December 2014 IAT Quebec Newsletter
Trail damage from tropical storm Arthur, the first edition of the TDLG Bottine (Traversée de la Gaspésie à Bottine), planning for the inauguration of GR A1 along IAT Quebec, 2014 newspaper and magazine stories, and 2015 snowshoe and hiking packages are some of the items included in the December 2014 IAT Quebec Newsletter.
Arthur Struck The Trail
On last July 5th, 2014, Eastern Quebec was hit by the tail of a tropical storm named Arthur, which had first been a hurricane, actually the first of the season heading up to the East Coast. Unfortunately, the trail was not spared. Heavy rainfalls and strong winds caused major damages. The first caused a very rapid flood that broke several bridges in both the Gaspé Coast and the Matane Wildlife Reserve. As for the wind, a little damage was reported in the Gaspé Coast but it hit harder in the section of the trail located in the Matane Wildlife Reserve. Over 130 km of trail were closed immediately after the storm. Thanks to the help of our volunteers during the summer, many sections have been reopened. Work is still needed for several kilometres. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Public Security answered negatively to a financing request made at the "General Financial Assistance Program for Actual or Imminent Disasters". The reason for the refusal was that the use of the trail is a recreational activity, which does not match to the requirements of the program. It is not clear yet how we can finish the job and where we can find the money.
First TDLG Bottine
The first edition of the TDLG Bottine (Traversée de la Gaspésie à bottine – Hiking Across the Gaspésie) was held on the IAT between September 28th and October 3rd. Based on a similar formula as the ski edition, the event started in the Gaspésie National Park and continued in the Upper Gaspé, the Gaspé Coast, and ended at Cap Gaspé in Forillon Park. According to their comments the 125 hikers who hiked during 6 days greatly enjoyed traveling the 130 kilometres until Forillon. The landscape was dressed in its best colors and the temperature was mild throughout the whole event. According to the event organizers, this is an unexpected success for a first edition. They are confident that the second edition should bring more participants.
GR® A1 Blazing and Inauguration Trip
In 2014, the Quebec section of the IAT became the first GR® (Grande Randonnée) in North America. One of the priorities established by the Board of Directors was to blaze the trail with the colors of the GR® A1 (red and white). The board decided to set new 911 kilometre tags with the name GR® A1, showing the two coloured bands of the GR®. Thanks to volunteers and two students from Canada Summer Jobs, many sections were completed. To this date, Matapedia and Gaspésie National Parks are still waiting for the new tags.
We have also started promoting an inauguration trip of 15 days and 14 nights for the inauguration of GR® A1 among the members of the FFRP (Fédération Française de la randonné pédestre – French Hiking Federation). The trip will take place from September 7th through September 21st 2015.
The French Hiking Federation (FFRP) will then officially give the "Grande Randonnée"(" Great Hike") accreditation to the International Appalachian Trail-Québec. To mark the occasion, the FFRP wants to bring a delegation of 150 hikers, who will also be present at the official accreditation ceremony.
Aerial view of Cap Gaspé, starting point of IAT Quebec and gathering place for the inauguration of the GR® A1
Press Review 2014
In 2014 the IAT-QC was the subject of several news articles in Quebec newspapers and magazines. The news of the the GR® certification especially grabbed the attention of the public. Other subjects also had their share, as it was the case for an article about the long hike on the IAT-QC that was published in Marche et Randonnée and which we are particularly proud of.
Guided Snowshoe Hiking Packages in the Chic-Chocs
This winter we are offering a 1 to 3-day guided snowshoe hiking packages in base-camp formula for groups of 4 to 8 hikers. This is as an opportunity to snowshoe over several areas of the Gaspésie National Park. A guide will bring the groups to the best spots for the existing conditions. Groups will head south to the Hog's Back and Champ-de-Mars mountains, go west to Olivine Mountain and watch the vertiginous walls of Mont Albert, or head east to Americans Lake at the foot of mont Xalibu. Many other options are possible, and the distances traveled each day will be between 10 and 18 km.
New Guided Hiking Packages for 2015
The base camp formula, the hut-to-hut formula with luggage transport, and the "Chic" formula with a night at the Auberge de Montagne des Chic-Chocs
The Chic-Chocs section of the Gaspésie National Park and the Matane Wildlife Reserve is known as being a mecca for hiking in Quebec and can be hiked using the IAT-QC, over a distance of 200 km.
We offer guided hikes over a period ranging from 1 to 7 days for groups of 2 to 8 hikers in base camp formula, or shelter-to-shelter formula with luggage transport. In this way, a serious physical challenge becomes an enjoyable activity accessible to hikers with less experience. With the guided package you receive the best of two worlds: the beauty of the Chic-Chocs unrolling before your eyes and the pleasure of hiking and being outside, all of it without toiling but with the support of experienced and passionate guides.
If you wish to end your sojourn in a "chic" way you have the option to finish in aa 4 star inn in the middle of the forest, in the heart of the Chic-Chocs!
Our hikes range from easy to difficult. They take place in various settings and their gradients also vary. They are accessible to every person having a good health and a basic hiking experience (day hikes). We walk between 4 and 8 hours a day, with an average distance of 15 kilometres per day. Easier or harder hikes are available on request.