by Eric Girard
Home to New Brunswick’s largest fishing fleet, Shippagan Les Iles has its own culture based on the fishing industry. You’ll find the best fish market to get your daily seafood. People around are so nice, they’ll do anything to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. Driving around, you’ll notice every spot is accessible. The variety of riding locations is incredible. The big must is Chiasson Office. This spot offers glassy, flat conditions, even if the wind is blowing 25 knots. Kiting there is similar to wakeboarding on glassy conditions. This is one reason why you must plan a trip to the region.
Shippagan Les Îles is an archipelago of three islands (Shippagan, Lamèque and Miscou) located at the very north of New Brunswick. On the west shore of the islands is the Baie des Chaleurs, where the water gets warm during the summer. On the east shore is the vast Saint Lawrence Gulf, where you’ll find good waves. The islands are very close to each other, creating lagoons where you’ll find outstanding flatwater spots. Also, there are no hills around, so the wind is usually constant.
Pointe Canot: West to northwest winds. This spot it located on Lamèque Island. In the town of Lamèque, take Road 313 to Pointe Canot and make a left on Chemin de la Grande Batture.
Chiasson Office: Southeast, south and southwest winds. This spot is located on the southeast side of Lamèque Island. Take Road 113 and turn right on Chiasson Office Road once at Savoy Landing. Turn right on Allée Dominicien and go to the end of the road.
Pointe Campbell: East to northeast winds. This spot is located on Lamèque Island. From Lamèque town, take Road 113 and turn right before the bridge of Miscou on Chemin Pointe Campbell. Keep going straight on this road; it’s at the very end.
Miscou Lighthouse: North and northeast winds. This spot is located at the very north of Miscou Island. Take Road 113 all the way to the end.
Plage Adrien Gionet: West to northwest winds. This spot is located on the northwest of Miscou Island. Take Road 113, then turn on 118 Allée Paradis du Campeur.
St-Marie-St-Raphael: East, southeast, south and southwest winds. This spot is located on the east shore of Lamèque Island. Take Road 305, then once at Ste-Marie-St-Raphael, turn at 1360 Boul. De La Mer.
Chiasson Office Lighthouse: Southeast, south and southwest winds. This spot is located on the southeast side of Lamèque Island. Take Road 113, then turn on Chiasson Office Road once at Savoy Landing. Turn right on Allée Dominicien and go to the end of the road.
Closest airport: ZBF, Bathurst, NB
Average kite size: 12 m2
When to go: Anytime between June and the end of September. September is the windiest month, with many major systems passing by. For snowkiting, the best months are February and March.
Cost factor: The place is cheap.
Local shop/school: Club Wind & Kite
Where to stay: Club Wind & Kite—with its cottages and B&B, Club Wind & Kite offers great vacation packages adapted to kiteboarders and located near the best spots on the island of Lamèque; (506) 344-5130, shippagankiteboard.com . Camping Île Lamèque—located on the bay with full-service sites near many kiteboarding spots; (506) 344-3292, lameque.ca/camping . Camping Shippagan—one of the finest wooded campgrounds in the province; (506) 336-3960, i-web.net/camping . Auberge Janine du Havre—a nice vacation rental with a pool and magnificent sunsets; (506) 336-8884, sn2000.nb.ca/comp/janine .
Where to eat: Maboule Bistro is a uniquely-styled bistro with fantastic staff, good food, and entertaining evenings. Mitchan Sushi is the best place to go in the town of Caraquet. You will eat fresh Japanese food at a decent price. The place owned by Michiko Takatsuka, also a kiteboarder. Restaurant of the Marine Centre features a variety of affordable seafood and traditional dishes certain to satisfy your appetite.