Meet the Northern NB Odyssey Regulars
Into breaking new boundaries? Then the Northern NB Odyssey is for you! And to get you ready for the snowmobile trip of your life, we asked Paul Ruel and Onil Dupont, two die-hard snowmobilers from Québec, to give you the inside scoop on this loop that just keeps them coming back.
You’ve snowmobiled lots in New Brunswick; what keeps you coming back?
Paul Ruel: There’s an incredible trail system in the Mount Carleton Provincial Park area. The territory is huge and very impressive. Plus, you have access to many outfitters, who are all strategically located.
Onil Dupont: I like the total change of scenery that New Brunswick gives me. The landscape is very different from what we have in Québec. There are just so many interesting things to discover as you ride.
What piece of advice would you have for someone planning to do their first Northern Odyssey loop?
Paul Ruel: Plan your refuelling. Gasoline is sold by snowmobile clubs and some places are closed on weekdays. So you really have to plan your trip. Second, check out the Northern Odyssey website. It has lots of information on trail maintenance, snowfall amounts and other useful information.
Onil Dupont: It is absolutely necessary to check how far you’re going to travel that day. That way it’s easier to plan breaks. You should also book accommodations well in advance. Another very important thing, which is sometimes underestimated: always pay attention to the trail signs!
Do you have any ‘must-stop’ restaurants along the way?
Paul Ruel: Moose Valley Sporting Lodge is an excellent restaurant that’s well known to all snowmobilers. There’s also the Restaurant Familial Ouellet in Edmundston that gives you the option of getting food delivered.
Onil Dupont: It depends on where we are and what my fellow snowmobilers want to do. I don’t really have a preference.
Do you have a favourite trail or lookout? A spot that’s not to be missed?
Paul Ruel: From Moose Valley to Mount Carleton, it’s absolutely incredible. I would say that this ride is in my top five most beautiful snowmobile trails. There’s also the Acadian Peninsula, which offers extraordinary views.
Onil Dupont: The sector from Saint-Léonard, which passes through Campbellton and then back through the Matapédia Valley, is an extraordinary ride when returning to Quebec.
“This ride is in my top five most beautiful snowmobile trails.” – Paul Ruel
Any accommodation recommendations for fellow riders?
Paul Ruel: The Lakeview Inn hotel in Miramichi, where the snowmobile trails are right next to the hotel. Danny’s Hotel in Beresford is very comfortable. On the other hand, we often stop in at small lodgings that we find off the trail.
Onil Dupont: All the accommodations I’ve had offered us excellent service.
Can you share one of your favourite moments from your snowmobiling adventures in New Brunswick?
Paul Ruel: Our first years in New Brunswick, we were near Mount Carleton Park in late March. We met 20 snowmobilers on a secondary trail, but the path was blocked by a huge tree that had fallen across the middle. As a gang, we were able to hoist each snowmobile over the tree. We made friends that day and continued on the journey together.
Onil Dupont: During our many snowmobile trips, we met people from Edmundston. We’re great friends with these individuals and it was thanks to them that we discovered New Brunswick.
What’s the ideal trip length to really enjoy the Northern Odyssey?
Paul Ruel: Minimum 4 to 5 days. You have to give yourself time to improvise, to do something other than what was planned. Let go of your expectations!
Onil Dupont: 4 to 5 days so you can take time to appreciate the landscape and the quality services offered to snowmobilers. And above all, to take the time to meet people.