Thursday, September 24, 2009

Will Chateauguay Valley ever complete its Rail-to-Trail bike path?

Chateauguay Valley bike path - opening in 2015?

Fact: this 32 Km rail-to-trail bike path is an invention of our imagination.

It does not exist.

Not yet.

Chateauguay river at Dewittville

There is an excellent rail-to-trail bike path parallel to the Chateauguay river southwest of Montreal. It has great clear-day views of Covey Hill and the Adirondacks.

This path goes from Ste-Martine to just-outside Howick. (In Ste-Martine you can take another bike path through farm fields to Beauharnois and many trails in the Valleyfield area.

The problem is that this bike path stops at Rt 203 and it does not continue to the actual town of Howick, nor to Ormstown, Dewittville, and Huntingdon. It just... stops.

The abandoned railway right-of-way and bridges are still there. It needs to be converted into a bike path. The job is started. Now it needs to be completed.

And it needs a name. We don't have one.

But we do say, "Build the Chateauguay."

You should know that this area does boast some of Quebec's best road cycling, in beginner, intermediate, and expert flavours. It's just that a lot of people want to ride bicycle on a car-free bike path. And this abandoned rail line is sitting there, waiting, not doing anything.

We are waiting for the MRC and the local towns and the province and velo-quebec and everybody else to get together and build what will be one of Quebec's great bike paths, through some of Quebec's most beautiful villages and farmland.

Quebec's best "unbuilt" bike path

The map shown above doesn't include it, but this bike path can continue another 31 Km to Dundee for a total length of 61 - the same as the new Veloroute de Bellechase near Quebec city.

Click here to see the map on Bikely.


At 5:04 PM, Blogger Jonathan Carrigan said...

I can't believe this project is happening. Strikes me as a no brainer. The economic benefits alone make this a worthwhile project.

At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Mel Hibbard said...

Intentions well placed might never materialize because of the action of one Peter Findlayson of Ormstown. He has a point, but the land was not used by him for a goodly number of years. Now he seeks to delay the process for 10 years? Why so long? Why is he so determined? This clearly just smacks of greed on his part!


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