Forillon National Park, Gaspe, QC

Located at the very tip of the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Forillon National Park was created in 1970. Like all of Canada's national parks, it is home to amazing terrain and scenery. Most of the trails in the park are either old roads or were created in the early years of the park. Forillon is home to a section of the International Appalachian Trail, has a couple of family friendly cycling trails and an entirely different winter trail network.

We looked at most of the summer trails in the park alongside staff members of the park. Most of the heavily used trails are very steep but seem to be holding up due to the fact that the park is blessed with incredibly durable soils. It was tricky finding a spot that would accommodate our workshop but in the end we decided to rework existing tread on a section of Les Cretes.

Les Cretes is one of the trails in the park that is currently being considered as a potential trail for mountain biking. The park is starting to form a partnership with a local cycling group to rework and open some trails to mountain biking. If the partnership is successful there is a good chance that some new purpose designed and built singletrack will also be allowed. Our visit was the catalyst that was needed to get the two sides talking and working together towards their goal of providing a more challenging singletrack experience for mountain bikers in the park.

For our project we did small reroutes and reworked existing tread to provide an example of how to retrofit an existing trail. It was a great example of how much work it can take to repair a section instead of redesigning and rerouting the trail. Everyone worked hard to dig through the thick layer of organic that we encountered in the area. With permission from the superintendent of the park, who was in attendance at the workshop and keen to try out Chad's Trek bike, we were able to test ride the completed section at the end of the day.

Thanks to all of the staff from the park who worked with us, especially Stephane, the superintendent, who came out to dig with us on Saturday. Good luck to Jean Francois, Sylvain and Darren with your continued work with the park. We look forward to hearing about your successes. Merci!