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  • Writer's

Upper Ride of the Damned (68km)

Updated: May 2, 2022

Route Authors: Matt Surch, Rodd Heino, Tall Tree Cycles and Tekné Cycling

Location: Wakefield, Quebec

Estimated Gravel Time: 75%

Full Route Map:

Distance: 67.5km (42.1 miles)

Suggested Tire Width: 35mm or wider

Amenities: This route has several places to stock up with riding essentials. The starting point in the town of Wakefield has a Tim Hortons, a general store and several pubs. A fully stocked depanneur can be found in the village of Lascelle. The village of Low also has a small gas station and convenience store, as well as a restaurant.

Parking: There is ample street parking at the start of the loop in Wakefield, Quebec. Off-street parking can be found at Parc de la Riviere.

Route Description:

For riders not ready to tackle the full Ride of the Damned, this route offers the opportunity to sample the best parts of this legendary racing route.

Chemin Shouldice
Old Reilly Cemetery

Riding clockwise from the town of Wakefield, riders start climbing immediately up Route 366 before it transitions to Chemin MacLaren. The route continues north on a mix of pavement and gravel, past Old Reilly Cemetery on Shouldice Rd., before turning off of Chemin des Erable onto Chemin du Lac Bernard, where riders have the option of continuing for a few extra meters to Magasin General de la Peche in the village of Lascelle. While less than 15 kilometers from the start of the route, it’s fully stocked with everything a hungry/thirsty cyclist could want, making it an excellent option for those who may have forgotten to bring a mid-ride snack.

Chemin Kalalla

From Lascelle, continue upward along Chemin des Erable before turning left onto Chemin Kalalla. From here you’ll ride primarily gravel for almost 14 kilometers before you hit the Chemin Fieldville and the bottom half of the Lowest of the Low route. Here, riders turn right on Chemin McDonald, continuing on a mix of gravel and pavement all the way to the village of Low,

Chemin McDonald

In the village of Low, riders have the option of resupplying at a small gas station/convenience store or lunch at the Pineview family-style restaurant, before continuing east on Chemin Paugan, up a steep climb to the top of Paugan Dam (namesake of the Ride of the Damned) and a spectacular view of the rushing water.

Paugan Dam (credit: Rodd Heino)

Once at the top, riders descend quickly before a right turn onto Chemin de Farrellton. From here, the route climbs steeply again and continues south on packed gravel, eventually moving east away from the Gatineau River along Chemin de la Montagne, before turning right onto Chemin Maxwell back to the Gatineau River. The route then travels south, eventually crossing a covered bridge back to the start in the town of Wakefield.

Chemin Paugan, descending from the dam

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