Sunday, May 20, 2012

riding on Montreal's most scenic bike path: La Voie Maritime in the middle of the St-Laurence river

The best ride in the Montreal area is the Voie Maritime, aka the Saint Laurence Seaway. The bike path follows a narrow strip of land between the seaway canal and the river proper. It is car free, and the scenic and nature aspects are top of the line.

Getting there can be interesting, we took:
  1. Cross the river via Pont Jacques bridge, and
  2. Parc Drapeau: Ile Ste-Helene and Ile Notre Dame to St-Lambert locks (ecluse)
  3. Voie Maritime (15 km?) bike path (a couple of km are dirt, the rest is paved)
  4. until you arrive at the Parc Recreoparc at the ville Sainte-Catherine end of the bike path 
  5. The Recreoparc is an amazing riverside park along the Lachine Rapids, (ride to its end)
  6. Note that the Recreoparc now has a second location: Secteur de la Digue
  7. Ride back along the path, hopefully with the wind
  8. Cross the St-Laurence beside the Pont Champlain bridge on the "Estacade" ice bridge
  9. traverse the river, Nun's island, Verdun, north to the Lachine Canal bike path (going west along the river's edge Parc des Berges through Verdun and Lasalle is a very scenic "long way home" option, and also takes you to the Lachine Canal bike path)
  10. Lachine Canal bike path east to Old Montreal and the Vieux Port
  11. North into city on the Berri bike path

Map is not exactly today's ride, but you get the idea: cross to the middle of the river, and ride!

(sorry the pics are out of sequence, the Voie Maritime pics are after the urban parts of the ride)

look up: the invisible friend of the cyclist reveals its direction

returning though (and walking) Place Jacques Cartier, into the sunset

look up: City hall

look up: Admiral Nelson

Place Vauquelin is one of our favorite sunset locations in Montreal

look up: the Vauq himself

Montreal's only remaining city wall, from the early days when we were a fortified town (newly renovated)

Om, or being one with the sunset

Berri bike path's most dangerous section (coming up to Viger corner)
The amazing view from the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge sidewalk's lookout: a scenic spot on our top ten list of scenic spots

Obligatory Bucky dome pic

Part of the ride is on the track of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Um, we cannot promise this will be a bug-free riding experience

We saw every type of rider (gender, age, family size, national origin, shoe size, etc) enjoying this amazing bike road

Montreal downtown and Mont Royal are close but far away

Impressive St-Laurence river and Lachine rapids and Mont Royal (see the Oratory Saint Joseph?)

Some of those rapids are house sized

even my shadow was having a good time

The very big Saint Laurence river from the "Estacade" ice bridge

And that big pile of very enjoyable bike riding was today's ride.


At 11:29 AM, Blogger Cyrono said...

I think calling it the best ride in Montreal is very subjective, but it would make for a good contest to elicit nominations for best ride.

My most enjoyable and scenic ride around town last year was out to Vercheres via Les iles de la Boucherville ferries.


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