanced (steep) uphills and downhills -- but overall the grade is gradual. There is also a branch off the trail (look at the lower left corner of the box) where you can get some extra kilometers in, as the trail runs to a large hydro cut past a lake. If you tack this on, you could be skiing for an extra hour. We did so unintentionally as it was getting dark and we missed the turn to "cabane au sucre" as we kept to the groomed high ground. So it may seem simple, but take a map with you. You will feel like you are in wilderness, however, there are estate homes dotted along the route --in just a few places. You do have to cross a road a few times to complete the loop. See the Satellite / GPS map.
There at least 4 places from where you can start, probably the most popular is to start at the Sucrerie de la Montagne where there is a very large parking area and taffy on the snow after you're done.
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Posted By: trailpeak
- Mon Feb 17 16:00:08 UTC 2014
UpsideA very nice loop, if you are looking for something new, go check this out. Some great elevation gain to get the cardio going, not boring. DownsideThe only downside, possibly for beginners, are 2 or 3 seriously steep descents, which in fresh snow creates a narrow passageway -- hint -- if you are beginner -- take your skis off when you see the warning "steep curve" signs. CommentThis is a wonderful ski loop, it's free, and, the woods are very picturesque. A great workout, with 1 stellar view area, I was pleasantly surprised. Caution: If in fresh snow, and, it's your first time, it could take you longer than you think. Very worthwhile. Not far from Ottawa (park in the upper parking areas -- you can get a map at the visitor centre in town -- and all corners of the route have maps. A gem so close to Montreal, in fact, if from Ottawa, stop here for a ski, then carry on to Montreal for a night out!
Posted By: Tuliproxy
- Mon Sep 10 13:40:45 UTC 2012
QuestionHi, is this trail dog friendly? Seems a funny questions, but most trails in Quebec arent.ANSWERS are in this forum: Dogs?
Posted By: jbechard
- Fri Mar 06 19:32:05 UTC 2009
Upsidenice steady climb to the top ( st-George) Downsidenone CommentThe trail is well maintained during the winter and nice and calm in the summer...