Downhill Adrenaline on Mont Sainte Anne

Mont Sainte Anne Biking Quebec Canada

View from Mont Sainte Anne Gondola

Quebec, Canada

Looking for outdoor activities around Quebec City? A day trip to the world-class downhill & cross country mountain biking trails on Mt. Sainte Anne will satisfy your craving for adventure.

Mont Sainte Anne is a popular ski area located about 45 minutes North-East of Quebec City. In the off-season they offer some of the best bike trails in the country along with golfing, canyoning, and other outdoor sports.

The mountain biking trails are so good that the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is held here each year.

I’ve been a fan of cross-country mountain biking for a long time. But I’d never experienced a proper downhill course on a full-suspension downhill-specific bike. This was going to be a first!

Mont Sainte Anne Biking Quebec Canada

Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Trails

Gearing Up for the Ride

After joining my riding partner Lisa Marie at the rental shop, we began to organize all the protection gear we’d need to race through the course without fear of severe injury.

This included:

  • Full-Face Helmet
  • Neck Brace
  • Upper Body Armor
  • Knee & Shin Guards
  • Elbow guards
  • Bike gloves

I felt a bit like a warrior heading out into battle.

Next it was time to saddle up onto our trusty $7000 Scott Gambler full-suspension “steeds” and pedal over to the gondola that would zip us up the mountain in a matter of minutes.

Hitching a ride on the gondola felt a bit like cheating, but hardcore downhill bikes like these are not designed for uphill climbing… (at least that’s what I’ve told myself) :D

Mont Sainte Anne Biking Quebec Canada

Speeding into the Forest

Downhill Mt. Biking in Quebec

After a scenic ride to the top in the Mont Sainte Anne gondola with a view of the St. Lawrence River in the distance, we tackled the steep trails.

They weaved back and forth from open ski runs into thick forest with plenty of dirt jumps, drop-offs, boulders, ramped turns, exposed roots, and single track.

Some of the more difficult trails also feature raised wooden platforms that cross streams and other obstacles. The heavy-duty shocks on our bikes absorbed almost any obstacle we threw at them!

I had a blast pushing myself to go faster & faster through the rough terrain.

Fortunately no crashes occurred, which is a shame because I really wanted to test out the durability of my suit of armor safety equipment…

Mont Sainte Anne Biking Quebec Canada

Raised Wooden Platforms & Bridges

Exhausting Day of Adventure

Downhill mountain biking will wear you out a lot quicker than I thought it would. The proper riding position is standing low with your knees bent & your butt behind the seat — absorbing all shock with your legs and arms.

This stance will help you navigate the trails at high speed — but it also takes a toll on your body.

After two adrenaline-fueled morning rides down the mountain lasting about an hour each, it was time to call it quits. What an extreme workout this turned out to be!

My first mountain biking experience in Quebec was quite fun. The outdoor scenery around Mont Sainte Anne is very beautiful, plus it’s always nice to get away from the city and surround yourself with nature.

Downhill mountain biking is an adventure sport that I’d love to try again in the future.

Special thanks to my friend Lisa Marie Lacasse for some of the photos!

Watch the Video: Downhill Biking Quebec

Mt. Biking Mont Sainte Anne: Video


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Specific Details

Location: Beaupré, Canada
Company: Mont Sainte Anne
Cost: $105 US (half day pass & gear rental)
Notes: Bring a pair of gloves to avoid blisters. Also make sure to get out of the way if you stop along the trail, because other riders will come flying around corners without warning! [/message]


*This adventure was made possible with help from Tourisme Québec. However, as you probably know by now, all opinions & thoughts are my own. Learn More..


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Comments & Questions

12 Comments

  1. iain
    April 30, 2013

    I had no idea there was such great downhill riding just NE of Quebec.

    I can’t say that I have done a whole lot of downhill biking, but after finding out how close it actually is, I may have to look into it a bit more.

    I can imagine that you had to push yourself quite a bit to maximize speed without hurting yourself. I know I would probably be just slightly scared doing it.

    I think that is why I tend to stick to cross country.

    Awesome post

    Reply
  2. Dave @ Travel Transmissions
    January 16, 2013

    I can tell some of those hits were hard enough to rattle your bones. It’s too bad the camera never conveys the full intensity of downhilll action, isn’t it? Great edits regardless!

    Reply
  3. Audrey | That Backpacker
    October 3, 2012

    That looks like some intense biking! I don’t think I could pull it off, but I have two friends who would REALLY be into this!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      October 3, 2012

      It was. And with my history of crashing things, I’m surprised I made it back in once piece. :D

      Reply
  4. Pete Grail
    September 20, 2012

    I’ve done some pretty basic downhill riding before but not with $7000 worth of gear and certainly never been up the hill in a gondola. I think I will a little more nerves before attempting a few of the bigger gaps though

    Reply
  5. Rob
    September 16, 2012

    AWESOME! I was there a few weeks ago playing Le Grand Vallon golf course and would like to return to try the mountain biking.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 19, 2012

      Hey Rob, I was told the golfing there was very good. I love that you can access all of this not far away from the city. :)

      Reply
  6. Charu
    September 16, 2012

    Closest I’ve come to doing anything like this was on Haleakala in Hawaii.. but that was a clean stretch of road and not a dirt road, and I only wore a helmet not a suit of armor. I could not do anything like this…I would fly off the handlebars like some yoyo…

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 19, 2012

      I’d love to try mt. biking in Hawaii Charu, sounds like it would be a pretty scenic ride.

      Reply
  7. Ayngelina
    September 11, 2012

    Very cool but I will never ever do that!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      September 14, 2012

      They have less crazy trails for those who don’t want to armor-up beforehand. :D

      Reply

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