Sherpa service available in the Pontiac

Guide, Louis Harvey, talking about a rare healthy ash tree.

Pierre Cyr
Mansfield-et-Pontefract March 12, 2023
Last week, THE EQUITY’s reporter got to experience the snowshoeing trails of the Hélianthe Cooperative based in Mansfield-et-Pontefract.
During the winter season, Hélianthe offers a 20 km network of geolocated and marked snowshoe trails. This network is expected to be expanded to 40 km by the fall of 2024.
A project to set up permanent shelters is also under development. Hélianthe offers hiking packages, some of which include sleeping in the forest in a Cree tent.
Participants must bring their personal belongings and their sleeping bag. Sherpas, guides named after the Himalayan mountaineers renowned for helping travelers, will carry the rest of the supplies needed for the journey.
Three packages are offered with distances varying from 3 to 15 km. The packages include meals and an overnight stay in the forest for groups of two to six people.
The 15 km “Coureur des Bois” package in the most difficult trails of the Davidson Forest is definitely extreme.
THE EQUITY’s reporter participated in a modified extreme version of 15 km which includes one overnight stay. Winter forest tours are available until April 15, conditions permitting.
Hélianthe also offers customized packages for groups of four to six people (corporate, public or private) with full sherpa services if needed.
Davidson Forest, located just northwest of Mansfield, is a public forest that has been barely impacted by human activity. It has every conceivable tree species in the Pontiac.
The terrain is rugged with several small lakes and streams. The highest point in the area is 335 meters. In addition to the wonderful landscape, there are obvious signs of the presence of several animal species such as deer, wolves, fishers, otters, beavers, hares, partridges, wild turkeys and owls among others.
The guide, Louis Harvey, has a very thorough knowledge of the flora and fauna.
The cooperative also manages the Pont Blanc beach, located near Highway 148 on the banks of the Coulonge River. There is a campground with full amenities for disabled people, an axe throwing center as well as an equipment rental center for bicycles, paddleboards, and inflatable and traditional canoes.
Hélianthe also offers a shuttle service to take clients to various landing sites on the Coulonge River, on the Black River and even to Lac Brulé located 150 km away.
For more information on rates and availability or to make a reservation, visit the website at You can also become a member of the cooperative as a citizen or as a corporate partner. And by the way, they are also looking for sherpas.

A Cree tent used in the snowshoe tours at night.

Wolves main path crossing the snowshoe trail.


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