Sunday, April 20, 2008


Great cycling in the Chateauguay Valley, a mere 50 km southwest of Montréal

Yes, it was time to take our own advice and go for a spring ride along the Chateauguay river in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley.

We started at the IGA mall in Ormstown (intersection of 102 and 138 highways), where maps are available inside at the tourist kiosk and there is a map billboard outside the mall in the parking lot (near the pharmacy entrance).

We rode along the Rt 138A to Dewittville, crossed the river and continued upriver to Huntingdon, took a little detour to main-street, and then back on the south side of the river to Athlelstan and Powerscourt. We stopped in Athlestan at the dep (resto also available here) and picked up snacks to eat at the covered bridge in Powerscourt. This is the only covered bridge in the region and is the oldest covered bridge in Quebec.

We sat in the sun on the concrete "deck" on the east side of the bridge for lunch. A fantastic spot.

Then we headed east along the First Concession. This parallels the US-Canada border and is the most southern road in Quebec.

We took this (with a couple of zigzags) past Dorea and Canada Customs until the Mtee Covey Hill (direction Franklin), where we headed north, and, before reaching Franklin, took Brooks side road (east) downhill to the Rt 202. Brooks side road has excellent views of the St-Laurence and of Montreal in the distance.

Then it was a short ride on the busy and shoulderless Rt 202, and then downhill on the Rt 201 to St-Antoine-Abbé. We stopped at the bakery for some cookies, and a little break. Then it was turn north at the church (check the funky architecture on the priest's house), north past the Esso (cheapest gas in quebec due to lower gas taxes at border regions), across the 201 and turn right at the T-intersection.

Do not be tempted to take Rt 201 to Ormstown, despite the fact the Monteregie Road Cycling Map includes it a bicycle-route!!!!!! This is a very busy, narrow and shoulder-less highway. You will die.

Instead we are going to take the road to the local geological attraction we call "The Rock" on chemin de Rocher. Essentially the last glacier took all the dirt away and left behind the bedrock. This unusual natural feature should be a park. We stopped here for a break. The riding partner (victim?) was getting a bit tired on his first ride of the year!

From here you continue north, and can shortcut back to Ormstown on the Tullochgorum road. Or, do as we did, and continue to the Rt 1238, go to Allan's Corners (1 km of highway), then cross the bridge over the Chateauguay river (yes, we're back to the river!) and return to Ormstown along the River road on the north side of the river. This takes you past the Ormstown fairgrounds (the fair is during first week of june) and downtown Ormstown.

Back at the car you will find that you have done almost 80 km, a good early season ride.

Here is the link to the google map of the route.

IMPORTANT: Parts of this ride pass apple orchards on Covey hill, and in a couple of weeks the apple trees will blossom, this could be one of the most beautiful moments in your life!


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