Trans Labrador soon to be a round trip.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by iamcanjim, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Snorting snow.

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    I am currently living in Chevery on Quebec's lower north shore.

    Approval has been reached to extend Quebec's highway 138 past the village of Kagaska, eventually linking up with the village of Old Fort (Vieux Fort on the map...Quebec language stupidity).

    What does that mean for adventure riders?

    Currently, 389 leaving Baie Comeau becomes NF 500, across Labrador. Short of Goose Bay, 510 branches southeast to the coast. At Mary's Harbour, the road follows the coast southwest to the Quebec Border. Just across the border, at Blanc Sabon on the Lower North Shore, the traditional route has been to take the ferry across the Strait of Belle Isle to Newfoundland.

    However, between Blanc Sabon and Old Fort (Vieux Fort) is a stub of Hwy 138. It's gravel of course. Currently the road abruptly ends in Old Fort and there is about 400 km missing along the coast between Old Fort and the village of Kegaska. Here in Chevery, about in the middle, there is a 6 km stretch of 138 through town whitch dead ends in both directions.

    In the winter a snowmobile trail called the Route Blanche is constructed along the coast, but in the summer the only way in and out is by ship or boat.

    Currently, 138 is being constructed to fill the gap.

    In perhaps more interesting new, in the mean time, an ATV trail is being constructed in the gap. This will be an 8 foot gravel trail that uses hand ferries to cross the rivers. The ATV trail may be done in as soon as 2 years.

    This will allow Adventure riders to do a loop of Labrador and Northern Quebec, starting and ending in Baie Comeau. Most of the loop will be gravel with paved sections. Initially, the section between Old Fort and Kegaska will be an ATV trail with hand ferries.

    The nice thing about highway 138 will be the fact that unlike the trans Labrador.....

    There will be little heavy truck traffic...just enough to supply the villages.

    There will be a village every 100 km or so. Currently it is easily done by snowmobile (my sled has a range of about 180 km).

    The area, even though it is in Quebec, is mostly English speaking (some villages are French, as are all Indian villages).

    It will follow a truly spectacular coast and go through villages just opened up to the outside world.
    #1
  2. iamcanjim

    iamcanjim Snorting snow.

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    Sorry, this should have gone in Americas.
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  3. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    I have oft wondered if they would connect the two RTE138s. The road from Blanc Sablon to Vieux Fort is a great run while waiting for the ferry to Newfoundland though few people doing a Trans Lab seem to see it. An oversight to be regretted, IMO. If this does happen it would certainly make the ride more appealing for scenery.
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  4. Garrettpsu

    Garrettpsu Adventurer

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  5. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Thanks for sharing.. this will be an awesome trek in areas never been seen by civilization. The coastline, the many rivers, the small villages and black flies... i'll keep this on a bucket list in the coming years.

    Please keep this thread alive as the roads allow..
    #5
  6. 75bronco

    75bronco Long timer

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    Please keep us updated. This is one id love to do.
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  7. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Trans Labrador Highway from Baie Comeau to Blanc-Sablon had 150km of gravel left as of May 2015. This means that by the end of the year, gravel will be a thing of the past.

    Marvelous Route 138 that reaches Natashquan/Kegaska (from the West) and follows the majestuous St-Lawrence river has been remodelled for the past 3 or 4 years so that many charming small villages are now bypassed to increase transportation"efficiency". Sadly, those charming villages will be bound to die, except perhaps for the fuel station at the intersection. It is sad. I have on my mind specifically Sault-Au-Mouton and a few other ones.

    It is true that between Natasquan and Vieux Fort/Blanc-Sablon, there are dozen of small villages, most are isolated. It has also been years since roads were projected. But it seems there have been conflicts between contractors and the government. Bridges that were supposed to be built and haven't. Roads that were bound to be laid out, but never appeared. There are lots of politics and a bit of corruption. Buyt hopefully, a gravel track and rope ferries will soon emerge. That shall be quite an adventure. And good for the economy of the small towns too. ;-)

    Now that the Trans Labrador highway is fully paved, there is no motivation left to fill the gap between Nagaska and Vieux-Fort. But honestly, I'd rather follow the shores of the mighty St-Lawrence river up to Blanc-Sablon than go inland in the mosquito-infested forest in Labrador. :D
    #7
  8. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    This can't be correct. The Phase III section alone between Goose Bay and Port Hope Simpson is over 400km, and as far as I've heard will be the last section to be paved. Supposedly the paving project between Red Bay and Mary's Harbour has only just begun, so in reality there should be more like 550km of gravel currently remaining (essentially all of Phase II and Phase III).

    And recent reports indicate that there's still a gravel section between Lab City and Goose Bay, plus the "Mini Trail" section between Fire Lake and Fermont.

    Unless you have other information about accelerated paving, it doesn't seem likely that the whole Trans-Lab will be paved for quite a few years yet -- it's taken them over five years just to pave the Phase I section.

    --mark
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  9. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Build it and I will come :D
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  10. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

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    While searching for the latest GPS tracks of the Labrador hwy, especially the section between Goose Bay and Port Hope Simpson, I found this.
    I hope they realize the finishing off of the 138 to Blanc Sablon. It would be nice to visit these small villages along the coast. I have yet to go beyond Sept Isles on the 138. I never give myself enough time to see it all. There are some gems to visit from Quebec City to Baie Comeau.

    If anyone reading this has the track from Goose Bay to Port Hoe Simpson, i'd love to have a gander at it.
    #10
  11. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    I am not a GPS user so i may not understand the question for the track from GB to PHS but it is the only road. There is no need for any guidance. If you are headed south you make a right at Cartwright Junction.
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  12. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    Yep. When I rode it in 2008, I didn't even have a map. I did have an old Garmin GPSmap unit that didn't have the map either, but that I used as a speedometer sometimes. It's kind of hard to get lost on the Trans-Lab.

    John
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  13. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

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    I guess i didn't explain why. The reason to have that section of track would be more for mileage from gas stop to gas stop. And also to overlay on google earth to study for some interesting camps stops, or other places to check out. Cheers. I typically don't get lost that easy, especially when there's only one road.
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  14. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    250 miles / 402 km from HVGB to Port Hope Simpson. No gas in between.
    There are no campgrounds, but people camp at pull outs along the way.
    No places along the way to check out except for a couple of Hwy Maintenance Depots, and marshaling yards for the Muskrat Falls hydro project and associated transmission line.
    If you take the spur out to Cartwright the mileage between gas availability is slightly less from HVGB. Much less between Cartwright and PHS.
    I spotted a fish weir along the way and there was an art gallery in Cartwright that I enjoyed. Mainly for the chat with the lady in charge.
    That's it!
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  15. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

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    That's great to know. Thanks for the info MapMaster. Planning a trip for next summer. This will give me an opportunity to look through this during the holiday season. Cheers!
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  16. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    THIS!
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  17. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander still alive and well

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    Here's another yes to THIS! :thumb

    Now i've got a trip to look forward to :clap
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  18. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    +1

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  19. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    You can ride The Trans Lab then the trail will be a crown jewel for the way back to Sept-Iles.

    We need more stuff like this to get the tourism dollars.

    Very nice
    #19
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  20. LittleMac

    LittleMac Been here awhile

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    +1 more
    I really like the idea of 8ft atv trail.
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