Exploring La Belle Province Via the Trans Quebec Trail

Whether you’re an adventure rider, an overlander, a vanlifer, or simply someone with an adventurous spirit, there’s an Android app (an iOS version is in the works) you must check out. The Trans Quebec Trail (TQT) app gives you access to more than 8,000 km of scenic backroads selected by local adventurers. The TQT forms a giant loop within the province of Quebec that you can follow via the app and includes various points of interest with suggestions as to where to eat, sleep, get groceries, and fill up on gas. Although adventure riders created the original route, the non-profit organization behind this app wanted to ensure the route would also be accessible to adventurers travelling in passenger vehicles.

While planning a route to follow during an overland adventure is part of the fun, there’s nothing like local knowledge of the area. The app is also kept up to date in the background to ensure that any changes to the route are communicated (for example, if a section is closed due to a washout). The app works offline, too, and updates will be applied the next time you get a signal. You can also report any road closures or hazards encountered during your travel to advise other adventurers travelling in the area. While the app works very well and has some fantastic features, it’s very basic in terms of navigation, as it only allows you to see your location as you follow the route, but new functions may be added later.

One important caveat: parts of the route will get you to remote areas on forestry roads and trails. The route difficulty levels are rated 0-1-2 in dry weather and 1-2-3 in wet conditions (a difficulty index is available at this link). Depending on your level of preparation and experience, you may want to start by exploring the less remote areas first. Travelling with a trip partner is also advised.

I used the app to explore a part of the TQT passing through the Outaouais region to give it a try. My micro adventure started in Gatineau Park between the villages of Chelsea and Wakefield. Meech Creek Valley is one of the most scenic parts of Gatineau Park and that section has a cool covered bridge.

Another section took me along the Gatineau River to a different covered bridge, the Wakefield covered bridge, which is pedestrian-only.

The TQT app will make for a nice addition to your collection of navigation apps. While it doesn’t have all the fancy features, it’s a great tool to plan a trip using the less travelled and more exciting roads. Local adventurers have picked and validated each section so you can explore their beautiful regions and support the local economies of certain areas that see fewer tourists during the year. Since the app was initially released back in 2021, new sections have been validated and are added continually. The app was available on Google Play for a one-time payment of $7.49 at the time of this writing.

Exploring in Style: 2024 Range Rover Sport P550e PHEV Autobiography

I would have normally booked a Defender for this type of overland exploration, but I wanted to test drive the new-generation Range Rover Sport and experience something that you can’t do just yet with the Defender: driving in an electric-only mode when exploring the backcountry. The plug-in hybrid SUV offers about 82 km of electric range with a fully charged battery in the EV mode. The itinerary I picked on the TQT included a mix of paved and dirt roads, so a Defender would have been overkill. Besides, the tester came with optional 23-inch wheels with carbon inserts. Any serious off-roading with those was a no-go, as it would have likely resulted in some tire or wheel damage. Just for fun, I raised the vehicle to its maximum of 10.8 inches of ground clearance to have a look from the outside, and it just looked silly. It’s a great-looking and comfortable SUV, but it loses some of its off-road credibility when equipped with that wheel and tire package.

Even if nobody will consider going off-road with their new and very expensive Range Rover Sport (this tester came with a price tag of $162,385 before taxes), except perhaps when navigating through an unexpected washout on a dirt road to a cottage, it still has some impressive off-road abilities. This tester had 4WD (low-range included) and Land Rover’s innovative adaptive off-road cruise control. Terrain Response 2 was also part of the deal with its various off-road modes. I have had the opportunity to off-road with the new Defender in its 90 and 130 configurations, and Terrain Response 2 is very responsive. It’s an excellent system that does outstanding off-road, even when the vehicle is equipped with those massive wheels.