Winter is the ideal time to discover the Lower North Shore, which is draped in immaculate blue and white. While the maritime service has stopped for the winter period, snowmobilers speed along the waterway with sheer freedom. Maintained and marked by the Ministère des Transport, the Route Blanche is the preferred means for citizens to travel from one village to another. Festivals, sports tournaments and other events are all reasons to say Bonjour, Hello or Kuei when visiting Francophone, Anglophone and Innu villages located along the littoral, which is covered in ice. The Coasters will be thrilled to show you their favorite winter refuges, hidden in the back country where grouse hunting and miraculous ice fishing is just waiting for you!


The White trail

The White trail is a snowmobile trail primarily intended for residents of the Basse-Côte-Nord to facilitate their winter travel. It is also the only continuous land link between Natashquan (Pointe-Parent) and Blanc-Sablon. This vast territory, part of which borders the shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is not connected to the rest of Quebec by road. During the winter season, the Ministère des Transports maintains the White Route, a nearly 525 km snowmobile trail between Natashquan (Pointe-Parent) and Blanc-Sablon. Over the winter, the course of the white road may vary depending on obstacles (rivers and lakes) and the weather conditions.

Le réseau de transport
La route 138 menant à la Basse-Côte-Nord s’arrête, depuis le 26 septembre 2013, à Kegaska. Afin de desservir les populations plus à l’est, des bateaux et des avions ravitaillent les habitants en denrées et d’autres biens de consommation. L’été, le ministère des Transports entretient aussi quelques tronçons de route entre certaines localités, comme de Vieux-Fort à Blanc-Sablon. Lorsque l’hiver arrive, la Route blanche prend la relève de la circulation entre les villages.

La distance entre les villages de la Basse-Côte-Nord

  • Kegaska – La Romaine : 57 km
  • La Romaine – Chevery : 100 km
  • Chevery – Harrington Harbour : 16 km
  • Harrington Harbour – Tête-à-la-Baleine (essence seulement) : 33 km
  • Tête-à-la-Baleine – Mutton Bay : 28 km
  • Mutton Bay – La Tabatière : 9 km
  • La Tabatière – Saint-Augustin : 62 km
  • Saint-Augustin – Rivière-Saint-Paul : 104 km
  • Rivière-Saint-Paul – Blanc-Sablon : 63 km

Find an accommodation in Lower-North-Shore.

See the conditions of TQ3 snowmobile trails of the North Shore.

See the conditions of the White trail of the Lower-North-Shore.

Some advice

TheBasse-Côte-Nord is a relatively isolated and wild territory, it is best to prepare well before taking the White Route. Since the cell phone does not work, nothing should be left to chance. It is therefore recommended to travel in groups of at least two snowmobilers and be accompanied by a rescuer. To plan your trip, visit or call 1 888 463-0808.

If weather conditions deteriorate, travelers have the opportunity to stop in one of the 21 shelters maintained by the Ministère des Transports. These contain a wood stove and firewood provision. Obviously, shelters should be used only in emergencies and users must replace items used or notify the Ministère des Transport. Food and accommodation services, as well as gas stations, are located in most localities along the road.


Essential equipment

     Spare parts (belt, spark plug, headlight bulb, etc.)
     Fire starter, lighter and matches
     Metal container
     Rope (6 meters) with a diameter of 13 mm
     Dry food for one day
     Flash light
     Canvas cover
     First aid kit
     Petrol can

Some tools

     Kit provided with snowmobile
     Knife or pocket knife
     Ax or hatchet


Dress appropriately

     Put on warm, dry clothes quickly
     Thread several thin garments rather than one thicker garment
     Wear waterproof boots
     Have worn socks, mittens and spare gloves

In case of failure

     Always stay on the marked trail
     Choose the shortest route to walk by feet between two camps
     Given the impossibility of moving, build a shelter with a tarp, make a fire and wait for help.

See also > Snowmobile Trail Conditions

© M. Malherbe
© M. Rochefort