The trail


Google Map

CSM Trail Descriptions - 2024

The trail map continues to evolve to suit new circumstances.  These maps are version 9.  The map on the left was the original intended full route. The map on the right shows the actual route used.

Saturday February 10th, 2024 – Montebello Region (81.7 KM / 79.4 KM for Gold CdB)

Section 1 – 20.5 km – Intermediate

The trail starts at the Golf Héritage golf course with a steep descent on the first fairway then passes through a wooded river valley and starts a long climb, gaining 100m, into Kenauk Nature.  It follows the Sugarbush Road with its many turns and hills, then heads north on the historic Bourassa Road, which was the main horse and buggy road from Montebello to St Jovite during the 1800’s and later became a favorite ski route of the legendary Jack Rabbit Johannsen. The first kilometer is climbing, then there is a reward with 5km of downhill, but it finishes with a half kilometer climb to the checkpoint near Lac Taunton.  There are no intermediate water stations so bring snacks and water.  (570m ascent, 470m descent)

Section 2 – 11.5 km – Easy to Intermediate

The trail turns north from Lac Taunton and follows the road to Lac Surprise with gentle ups and downs.  Then it heads east and weaves between large hills before rejoining the old Bourassa Road. The final 1.5km descends on a narrow trail to Esdale’s Corner on Chemin du Lac a la Croix. Tourer 4 skiers starting here will have to walk 330m from the bus up a plowed road/hill to reach the checkpoint.  (280m ascent, 290m descent)

Section 3 – 21.2 km – Moderately Difficult

Starting with two steady climbs and descents, this long and challenging section heads east around Lac à la Croix, then turns south, re-enters Kenauk Nature, and follows the traditional CSM northern trail through the heart of Kenauk. The center part of the trail is a series of fairly gentle ups and down toward Lac Taunton. The first waterpoint is 16km along the trail, so bring lots of water. After climbing out of the Taunton watershed, the last 2km are primarily a downhill glide to the checkpoint in a sand pit. (560m ascent, 600m descent)

Section 4 – 12.5 km – Intermediate Level

The trail continues on summer roads through the forest of the Kenauk Nature. At the halfway point, the trail leaves the roads and uses the rugged Balsam trail with lots of hills designed to challenge the skier.  The last 4km is all downhill, including a descent of 100m over 1.5km. It finishes in the sheltered opening of Kenauk’s Sporting Clay site, the same location as CP5 of the eastern CSM trail. (290m ascent, 340m descent)

Section 5 – 16.0 km / 13.7 CdB Gold – Easy to Intermediate

Leaving the Kenauk’s Sporting Clay site, the trail has numerous challenging climbs and descents that lead you out of Kenauk Nature and the forested hills of the Laurentian Mountains, but taking a different route than the traditional CSM trail. The Autoroute 50 underpass takes you towards the anticipated and rewarding descent into the Ottawa River Valley and the first-day fun finish line at the Notre-Dame de Bonsecours church in Montebello. (400m ascent, 510m descent)

Sunday, February 11th, 2024 – Montebello Region (80.5 km, 78.2 km Gold)

Section 6 – 15.8 km (13.5 km CdB Gold) – Easy Level

The Sunday trail starts at the Notre-Dame de Bonsecours church in Montebello, the same place that skiers finished on Saturday and follows the same winding trail through the forest as in section 5.  It starts with 8km of gentle climbing, including the underpass of Autoroute 50.  The second half is a gradual downhill, passing the entrance pavilion of Kenauk Nature and finishing at the well-known and protected Sporting Clay site.  (500m ascent, 390m descent)

Section 7 – 12.5 km – Intermediate

This section starts with 4km of climbing on the challenging Balsam trail.  After the peak, the trail descends for 1km, then the remaining 7 km has gentle ups and downs. The last 4km follows the Redrun road into the sand pit checkpoint.  (340m ascent, 290m descent)

Section 8 - 19.1 km – Difficult

This long and challenging section starts with 6km of gentle hills leading to a water point just after Lac Taunton.  It then follows Kenauk Nature’s regularly groomed trail called the Lucky Loop. The northern leg of the Loop involves descending while the southern leg is a long climb. Heading west from the Loop, it has steep hills while passing north of Lac Taunton and finishing at the same checkpoint as used on Saturday.  (570m ascent, 520m descent)

Section 9 – 17.1 km – Easy to Intermediate

The trail starts with a 2km descent followed by 6km of gentle climbing on Bourassa Road.  It then continues on Bourassa, Sugarbush and Redrun roads and is generally downhill, ending at the Sporting Clay checkpoint. Tourer 2 skiers starting here will have to walk 330m from the bus up a plowed road/hill to reach the checkpoint.  (330m ascent, 450m descent)

Section 10 – 16.1 km – Easy

The final section follows the tradition CSM eastern trail, departing the Kenauk Nature reserve and climbing gradually for 8km through the forest. The second half is a gradual downhill through the forest, crossing under the Autoroute, and continuing down through fields to the beautiful Montebello finish line. (360m ascent, 470m descent)