This trail description was originally written to help Viking members, especially those unfamiliar with the trails, to find their way around the trail network. It supplements the information contained on the 1996 version of the Viking trail map, and should help interpret the signs. As a stand alone document, it gives a good idea of what our trails are like.
Most major intersections on Viking trails are marked with 4" by 6" blue plastic signs. These show a Viking helmet on the left, and a letter from A to Z on the right. The letter on the sign corresponds with a letter on the map. These signs, like the trails, tend to move around a bit from year to year, but they are pretty accurate. Where possible, we have placed them on trees so they are visible from the normal direction of travel. Viking trails are marked with 4" by 6" plastic signs the colour of the trail they are marking with a Viking helmet in the centre.
While the Viking trails appear to be an isolated network of trails which make a closed loops, this is misleading. Other trails from surrounding areas cross our trails and often share them. We have not assigned letters to most of the intersections with trails which we do not consider a component of the Viking network.
It is important to remember that most Viking trails are on private land. Our skiing depends on the good will of property owners. We must show consideration for their right to privacy. Please treat the land as if it were your own, be polite to anyone you meet on the trail, and pack out everything you pack in.
The rest of this description will describe the routes of several of the normal tours which you can take from Viking club on our major trails. There are other trails indicated on the map, and I encourage their exploration, as they will get you farther from the crowds, one of the pleasures of cross country skiing.
Leave from intersection A behind the clubhouse and go West parallel to Jackson Road to B where you cross the road to Lac Noirot. Proceed past C which you could take down to the Racing Trails. At D, known as the Ruins, turn up the wide trail which this year zigs past a couple of fallen trees. Go straight past O which marks the Red trail leaving on your left and continue to climb past W which marks the end of the Crown Trails. Just where the plowed road for Lac Noirot ends, you go slightly downhill to the left into the woods, veer a bit to the right, rejoin the Red trail at M, and proceed along to Q.
From here the direct route back to the club is to turn right and follow the Red home, but the scenic route is to continue straight ahead slightly downhill through the woods, cross the stream and descend more steeply on Moon River Road. At the bottom of the steepest part, turn right at Z and follow the Portageur trail beside the pond on your left. 500 metres of rather rugged trail takes you back to the club at A.
The Red trail shares the trail with the Green until O where you turn left and climb sharply through about 1.3 km of recently logged land. There are two tricky descents just before P. At that junction, continue climbing Northeast. Near the top of the climb at E, the Orange trail leaves on your right. It is not normally track set, but offers a nice back country shortcut back to the return of the Red trail. It is well marked by orange circles spray painted high on large trees. Be careful where it crosses the stream at the East end of Lac Bigras.
The Red trail starts to descend shortly after E and turns right at K into the Montfort meadows. Just before you start a long climb, there is a trail off to your left which goes down to the Aerobic Corridor at Montfort. The Red trail climbs up forever, and just when you think you're at the top, it climbs some more. From the top, you can fly down the back with only one short interruption to L. There you could turn left down to the Aerobic corridor on a very old trail marked as the Chevreuil, or continue more or less straight towards the Blue Hills on the Edelweiss, but to return to Viking you should bear to the right. At M, you rejoin the Green trail north of Lac Noirot. At Q, the Red trail goes to the right, up over the hill and back down a rather steep and long descent to the club at A.
Once again, start out along the Green trail. At D (The Ruins) ski (or walk) about 150 m west along Jackson Road and turn left down the unplowed Chemin Lac Edouard. At Lac Edouard you could try the newly reopened Crown East which rejoins the Crown South just past Lac Dey. To stay on the Crown South, ski west across Lac Edouard, climb off the lake to the left nearly at the end, and cross the road to Lac Rond. From there you make a short climb and then coast down to G. To the right is a shortcut on the Crown West to H.
Take the left fork and continue down to cross a little lake. Climb out of this lake and follow the well marked trail south-west to Lac de la Montagne where it turns back north, climbing up a shallow valley. Just before Lac aux Pins you might see a small trail which leads out to the Lac Notre Dame trails. At I the Blue trail exits on the left, but you continue veering a bit right across a lake where you rejoin the Crown West at H. From there you ski mostly downhill to Jackson road, which you cross just after the Lac Rond road. There is a steep, long climb which is usually in the sun, making for challenging waxing conditions in the afternoon. Near the top you will see the east end of the Blue trail rejoin from your left at R, while you continue a bit farther to P where you re-cross the Red trail. Continue straight across the beaver pond, climb up at the north end, and follow the trail until it rejoins the Green trail at W.
At I off the Crown South, you proceed down a shallow valley which opens into a swamp at the bottom. There is a well used trail exiting on your left half way down which leads towards Lac Notre Dame. You cross the swamp, climb up the opposite side, and come down again at Jackson road. Be careful, as there is little room to slow down before the road. Cross Jackson road and pass through mature forest to J. Turn left and pass signs of recent logging on your right as you climb and then descend to Montfort meadows at K.
You might also be interested in the beautiful vistas overlooking lac Diez-d'Aux along the ridge between R and J. This section is well marked, never track set, quite rugged, and little travelled so allow plenty of time.
The racing trails just south of the clubhouse are very different from the other trails. They are the only trails with guaranteed access thanks to an agreement with the land owner, Skip Sheldon, a former Viking president. Designed to hold world class racing events, they don't really go anywhere. We started to include them on the map in 1991 and now use them for many purposes including the occasional race.
Think of the racing network in terms of a very small central loop sometimes called the Bunnyrabbit loop which you should ski clockwise. There are spur trails off the inner loop which can add to the distance. If you take all the spurs, the distance is about 10 km.
The signs on the racing trails are quite confusing - there is one place where you can see the following signs within 10 metres, some on the same tree: 2.5 km, 3.5 km, 5.0 km, 7.5 km. There are less permanent signs left over from races which might say 32 km, 50 km, etc. Ignore them all. The only reliable way to navigate is to compare the blue plastic signs or signs named in this description with the map.
Last winter I put up signs to identify the spots on the trails with names. The ones I know of are: The Wall, Coach's Corner, Sam's Corner, and The Roller Coaster. Other suggestions are welcome.
The racing trails start at the pond in front of Skip's Hut. After 1 km, turning right at T will take you up The Wall spur (1km) which rejoins the main loop at U. Similarly, at you could turn up a short spur which adds another 700 m to the main inner loop.
Shortly after you pass the opening back onto the pond, you could turn left and back downhill at Coach's Corner and return to the pond. Continue straight to Sam's Corner, named after Sam Stallard, one of the original land owners. You might not see the sign as it is at the bottom of a fast downhill. Turn left there to take the 5km loop, or continue straight to take the 7.5 km or the 10 km loops.
At X, turn left to return on the 7.5 km or go straight for the 10 km loop which rejoins the 7.5 km at X2 about 100 m farther. Either way you will rejoin the 5km loop at where you should turn up to the right.
Only two trails lead out of the racing network. At S, just east of Skip's Hut, you can cross Jackson Road and join the Green trail at C. At the descent between Y and Coach's Corner a trail leads off to the right down to the Alpino Lodge. At the bottom of a long descent, it intersects the Viking South trail which you could take to the left back to the club or to the right to Morin Heights.
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Last Updated: Saturday October 26th, 2002