Winter riding on groomed trails is more popular than ever, mostly thanks to MTB areas keeping up the work when the trails are covered in snow. While fat biking is largely dependent on conditions, high quality trail maintenance is a game changer.
The Montreal area and its shores offer great variety and a multitude of locations for different riding, scenery and services. Here are our favorites :
Parc du Domaine Vert (Mirabel, Laurentides)
The Parc du Domaine Vert is a special place to us, mostly because one of it’s trails has our name on it, but also because of its proximity to the Blainville location, also the Primeau Vélo headquarters.
Parc du Domaine Vert has something for everyone, with the long 4 km beginner loop, and more intermediate trails on the other side of the park. In total, more than 21km of high quality, maintained trails are at your disposal. Access fees are reasonable and rental bikes are also available on location, for a very fair price.
This is an ideal location for your first fatbike experiences, as the beginner trail is very accessible, and the rest of the trails do not have excessive gradient changes.
Our favorite trails: Primeau Vélo, Milette/Jojo and Poudrette
Abbaye d’Oka / Cycles Tomahawk (Oka, Laurentides)
L’Abbaye d’Oka/Cycles Tomahawk is a prime example of passionate riders giving back to the cycling community by maintaining a high quality standard and providing over-the-top service to their customers.
This trail system is fairly large for the region, with everything from absolute beginner trails, intermediate and scary advanced trails, pump track and jump lines. Quite a lot to explore, both during winter and summer.
Access fees are not the cheapest, but the quality of both the service and trails is more than enough for justification. Year passes are also available if you intend on becoming a regular.
Cycles Tomahawk is the on-site shop, from which rental bikes are offered. Being a MTB specialized shop, their rental fleet is professionally maintained and they have parts, accessories, clothing and even some niche bike brands for sale. With a warm fire to greet you after your ride, Cycles Tomahawk is an essential stop.
Our favorite trails: Rouge, Verte and Rose
Chantecler / Mont Loup Garou (Saint-Adèle, Laurentides)
Known as the premium MTB destination during the summer, Chanteclerc/Mont Loup Garou knows how to deliver during the winter as well. A devoted group of volunteers keep the trails in top condition, offering a great number of high quality riding days throughout winter.
Now, this location offers a slightly different challenge, being situated higher up in the north, it is perched atop a few small mountains and ski resorts, therefore making for longer, steeper climbs and more technical descents. This may seem daunting at first but if the conditions are right, this is a great place to quickly better your skills.
As of 2020/2021, there are no access fees for this great trail system. That said, the lands on which these trails are situated are currently under municipal dispute and fees or a season pass may be required in the coming years.
There is no rental on location, but multiple local shops offer rental bikes such as Espresso Sports in Ste Adèle.