View Full Version : Starting NB-QC hike imminently

06-29-2019, 22:27
Hi everyone!
At long last, after years away from the trail, I'm planning on getting back to it, except in my own country this time, mostly for logistics.
I figure I'll be doing the NB section first (secured a really cheap way of getting there) since it seems low difficulty (gotta work up to being able to do the tough QC sections) and does not require reservations or anything. I was definitely bummed out that you have to reserve each night on the QC portion, so I'm leaving that for later. I think the most brutal part is Parc National de la Gaspésie, where each night costs more and you also have to pay the park, but it's a good long while before getting there, and if I have to stop for whatever reason, I won't be getting wrecked by the reservations.
I'm a bit torn regarding the road-walking aspect of the NB section, though. Easy to start is good for me, but not if the road-walking is so bad that I don't make the 275 km to Matapédia, and instead choose to shuttle there at some point.
I was hoping for some input from people who've done either of these provinces on the IAT!
The plan was initially to jump on the QC portion in late July or early August, but now it seems like I'm headed for NB on July 4th.
Will appreciate any comments you might have! Thank you :)
-Raging Moose

06-30-2019, 00:35
Here's my trailjournals page :) https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entries/18981 or just Raging Moose.

11-11-2019, 03:36
Seeing as the whole INTL A.T. forum is essentially dead, I felt like I should add some info about my own hike.
I had to cancel simply because of cost. In recent years, the QC section of the IAT became totally unaffordable.
They used to have something called the 'passport,' which you could purchase for the whole season and which gave you
access to shelters, tent pads etc., but that program apparently ended this year. The administration told me that it
was because of arguments between 'passport' holders when they happened to be at a full camp site, but I'm pretty sure
that the administration didn't mind charging a whole lot more in this new system that does not allow for said passports.
At this point, to hike the 'SIA-QC' (Intl A.T. - QC), you get a 'steep discount' by being a thruhiker. That discount means some
15$ CAD every single night just in reservations for a place to put your tent up. You have no choice but to pay 15$ for a tent platform, even
though you'd be just fine on the ground. You have to reserve ahead for your entire trip, which is obviously very cost prohibitive. If you're lucky,
you'll show up at your reservations on the wrong date, the platforms will be full, and you'll get to tent on the ground and be refunded later (they do understand variations in schedule).
Now, add to that the fact that you have to go through national parks, and then you have to pay national park fees on TOP of the ridiculous SIA-QC tariffs.

It's an unfortunately disgustingly expensive trail to hike, and I believe that it probably tripled the costs in just one year. Everything I've seen leads me to believe that it is one of
the most beautiful and enjoyable parts of the whole A.T. experience, but the little managing committee in Matane, QC, has turned it into a for-profit endeavor.

It makes me so sad, especially because I had the chance to experience the freedom of the A.T. and its wide-reaching philosophy of allowing everyone access to our nature.
Sadly, easy access to nature hikes is really not a part of our culture here in Quebec (or Canada, I would surmise). Any outdoor activity is really reserved to the well-off.

Anyway, if you have the money, I think you should do it. But if you're on a budget, look elsewhere asap. :(

As for the NB-IAT, it is unmaintained and runs along a railroad bed about 95% of the time. It's free, and you can camp anywhere, but it's pretty terrible.

11-11-2019, 05:18
That's unfortunate. I'm sorry to hear you had to bail. Did you have an estimate on how much it would have cost to hike the QC portion?

11-19-2019, 05:28
Hey red5, from what I've gathered, the HQ that manages the QC-IAT is in Matane, QC, and moved to strict day-by-day reservations perhaps even just this spring 2019. The explanation I got from them is that they'd had troubles with their previous thru-hiker offering, which was called the 'passport.' The password was actually quite cheap, 150$ CAD maybe, and theoretically allowed you to stay at any camp. I was told that this led to actual fights between humans because of too many people staying at camps at the same time. Urghhhh.
So, they moved to day-by-day reservations even for thru-hikers. To be fair, the rate to reserve for thru-hikers is much lessened, but will still set you back about 15$ CAD per night, as I said in my previous post. I think that that is really abusive, especially since you have to factor in rights of access to the Parc de la Gaspésie (probably at least 100-150$ more).
Again, for people with money saved up, it might not be all that much - I estimate that the whole 40-or-so-day hike would definitely be below 800$ CAD. But you need to have the money AND the time, which is kind of contradictory. Leaving the adventurous trash like me out, and the full-time trapped people out as well. I really hate it, especially since I know that had I hiked it just a year previous, or PERHAPS two years previous (not 100% sure about their policy changes), I could've gotten to hike it for perhaps even just a third of the cost.

EDIT: They definitely don't look at, or even know about, WhiteBlaze, lol. If the trail interests you, then please, by all means, message them about it. Like I said, I had first chosen to deal with the cost by starting on the few hundred miles of NB IAT trail, on which you can tent basically anywhere. I was planning to do that in order to save up money for the QC portion. However... the reason that the NB portion is free is that it is entirely unmanaged, and runs along a former railroad bed almost the entire way. So you're walking on level gravel for hundreds of miles. And, once in a while, an ATV passes you. Not particularly interesting... :(

10-06-2020, 21:59
Do you know if hikers need to store their food in bear canisters on the Quebec IAT or are Ursacks OK?