Ladysmith Loop (63 km)
Route Author: Leander van Rooijen
Location: Ladysmith, Municipality of Thorne, Quebec
Distance: 62.9km (39.1 mile)
Suggested Tire Width: 38mm
Amenities: The loop’s official starting point in the village of Ladysmith includes a small gas station and general store. Otherwise, there are no other amenities on route.
Estimated Gravel Time: 85%
Parking: The Thorne Community Recreation Complex in village of Ladysmith
The following loop was submitted by Leander van Rooijen and explores the rolling forested hills west of Gatineau. The southern section includes several stout climbs, whilst the northern portion is generally less demanding, but offers plenty of scenery to enjoy.
Starting from the village of Ladysmith, head south on the 303 for 2km before making a left onto Chemin Yach, where the gravel portion of the route begins. Shortly thereafter, the road pitches upwards as riders tackle the loop’s steepest climb. This is followed by twisty section of forested dirt as the route continues on Chemin Yach for approximately 9km, before transitioning to Chemin Mountain and heading west on dirt for another 5.5km towards Chemin du Lac-Thorne.
Upon reaching Chemin du Lac-Thorne, make a right and continue briefly on pavement towards the 303. At the 303, make a quick right/left and return to gravel via Chemin Schwartz. From here, head south-west on a series of gravel roads for approximately 7.4km, at which point the route intersects with the 366. Here, riders find themselves only 1.5km from Ladysmith, so the option exists to shorten the loop by heading east on the 366 back to the start.
Those staying on route should proceed north via Chemin Schock, which sees the beginning of another steep sandy climb to Johnson Lake. Here, make a left and continue on Chemin Johnson as the loop skirts the western shores of the lake, remaining on hard-packed gravel for another 4.6km before making a right onto Chemin Stephens.
Follow Chemin Stephens all the way back to the 303. Then head right and continue on the route’s longest stretch of pavement for approximately 2.5km, before eventually making a left and returning to gravel via Chemin Cawood. Remain on this classic section of twisty dirt to Chemin Fierobin, where the route makes a right and heads south-west for approximately 8.8.km back to the 366.From here, continue west on the 366 for approximately 2.4km back to the start in Ladysmith.