Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chateauguay Valley ride

I thought I'd mention a great close-to-montreal road cycling destination: the Chateauguay Valley of southwest quebec. This is a really fine, relaxed, scenic road riding area. I did it last weekend. I know it well, since all all my ancestors of the past two hundred years lived there since they cut down the trees, built their farms, and created the towns (You'll see town names change from French to English as you travel the route 138).

By doing a quite simple loop ride in this area ride you will:

-cover much of the region's highlights without too much distance

-have 2 simple options for a bit more distance

-without much difficulty in the hills department

-see some interesting ecological zones: Adirondacks foothills, exposed bedrock

-ride along the peaceful Chateauguay river)

-ride through cute little villages, with amenities

-have some great views of the St-Laurence river valley and its hills

-ride through quiet country roads

-ride past farms and forests (cows and forests and apple trees)

-ride on good pavement

-have only a short drive from Montreal (50 km from Mercier bridge).

-Have a great a great early season, mid season, or end of season ride!

The basic route can be easily expanded for a longer ride, but this is the basic version and I identify two options for a bit . There is a nice cycling map/route of the region called the "route des paysans" of which this ride does some parts. I like my version better. This around 50+ km without options.


Drive over Mercier Bridge to Ormstown on Rt 138 (straight through Chateauguay) - Arrive in Ormstown at first stop sign in many many miles, where you can park at the just-renovated IGA at intersection 138 & 201. (immediately when you arrive in Ormstown).

On bike:

continue on 138 about 1 mile, cross river and take first left - on 138A, follow "old highway" (route 138A past CVR high school), cross river at Dewittville (dep/cafe) and go right and left to go south to and through Rockburn (resto, no dep) and continue to T, (You are on top of Covey Hill a few hundred metres from US border), Turn left (east) and go through Franklin Centre (maybe a cafe, no dep) on crappy road to St-Antoine Abbe (resto/dep),

OPTION: to avoid bad Franklin-st-antoine road: turn right at franklin on 202 and in about 0.5km turn up the hill at cemetery; take first left, then turn right at the end of this road (back on 202) and go east along 202about a mile to intersection of 201/202, where you go left (north) downhill to St-Antoine, turn left to enter St-Antoine. (end of Option)

Original directions continues: turn (north) at church in St-Antoine and head across 202 to T intersection, turn right at T and follow this road (curves left/north in a few miles) on Montee de Rocher ("The Rock") past exposed bedrock and tiny village St-Pierre to T-intersection at Rte 138 (unmarked Brysonville), turn right (east) and go about a mile on highway, Turn left and cross to bridge at Allans corners. Turm left once across bridge in direction Ormstown.

OPTION: good option here for 20 km longer ride: turn right (east) at St-Pierre go to T intersection, turn left (north) towards Howick, go north through Howick (dep, bar) and cross Rte 138 and go left & right to take road immediately beside church/cemetary and go across the old closed bridge over the Chateauguay river, and turn left to go to Allans Corners (end of option)

Original directions continue... Go west past the battle of chateauguay museum (stop and at least read the extrenal signs, or take longer visit to see how 300 Canadians under de Salaberry fought and won against the 5700 Americans invading our country in war of 1812) and continue (west) to Ormstown along the river, past the Ormstown fair grounds, and through village back to IGA (turn left at United Church at end of main street.)


This is about 50km without the Howick or Franklin options (about 20km & 10 km more each).

Another quite similar route I do is sort of just shifted westward that follows the Chateauguay River past Huntingdon to Powerscourt (the only covered bridge in region and now restored) and back left (east) along border turning north to Rockburn and reversing the Rockburn and Dewittville sections above.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Superbeautifulmonster said...

While your in Ormstown don't forget to Stop at Restaurant Le Riverain, it is a favorite among locals and visitors, especially cyclists!


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