Road Trip Rip Through Northern New Brunswick
Contributed By Sam Bosence
New Brunswick offers a ride through some old school trails of rocks, and roots surrounded by trees, moss, and ferns. The hilly landscape offers amazing views that can make any climb worth it. Whether you are arriving from the west or from the east, northern New Brunswick offers up some sweet cross-country (XC) and downhill (DH) options.
We have compiled a highlight reel from our visits to northern New Brunswick for your epic trip planning purposes!
Sentiers Madawaska Trails, Edmundston
For fast cross country trails, visit the riverside city of Edmundston and bike or drive to Sentiers Madawaska Trails to check out 50 kms of singletrack. Perched on top of the hill with views overlooking the Madawaska and St John Rivers, these trails wind up and down some serious contours with 1589m of descent! Built to IMBA specifications, these trails have something for beginner to expert riders. The Familiale, Iroquois, La Green, Quisibis, and Restigouche trails are perfect for a beginner or as a warm up before hitting Gounamitz, Saut a Zair, Mont Farlagne 2, and the Petit-Sault. A visit to the lone pine tree is a must.
[caption id="attachment_1435" align="alignnone" width="480"] View of the river from the Vélo Edmundston trailhead for Sentiers Madawaska Trails[/caption]
Post-ride, a short trip to town could have you enjoying a pint at Les Brasseurs Du Petit-Sault - a brewery frequented by the local Club riders. You can also enjoy a gourmet meal at L’Écluse next to the Madawaska River. We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton because they allow you to bring your mountain bike into your hotel room - thank you for not assuming it will be fine in the random storage room normally offered! - and it is close to the trails and within walking distance to restaurants and the brewery.
[caption id="attachment_1431" align="alignnone" width="640"] Les Brasseurs Du Petit-Sault - Craft Brewery in Edmundston.[/caption]
We recommend visiting in the fall for a colourful scene of hardwood trees as you rip through the trails. You could also visit during the annual races hosted here in the summer months; Le Petit Sault 20/40/60 and the Olympic XCO.
[caption id="attachment_1407" align="alignnone" width="640"] Local riders - Marc-André Martin, Owner of Jessome's La Source du Sport (left) and Cyrille Simard, Maire/Mayor Ville d'/City of Edmundston (right).[/caption]
Sugarloaf Bike Park, Atholville
If the DH and enduro scenes are your thing, continue to Sugarloaf Provincial Park to check out the lift-access Bike Park! You can stay in a slope-side Chalet or bring your tent to be as close to the trails as possible! The lift access usually begins mid June into late fall. Weekends can be busy, so book your stay early. The annual Adrenaline Festival in July offers fun for both the racer and recreational rider!
[caption id="attachment_1441" align="alignnone" width="640"] Chalet in Sugarloaf Provincial Park.[/caption]
Riding the chairlift to the top of the hill will give you a preview of the descent you'll get to enjoy. The Park offers guided rides, rental DH bikes, and gear, so you can get the full experience on your choice of Sugar runs and more. Advanced riders could check out L'Acadienne to get the adrenaline flowing through the body!
[caption id="attachment_1433" align="alignnone" width="480"] L'Acadienne - a run of adrenaline![/caption]
MFB Chaleur, Bathurst
Continue shredding up the North Shore by travelling along the gorgeous coast of Chaleur Bay to Bathurst, and Caraquet to enjoy the culture and trails of the Acadian Peninsula.
The MFB Chaleur trails are located in the Bathurst City watershed. You can enjoy varied groomed dirt and rooty terrain by exploring the 15kms of singletrack trails. Challenge yourself to conquer the narrow, punchy climbs and tight switchbacks before heading into town to enjoy a coffee and baked goodness at Kaffeine Espresso Bar.
Club plein air de Caraquet, Caraquet
Club plein air de Caraquet has a welcoming lodge and staff to greet your arrival at this unique trail network. Many of the trails have been built or maintained by local youth, so the community investment is part of the charm of this network, which is accessible from the Town. Challenge yourself to navigate some tight switchbacks and the narrow trails on top of the ridge before going in search of a local oyster bar or checking out Origines. A night in a glamping dome at Cielo in Shippagan would top off a trip nicely. Those legs are going to enjoy a dip in the hot tub after days of shredding up the north shore!
[caption id="attachment_1439" align="alignnone" width="640"] Local rider Eric Léger leading the crew through some fun features on the Caraquet trails.[/caption]