Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back from 4 days in the Bas St-Laurent region

The actual ride-map for the Trois Pistoles ride.

We have arrived back in Montreal after four days visiting the Bas St-Laurent region.

We visited Riviere du Loup, Edmonston and the Petit Témis bike trail connecting them (south one day and north the next day, Trois Pistoles and the hilly area south of it for some road riding, and the Bic provincial park, for some hiking in a scenically spectacular location.


the Petit Temis bike path is 130 km of decent trail, from Riviere du Loup south it is 40 km climbing through wild land, 20 km wild land descent into Cabano, then 20 km along beautiful lac Temiscouata, and another then 30 km into New Brunswick, ending at Edmunston. There were good rest stops all along the trail. Sid met us about a mile from he Motel in St-Jacques, pretty good timing!

Sid rode back north with us the next day to Riviere du Loup. We started the return trip at Degelis, skipping the most southern section. This was a nice version of this trail resulting in a ride starting along Lac Temiscouta and then only 20 km of climbing and then a great 40 km descent back to Riviere du Loup! We ended the ride in Riviere du Loup at Parc de la Croix, a huge cross with a "scenic lookout" park high above the st-Laurence river in upper Riviere du Loup. Here we had a cold beer. It took a bit of routefinding to locate the actual park, but it was completely worth it and an excellent ride-end point with great views.

Conclusion? The Petit Temis trail is a winner. It has good destinations at either end, some attractions in the middle, swimming opportunities, and 130 kilometres... that's a lot of trail!

Trois Pistoles, known for Maryse St-Jean and Victor Levy Beaulieu, can now be known for a third thing: killer hills south of town that will make any rider satisfied to have finished a ride, and by finished we mean finished alive and in a still-recognizably human form! We took the Trois Pistoles region's guidebook's bike map's ride suggestions (see scan) and created a really fantastic day's ride. The highlight... a descent outside St-Clement where the max speed was 90.3 km/hr. Yes, there were hills.

The plan for this ride was to ride inland in a westerly direction, then go north to the coast and do the final part of the ride WITH THE WIND! This plan worked well, and the coastal roads were all "Route Verte" and upgraded with away-from-roads bike paths with great views of the almost-ocean. (The tides make me think of it as the ocean).

We lucked into a good campsite at Camping Plage de Trois Pistoles. We had a quiet site, hot showers, and a beach with GREAT sunsets.

Our last day here was spent at the BIC provincial park. This parc is a small but spectacular cluster of hills and little mountains rising out of the sea, creating many bays and beaches and rocky seashore all ripe for exploring. THere are many hiking opportunities, no trailis too long,and some go upwards, giving great views. The parc also has bike paths running east-west and north-south that are relatively flat for those not topographically inclined, and there is even a shuttle bus to the summit of the parc's highest point Mont Champlain.

This parc is excellent, and if you are in the area, stop here and explore it. You will not regret it! And after the 350 km of riding in the previous three days, it was a nice change for the legs!

Our final impression is that the Bas St-Laurent is a vacation paradise!


Note, we had such a good time here we went back the next week for our family vacation. See other July postings for news and photos of this trip.


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