Thursday October 11 2007


What began as a quick ride to Compton before it rained turned into 25 zig-zag miles through the hills east of Lake Massawippi.

It begain with a detour due to bridge work on 208 between Massawippi and Hatley. Followed the detour signs and turned right onto Chemin Roy, a gravel road about a kilometer further down Route 143.

The articulated building supplies truck behind me had his turn signal on, but after pausing at the intersection he continued straight on 143. Good call by the driver - Roy is not only as skinny as a pencil, it also has some very twisty curves.

Roy intersected North Road with detour signs pointing right. At this point it hadn't yet dawned on me that North Road is the third road out of Hatley - the one I've taken many times to use Pope Road and Chemin Dessaint (Des Saints) as a gravel alternative to those boring old asphalt curves on 208 before the plateau.

But anyway, instead of following the detour signs (right) to Hatley, I decided to turn left on North Road. About a mile-and-a-half down the road I fell upon the Downey Tree Farm and its scenic lookout with view of Lake Massawippi, Katevale Hills, and mountains to the south. This panoramic western view would be a fabulous spot to take in a sunset, especially in the summer when the sun sets further north on the horizon.

From there I backtracked for a visit to the North Road Cemetery before heading east on Coté. Going down Coté through absolutely gorgeous farm country I came to an inverted Y at the very bottom with a barn on the left. I decided to zig, braked hard, and, skidding, negociated the sharp right onto the other arm of the Y. I was laughing with exhiliaration and turned and shouted to the cows staring after, "It's called Free Will!".

I was on Chemin Dessaint and when I came to Wells Road I decided to zag, taking a sharp left on Wells, which took me (by way of Debuc?) right back to 208 just before the plateau.

Looking at the map I see that this leaves only Oliver and Perrault unexplored in that section.

Back into the well-worn groove on 208 I thought why not continue the spirit of exploration and zig onto that right-hand turn marked Coaticook and Barnston - Chemin Pouliot.

Pouliot sort of morphs into Chemin Labbé and then Labbé into Chemin Chagnon in ways which I can't quite remember and which are not clear on the map. Anyway, I eventually veered east on Chemin Rodrigue and got over to Chemin Moreau.

I found the scenery along Chemin Moreau to be especially outstanding, but all of these roads are picturesque!

First time I've explored the gravel roads around Kingscroft. Very impressive scenery, great hill and curvey roads which tend to be in very good condition. And lots more to explore here, too!

  • Bown
  • Curtis (another Curtis)
  • Quiron
  • Dubé
  • Girouard
  • Vaillancourt

Vaillancourt parallels 208 and I've taken it both west and east between to and from Route 147 between Coaticook and Compton.

Finally, I wound up back in Hatley and took the Chemin Roy detour back to 143 and Massawippi. That was good luck! Turns out Chemin Roy going west has a fab view of the hills yonder of Lake Massawippi and effective immediatley is my new default return to Massawippi from Hatley.


  • Forty miles total; about 25 gravel, 15 asphalt
  • Total time, 2 1/2 hours
  • Temperature: 52 F depart, 58 F return
  • Mostly cloudy, but sunny breaks
  • No gas stop
  • 68 photos


  • Massawippi, 143 North
  • Right on Chemin Roy
  • Left on Chemin North
  • {North Road Cemetery}
  • Right on Chemin Coté
  • Sharp right onto Chemin Dessaint
  • Sharp left on Chemin Wells
  • Sharp right on Chemin du Brulé
  • Left on 208
  • Right on Chemin Pouliot
  • Continue onto Chemin Labbé
  • Continue onto Chemin Chagnon
  • Right on Chemin Rodrigue
  • Blend to Chemin Roy
  • Left on Chemin Moreau
  • Right on Chemin de Barnston
  • Hatley
  • Continue through Hatley and left on Chemin Roy
  • Left, 143, to Massawippi


View across Lake Massawippi from Downey Christmas Tree Farm on Chemin North

Downey Christmas Tree Plantation

North Road Churh monument, across from Chemin Coté

Plaque commemorating North Road Church (dismantled 1928)


Cows, geese, and foliage

Main Street, Hatley