Beauty and adventure is always closer than we think.

As much as the pandemic brought us many obstacles, each of them can be turned into an opportunity. As an international endurance athlete and adventurer, I was forced to create ways to challenge myself without worldwide competitions and I took this opportunity to explore the beautiful province of Quebec. It led me to meet the adventurer, filmmaker and photographer Annie-Claude Roberge, who’s also the one who made me discover the brand Indygena, thanks to her! A friendship was born along with a professional collaboration where our passion for people, the great outdoors and storytelling unite.

Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

With my new adventure sister, we decided to go explore the Matawinie’s National Trail  in the region of Lanaudière, a perfect occasion to build our new  friendship. Each in our respective disciplines, Annie-Claude  on her backcountry skis and myself on racing snowshoes, we had the privilege and the pleasure of covering a hundred kilometers over a 5-day trip. We started in Parc Régional de la Forêt Ouareau (90-minute drive from Montreal) to end in Parc Régional des Sept-Chutes (1h45 drive from Montreal).

On our first day, we explored Secteur du Massif, a magical place where the sunlight caresses lakes, rivers and creeks, giving us a show of infinite sparkles passing through the snow’s layers. As we went by, we also made sure to admire each and every charming cottage found along our path.


Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

On our second day, it was like an epic ride on the Des Contreforts Trail, a much more difficult trail. The haze of the winter clouds left a magical cover of frost on the trees. We were happily challenged by the constant ups and downs of the trail, sometimes feeling like we were the only ones to have ever set foot there.  Everything looked untouched.

We took the morning of our day three easy to enjoy the beautiful river banks around Swaggin area and to take pictures. We then leisurely made our way forward along the easier and shorter trail, which is called Sentier de la Boule.

Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

On our fourth day, we continued our journey crossing the Sentier des Perces-Brumes, where the extra snow on the ground gave us more fun running and skiing. We enjoyed amazing views, constantly entering and exiting different snowy landscapes that were reflecting the sun’s rays.

Our final day was our longest in distance yet one of the fastest as we reached the Parc Régional des Sept-Chutes, connecting different trails (cross-country skiing, snowmobiles, old forest paths) while going off-trail in some places. We were led by two wonderful passionate guys working for the parks. As we were staying on the West side of Route 131, that same distance can be done following the Sentier de la Matawinie (still part of Sentier National) on the East side of Route 131.

Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

You can easily plan short or long hikes all along the Sentier National in Lanaudière depending on how much time you have, your fitness level and your need for adventure. Explore these out :

Sentier National different trail segments

Matawinie trails options and maps

Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

Our best friend on this little adventure was definitely the Indygena ARIA hoodie! It kept us warm at all times and protected us from wind and snow, all the while being very breathable. We fell in love with the big hood that creates a nice bubble of warmth when needed. Even if we were alone in the woods, it is nice to feel that we look good too(!), allowing ourselves to fully express our personalities!


Copyright © 2021 - Annie-Claude Roberge

Beauty and adventure can be found right here at home. And while you’re out there, beauty and adventure is always in reach within yourself. All you have to do is make time for yourself, grab the maps of Matawinie trails and bring a like-minded friend to share the moment!

I’ll be back on these trails in the summer to accomplish the challenge of running 100 kilometers in one shot. I hope to see you out there. Make sure to say hi when I’ll run by.

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