Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Quebec vacation road trip

We asked ourselves the question: what would we do if someone came for a week-long Quebec cycling vacation and wanted to really ride and see Quebec (the province).

sleep: Montreal

Saturday: Montreal: Ride across Pont Jacques Cartier bridge to Ile ste-Helene, ile Notre Dame, the st-laurence seaway bike path to St-Catherine and back (until the bike link with pont Mercier is completed) with return route via Estacade, Ile des Soeurs, the excellent les berges along the St-Laurence (west), lachine canal and Westmount hill on Mont Royal. Welcome to Montréal.

Sunday: Southwest Quebec in the Chateauguay valley: Ormstown, Huntingdon, covered bridge at Powerscourt, apples at Franklin, through the Rock, the bataille de la Chateauguay.

Monday: Lanaudiere hills, Ste-Emilie de l'Energie, Ste-Beatrix, St Jean de Matha, Louis Cyr and fresh raspberries. Life doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday: Petit train du Nord from Tremblant (easy option: start in Ste-Agathe) to St-Jerome, or for pure roadies, from Mont Laurier to Labelle (this is the northern, paved part of the P'tit train du Nord)

Wednesday: La Mauricie, from Shawinigan north along magnifique Mauricie river to St-Roch-de-Mekinac, then inland through beautiful canyon/valley south to St-Tite and Ste-Thecle.

Sleep: Quebec City

Thursday: Quebec city along Champlain, then cross the river on the bike-friendly ferry (with the most beautiful view in eastern north america) to Levis and then south to new bike path to Arargh.

Friday: Petit Temis fron Degelis to Riviere du Loup and then east along the coast with tailwind. Enjoy tides and an amazing sunset across the river and the charlevoix mountains.

Saturday: cross the river on Ferry and ride Charlevoix, quebec's hilly section. Part of it is a gigantic meteorite crater. Uh-huh. Ride up the hill from St-Joseph de la River to Les Eboulements.

Sunday: head back to Montreal and ride the eastern townships (north of Vermont). We suggest Sherbrooke's Les Grande Forches loop to North Hatley (part of this is urban and it's not too long). The incontournable Sutton-Jay Peak loop offers flavour for those with energy left in the legs.


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