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Hut to Hut fatbike trip

Discovering the Papineau Labelle Wildlife Reserve

Photos and Text by Karine Corbeil and Alexandre Provost

English version to come…

La Réserve faunique Papineau-Labelle, idéalement située entre Montréal et Ottawa, était notre terrain de jeux désigné l’histoire d’un de ces froids week-end de mars. L’idée était à la fois de découvrir un coin inédit pour le fatbike et de faire connaître les charmes et attraits de cette grande réserve faunique, une des plus grande au Québec.

On a bien beau être qu’à 2h30 d’un grand centre à l’est ou à l’ouest, on n’est pas moins dans l’bois pour autant ! Les charmants villages de Chénéville et Duhamel (et ses nombreux chevreuils…) ont été les derniers hameaux sur notre route avant d’arriver à l’accueil Gagnon de la SEPAQ.

Brigitte et Gilbert étant d’un accueil des plus chaleureux, ont pris soin de nos bagages alors qu’on se préparait à prendre le sentier. Nous avons roulé sur les sentiers Petit Train et Grande Allée au coucher du soleil et à la frontale pour se rendre au le chalet Vieux-Foyer. Les sentiers sont prometteurs avec une base tracée par les motoneiges de la réserve et durcie par le froid (pas des sentiers de motoneiges grand public). Arrivés sur place, l’endroit est à rêver : chalet vintage, bois, poêle à bois, eau puisée à même le lac Ernest, tout le kit !

Par -23°C au petit matin, on prend un peu le temps de déjeuner, mais on sort vite pour aller explorer. En direction nord, le sentier nous amène au chalet Fascinant où nous croisons Brigitte qui fait sa tournée. C’est grand soleil mais le sol ne dégèle pas du tout et on roule bien.

On s’arrête en chemin au chalet Héron pour se réchauffer un peu. Le concept des chalets ouverts à tous durant le jour est intéressant, on peut jaser avec les autres gens sur place.

Ce froid sibérien a créé une épaisse couche de glace sur les lacs, ce qui permet de s’y aventurer et d’explorer le Lac Ernest avec nos Chic-Chocs en soirée. On va même faire un coucou à des amis Français dans le chalet Doucet et son igloo !

Dimanche matin, nous quittons notre havre sous le soleil, direction sud via le Lac Ernest. On rejoint le sentier du Petit Train à nouveau et virons vers l’ouest. Notre exploration nous amène ensuite dans les chalets Sourd 1, puis au Sourd 2 via le Lac du Sourd.

Des infrastructures bien entretenues, un superbe réseau de sentiers roulants et un accueil des plus agréables vous attendent, vous et votre fat à la Réserve faunique Papineau-Labelle.

En bref,

Où ? Réserve faunique Papineau-Labelle

Quand ? Mars 2017

Température ? -23°C

Kilomètres ? 60

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