There are bike paths that are nice paved strips of happiness for bike riders to ride and ride and ride. Some people never let their bikes go off the asphalt diet. Don't let this happen to you.
Dirt roads and non-paved bike paths can be marvelous places to ride. Sometimes not, but often is it pure scenic beauty and enjoyment of the quietness of the real world, away from our modern manufactured world.
Fear of the unknown can prevent you from riding on the dirt road that you aren't sure where it goes but you think it goes in the direction you are going so let's go. What's the worst that can happen? Wrong question! the question is: What's the best that could happen?
Early Alpinist Maurice Herzog talked about this in the context of climbing, which is not as dissimilar to cycling as you would think.
In 1953, Mr. Herzog wrote an essay for The New York Times in which he
described the first time he went climbing in the Alps as a student,
finding himself isolated, vulnerable, in peril — and thrilled.
“I believe what I felt that day closely resembles what we call
happiness,” he wrote. “I also believe that if I felt such happiness in
such rigorous circumstances it is because the planned, organized,
predigested happiness that the modern world offers is not complete. It
leaves certain sides of man’s nature unsatisfied.”
I think that sums up pretty accurately the feeling one gets from a good bike ride adventure.
Here are some Quebec bike rides that are back country, but not "off road" pure mountain bike terrain, and less developed that quite civilized route route.
Aerobique Corridor (Laurentiens: Morin Heights to Rockaway)
Portage Trail (Gaspé: L'anse Aux Griffons)
We especially like the Tomifobia Nature trail. It follows the Tomifobia river through exceptional landscape far, far away from cars, condos and man-made noises.
We posted a photo on Twitter
. This is in the upper part of the Corridor Aerobique in the Laurentiens. On this ride we parked in Arundel and bikes NW and back.