Altitude: 970 m (3,182 ft)
Trailhead: 10e rang Est, Notre-Dame-des-Bois
Trail used: Sentiers frontaliers #2, #1, #5
Elevation gain: 500 m (1,640 ft)
Total elevation gain : 803 m (2,635 ft)
Distance: 14 km (8.7 mi)
– Trail located in part on the USA-Canada border
*This story tells a hike combining Mount Saddle and the Marble Mountain.
If you do not know the Marble Mountain yet, now is the time to discover it! Still very little frequented, this mountain is perfect for a peaceful hike away from the crowds!
If you’re going for a bigger challenge, you’ll have to go for a ride on his big brother, Mount Saddle. Indeed, although less known, Mount Saddle is the highest of the two mountains. So, to reach the highest point of this section of the border, you will have to go for it.
First of all, you will have to reach the 10e rang East in Notre-Dame-de-Bois. In summer there is a large parking lot for walkers. In winter, parking is not cleared of snow, so you have to park your car along the road. Attention, it may even be that part of the road is not cleared at all, which would increase the distance of the hike.
The most beautiful part of the hike really starts from Lake Danger. Moreover, a campsite is laid out and you can sleep there for free. Access to all trails, camping and shelters on the Sentiers Frontaliers are free, with the exception of those inside the Louise-Gosford ZEC.
After Lake Danger, you reach the American border and it is from there that the true climb begins! In winter, this section is even more difficult because it is practically not borrowed, so there is no packed trail. You will have to open the way!
After a climb of at least 30 minutes, you will reach a small plateau between the border and the summit. You will have to make your way under the snowy fir tree branches along the SF1 trail.
After a few minutes, you will finally reach the summit of the Marble Mountain, located on the edge of a cliff and marked by the traditional sign « Encounter at the top » of the tourist Route des sommets.
You will briefly go back on your steps for a few minutes towards the border to get to Mount Saddle. This section of the hike is exclusively on the border. You will have a good first descent right after leaving the Marble Mountain and you will arrive after a longer climb to the top of Mount Saddle, after about 1.5 km (1 mi).
The summit of Mount Saddle is marked by this small sign on the Canadian side of the border.
If you wanna push a little more, it is possible to go on a third secondary summit a little further on the border. The hike on this section of the border is generally interesting in winter.
You will love this section where there’s generally a big snow cover on trees. Here is a photo taken in December 2014 that demonstrates the beauty of this secondary summit!
To return to the car, you will have to take the same path on the border but in the opposite direction. Take time to enjoy the view!
Note that there is a lot of snowmobiles on the border. I’ve never seen it personally, but there’s always a lot of traces in the snow. Be careful as they can happen quickly, especially in turning sections.
Take time to enjoy the landscape one last time before returning to the SF5 trail to reach the parking lot.
One last thing, I happened regularly to lose the path at the bottom of Marble mountain, especially on the section that leads to Lake Danger. Keep an eye open and carry a map or a GPS!