Crossroads Tremblant Gravel Fondo (84 km)
Location: Mont Tremblant, Les Laurentides, Quebec
Distance: 83.9km (52.1 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 38mm or wider
Amenities: The starting point in the town of Mont Tremblant has a number of amenities, including the variety of shops and restaurants found within the Mont Tremblant resort itself. The Village de Labelle, approximately 20km north of Mont Tremblant, supports several restaurants, including a chip stand and pizzeria, as well as a depanneur. Finally, the visitor's center at the 53km mark provides riders with the opportunity to refill their water bottles and purchase snacks.
Estimated gravel time: 65%
Parking: Ample off-street parking can be sound within the resort community of Mont Tremblant. There is also plenty of on-street parking available in Village de Labelle, as well as off-street parking off of Rue Alarie.
The Gravel Fondo is a relatively new addition to the Cross Tremblant Festival, and includes three route options of various lengths, providing riders with the opportunity to explore the mix of road, dirt and gravel surrounding the scenic resort town of Mont Tremblant. This loop takes riders on the second longest option, following the famous Petit Train du Nord rail trail north up to Labelle before eventually heading east on a series of gravel roads and single-lane ATV trails as the route passes through the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant. While the official Gravel Fondo event includes a series of mechanical aid stations and full-service rest stops (with beer!), riders ought to be completely self-supporting when opting to ride this route, as there is limit cellular reception. So be sure to pack a spare tube, chain link, and a beer (or two).
Starting from the resort town of Mont Tremblant, head clockwise via Route 327/Chemin du Village, continuing on this stretch of pavement for approximately 5km to the Mercier Lake public beach. When following this section of asphalt, riders will also have the option of travelling on the paved pathway that parallels the road, which eventually becomes a distinct multi-use trail after passing Chemin de L’Anse.
Upon reaching the public beach, riders continue north as they follow the Petit Train du Nord rail trail as it parallels the Riviere-Rouge for 15km to the village of Labelle. Here, the loop transitions to gravel roads as riders follow the Chemin du Lac Cache north to the route’s first significant climb, before eventually heading east to the road’s namesake lake at the 32km mark.
Here, the route enters the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant, following a series of single lane ATV trails south before eventually heading east and continuing on the most difficult section of the loop as riders climb steeply for just over two kilometers (prepare for some potential hike-a-bike here). After reaching the top of the climb continue east, following the ATV trails before descending sharply to Chemin Parc du Mont Tremblant, the main paved access road through the park.
Riders will remain on this access road for a little over 5km to Little Monroe Lake. Here, the option exists to either continue north to the park’s visitor’s centre, as well as a lovely rest area and public beach on the south-eastern shores of Monroe Lake. Otherwise, head south as the route climbs steeply and transitions from pavement to easy to navigate doubletrack and past a small beach on the southern shores of Lac de la Fourche.
Eventually, the route returns to gravel via Chemin du Canton Archambault, continuing on dirt before exiting Parc National du Mont-Tremblant. Upon leaving the park, make a left on Chemin Tour du Lac and continue on quiet and scenic asphalt (including some generously paved shoulders) for approximately 16km as riders descend back to the start of the loop.