Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Howick-Ormstown-Huntingdon-Ste-Chrysostome bike path developments

Yellow = new rail-to-trail bike path(s), red = existing bike paths

The MRC de Haut St-Laurent (which is the french name for the Chateauguay Valley) has announced the go-ahead for this rail-to-trail bike path(s) in the Chateauguay Valley:

The old railway line will be spruced up and its vocation recycled.

Bicycle lovers, check your derailleur gears, grease your chains, shine up your steed!! The Haut-Saint-Laurent is setting up a bicycle path that will take you around the country.

The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent has signed a lease with de Ministry of Transportation for all disused railway corridors on its territory. These corridors will become a bike path.

This project will be implemented in three phases:
Phase 1: Howick - Ormstown is scheduled for Fall 2011.
Phase 2: Howick - Saint-Chrysostome is scheduled for Fall 2012 / Spring 2013
Phase 3: Ormstown - Godmanchester is scheduled for Fall 2013 / Spring 2014.

Financial details will be announced later since the portion of government funding is not confirmed.

Regarding the rules of use, we know at this stage that quads will not be allowed on the bike path. Regarding skidoos, negotiations will take place.

Landowners neighboring the railway corridors will be notified by the Ministry of Transportation regarding their rights and duties.

More information will follow as the project develops.


The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent will soon be launching a major contest in the schools and among the population in order to find a name for the bicycle path. Details of the contest will be posted shortly on the MRC website and in the newspapers. Don’t miss this opportunity to leave your mark…

This seems to link together the two existing railroad rights-of-way: Howick - Huntingdon and Howick - Ste-Chrysostome. Put antother way, it links and extends (in a big way) the two existing regional bike paths Sentier du Paysan (Lacolle-Ste-Chrysostome) and Ste-Martine-to-Howick (this path is presently named "LA PISTE CYCLABLE SAINTE-MARTINE/BEAUHARNOIS, and is part of the Reseau cyclable de la MRC Beauharnois/Salaberry.

This is good and exciting news.

If the path is built as described in the announcement, then it will connect the two existing regional bike paths together. Then this path will run southeast for as much as 50 km.

The route paralleling the Chateauguay river will extend the 7 km existing Ste-Martine bike path ( 7 km from Ste-Martine to outside-Howick where it ends abruptly and unhappily at Rt 203). Finally it gets extended! To Huntingdon is 35 km and it could go 20 km after that into the wilds of Godmanchester. (where our mom was born) To ease the making of signs, I suggest they go the 5 km further into the easier-to-spell Dundee.

This path will go the entire way through the Chateauguay Valley. Starting in Ste-Martine it will go southeast through Howick, Brysonville/Allan's Corners, Ormstown, Dewittville, Huntingdon and beyond to the wilds of Dundee.

The surprise is that this path will connect to the most-unknown bike path in Quebec, the Sentier du Paysan (it is not even on the Monteregie tourist office's map of Monteregie bike paths. The connection to Howick gives this path a much better "official starting point." Recent work at the east end of this path means this path now goes all the way past Lacolle right to the Richelieu river! This is getting seriously amazing. You can ride bike path from Howick to Lacolle, then north along the Richelieu river and then the Chambly Canal bike path. This is one amazing week or weekend bike ride, leave the car behind and bike the entire loop from your doorstep in Montreal.

This fills in a big gap in the bike-path network that existed in the south and southwest Monteregie.


At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best thing to do is to keep the track intact so it can be used by trains in the future and build a path beside the tracks.

Rails with Trails!

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

the local population is much too small to support costly single-destination rail infrastructure. The present system of road buses can use the newly repaved and multidirectional numbered highway system. Rail utopia is about linking large population centres with an electric-powered rail system. The Chateauguay Valley (aka le haut st-laurent... ugh) is not a large population centre.


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