Canadian Shield 400
The Canadian Shield 400 is part of the Bikepack Adventures Grand Depart routes. It’s an all-encompassing bikepacking route throughout the Outaouais region, just north of the nation’s capital, Ottawa. At approximately 400km long, it is just enough to provide you with a long-weekend challenge that will push your physical and mental fortitude. Hitting up some of the top sites in the Outaouais region such as Gatineau Park, Paugan Dam, Mont Ste. Marie, Gracefield, Kazabazua and Otter Lake, this route will challenge you with gravel roads, unmaintained winter roads, rail trail, single-track and double-track.
With nearly 100km of riding within the Gatineau Park and 12km of single-track in Mont Ste. Marie, you will spent over 25% of your riding time on trails. That is massive within the world of bikepacking.
- Gatineau Park: Riding through Gatineau Park is always a pleasure. Being in a provincial park so close to the nation’s capital is a fun way to spend a couple days.
- Single-track/double-track: Getting off the bigger trails and onto some of the single-track will challenge every mountain biker out there. Some great sections can be found in Gatineau Park and Mont Ste. Marie. Steep double-track climbs and flowing descents take the rider on some of the best trails in the park.
- Rail-trails: The Veloroute des Draveurs and the Chelsea Community Trail give you a chance to cover some ground while enjoying the views.
- Viewpoints: Check out the Champlain and Étienne-Brûlé lookouts in the Gatineau Park, for some fantastic views of the mighty Ottawa River and all the farmland that grows along it’s banks. When you make your way up to the radio tower in Mont Ste. Marie you’ll be treated with some great views of the region as you descend the ski hill.
- Paugan Dam: Crossing the historically important Gatineau River, the Paugan Dam was built nearly 100 years ago.
- Kazabazua: The Kazabazua Plain is a geomorphological phenomenon unique to Quebec, consisting of metamorphic rocks covered with a network of ancient sand dunes and bogs. Stay on the trail as the region is home to many rare plants.
Navigation Tips and Tricks
In order to more effectively navigate the Canadian Shield Bikepacking Routes, we have gone ahead and broken down the route into smaller more manageable files of approximately 200km per section. We have also removed the POIs to allow it to load more quickly and feel less cluttered. I still recommend you download a copy of the full file onto your phone, for quick reference of POIs and more in-depth analysis throughout the adventure. This route would be extremely difficult to complete using traditional maps and it is therefore recommended to use a GPS device or smartphone while riding this route. The Canadian Shield Bikepacking Route is often updated to make your experience as good as possible, whether to re-route to avoid road closures, or to add in a new piece of track that you are sure to love, so it is highly recommended you use the newest and most up-to-date maps.
There are a couple different methods to add your route on your Garmin/Wahoo/Other GPS device.
The 1st method is to “Pin” the route to your device. The “Pin” button can be located in the top-left of the page when you open the map.
The 2nd method is to click the “Send to Device” button just below the route title. This method requires you to download the appropriate file to your computer and upload onto your device. You can follow the steps and instructions to complete the transfer.
I personally always use the “Pin” method as I find it much quicker and easier.
Be sure to spend some time practicing with your device and making sure you understand how it works.
You can join the Bikepack Adventures Club page to get some of the premium member benefits for free, such as the ability to download any of the routes on the Bikepack Adventures RideWithGPS page for off-line use.
I have taken the liberty to break up the route files into 200ish km segments which can be downloaded by all Bikepack Adventures club members.