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8 Reasons to Tour Val-d’Or and Abitibi-Témiscamingue on a Motorcycle

8 Reasons to Tour Val-d’Or and Abitibi-Témiscamingue on a Motorcycle

Motorcycle touring options in Abitibi-Témiscamingue are endless. The potential for adventure and discovery is too! If you are a motorcyclist, Val-d’Or has so much to offer: customized, personal service, attractions, restaurants to satisfy all your taste buds and hotels that will make you feel right at home. So much to see and do! Here are eight reasons to tour Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or on a motorcycle.

To discover La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve

La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve alone is worth the trip to Abitibi-Témiscamingue: it is amazing to behold. Let yourself fall under the spell of its magnificent landscapes, covered in white pine, spruce, fir and a few deciduous trees, thousands of lakes and rivers, floating islands and majestic rock cliffs. Crossing the bridge over the Ottawa River is one of my all-time favourite sections. Still to this day, I find it breathtaking every time! There are lots of rest stops along the way, to take a little break or soak your feet in the water.

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Many rest stops are located on the shore of a lake or a river.

A free cleaning kit to get your ride nice and shiny

Available at our tourism information office, this kit contains everything you need to clean up your bike and restore that shine it deserves. Just ask for your free kit at our reception desk where our tourism advisors will be happy to help you out. You can buff up your motorcycle in the specially designated area in our parking lot. Mosquitoes and dust will soon be nothing but a bad memory!

Hotel specials to make your stay with us more pleasant

A number of hotels offer special packages for motorcyclists travelling in our area. The Escale Hôtel Suites, Quality Inn & Suites and Hôtel Continental Downtown all offer breakfast along with a variety of other options: dinner special (table d’hôte), gas card, visit to a local attraction or massage. To see all packages available, click here.

Warmth and simplicity

People in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or are known for their warmth and simplicity. They’ll greet you with a smile and treat you like royalty! In Val-d’Or, you’re sure to meet jovial, friendly and refreshingly straightforward locals who’ll leave you with lovely memories of your time here.

Lively downtown and lots of restaurants with outdoor patios

There’s nothing better after a day of riding than a cold beer on a sunny patio, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of summer. Downtown Val-d’Or is a happening place, with lots of restaurants with patios to add the perfect finishing touch to your day on the motorbike. Le Prospecteur microbrewery, for example, offers a wide selection of craft beers and a roof patio with an uninterrupted view of downtown. You can taste the best poutine in town at Chez Ti-Pit Snack-bar for your lunch break. Or let yourself be transported to Asia by the typically Thai fare at the Ô Thaï restaurant. Only to name a few!

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The Bar bistro l’Entracte patio is another great option. This pub offers a great view on the historic site of Bourlmaque Mining Village.

Free downtown parking sticker

We provide a free downtown parking sticker for our visitors to make it easier for you to enjoy some carefree downtime on our patios. It allows you to park your motorcycle anywhere downtown at a parking meter or in parking lots with a pay station. Anyone residing outside the regional county municipality of Vallée-de-l’Or is entitled to the parking sticker. It’s available free-of-charge at our tourism information office at 1070 3rd Avenue East at the eastern entrance to the city, which is the one you use to access Val-d’Or if you’re coming from Montreal. The Rouyn-Noranda tourism information office provides the same service to anyone who lives outside Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Rolling on gold

Who can say that they’ve ridden on gold? Well, anyone who’s taken Highway 117 from Val-d’Or to Rouyn-Noranda! Indeed, the road runs along the Cadillac Fault, which contains abundant deposits of gold. To learn more about this gold-rich fault line, go to: https://tourismevaldor.com/cours-de-geologie-101-rouler-sur-lor/

There’s a lot to discover about the mining industry while touring our area by motorcycle. You might begin at Cité de l’Or where you can morph into a miner for a few hours and travel 300 feet underground to explore the workings of an old gold mine. Then, you could visit Canadian Malartic, the largest operating open-pit gold mine in Canada, and experience an earthquake at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue mining museum (Musée minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue).

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To visit the underground galleries of La Cité de l’Or, you have to dress yourself up like a miner.

You will be amazed by the gigantic equipment used at the Canadian Malartic Mine.

The artistic fountain route

If you’re one of those people who thinks that motorbike trips are made for riding and not for visiting tourist attractions along the way (my dad and my sister are like that, too!), I have a cultural activity to suggest, which you can enjoy with getting off your bike. In the Amos-Harricana region, there are 10 artistic fountains in 10 different municipalities. These fountains are a delightful excuse to stop for just a minute and take a little breather. The fountains are beautiful and each one is unique. And this itinerary will take you through some magnificent countryside, a changing landscape of farms and forests, striking in its immensity. The fountain route is described in the Amos-Harricana tourist guide available in all the visitor information centres in the area. You can also have a peek by clicking here or click here to see it on Google Maps or download the free app from Balado Discovery for Android or BaladoDiscovery for iPhone/iPad.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or are wonderful destinations for motorcyclists: our roads, beautiful scenery, personalized services, restaurants, outdoor patios, activities and hotels are all part of the magic you’ll find here. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will have an amazing, memorable time!

A Huge Hunting Playground

A Huge Hunting Playground

What a thrill it is to hunt small game in the enchanting landscapes that surround Val-d’Or. The many forest roads and trails that meander through the region are home to a wide range of abundant small game. Sport hunters will be captivated by the area, which is easily accessed and offers perfect small game habitats.

Once you start, hunting quickly becomes a passion, as any hunter will tell you. The autumn chill and early mornings are discomforts quickly overcome when you proudly return with your quarry. But you have to be well prepared and armed with a healthy dose of patience and the ability to sit quietly in order to bag your catch. For wild game aficionados, there is no commercially-raised meat that tastes as good as game, which is often leaner and more flavourful.

There are close to 400,000 hunters in Quebec who enjoy the wilderness, whether for the challenge, the great outdoors, the peace and quiet, a taste for game or the pleasure of being with friends or family. Of course, safety is paramount, as is keeping the environment intact so that future generations can enjoy hunting as well.

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Ruffed Grouse

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Snowshoe hare

The nearby La Vérendrye wildlife reserve is immense, and eminently suitable for small game hunting. According to park manager Johanne Vienneau, the reserve attracts two types of hunters: those who live in the area, and overnight hunters looking for accommodation. The main small game attractions are spruce grouse, ruffled grouse and hare. Hunters take to the paths in vehicles, ATVs or on foot, some with hunting dogs. The success rate is high, particularly since hunting season in the reserve starts in mid-October once the leaves have fallen and the weather is still good. According to Ms. Vienneau, small game hunting licences for the La Vérendrye wildlife reserve can be purchased on the Sépaq website 24 hours in advance or at the visitor information centre.

Small game hunting is increasingly becoming a family affair. Marie-Claude and her partner are the parents of two daughters, 4 months and 7 years old, and hunt as a family! Marie-Claude packs their lunches and the diaper bag in the morning and they head out together to hunt partridge, on foot or in the car. For Marie-Claude, like many others, spending time in the woods is calming and a way to unload the stress of the previous week. And the family believes in the importance of caring for nature and not leaving garbage behind. At the end of the day, even the 7-year-old pitches in to lay out the partridge, the fruits of an ancestral experience passed down through the generations.

Fall is hunting season, when the seemingly endless forest floor is carpeted with leaves. If you haven’t given small game hunting a try, don’t be intimidated. It’s a fairly simple pastime for families and friends. Happy hunting!

 

Translated by Anne Laflèche