Eastern Canada - Best One Week Tour Routes near Montreal
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06-03-11, 01:42 PM
Hi Guys, I am in Montreal and would like to go for a one week cycle tour starting on the 13th of June somewhere nearby. I am looking for somewhere which is easy to get to by either cycling or bus, but is still quite natural and wild and not over crowded! I am not new to cycling or camping but i havent done any week long trips, they have all been more or less overnight, and my bike is just an old mountain bike with a rack on the back.
I have been looking at the Petit Train du Nord because it looks fun and enjoyable and is incredibly easy to get to, but i am worried these factors will make it very busy and with all the facilities along the way i dont know if i will feel as though i am actually in nature or not. Also, it is only 200kms long and i think i would do this track very quickly, maybe in just a couple of days, and i know i could come back along the route but i would prefer a circular route if possible.
I have also looked at the green route which might be quieter, but there is less information about this and so i am unsure if it is passing through farmland, or if i could get public transport or not.
So basically i am hoping someone will be able to give me a bit more info on these routes or any others which they might recommend! Such as whether the petit train du nord is not really that busy and if anyone has come back along a different track at the end of the route. I dont mind riding along roads but would not enjoy it if the roads are too busy or boring!
Any help or info would be very much appreciated!
06-03-11, 07:58 PM
Here's an idea with a very rough Google Maps route (http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Montreal,+QC&daddr=45.41608,-74.0433+to:45.46498,-74.1033+to:45.6178713,-74.5772589+to:45.6266169,-74.5908698+to:45.64179,-74.73085+to:Ottawa,+Ontario+to:Maniwaki,+QC+to:Mont-Laurier,+QC+to:Montreal,+QC&hl=en&geocode=FRlptgIdCaed-ykNt2QcVBrJTDHv7x8hODFOZQ%3BFZD-tAIdXDCW-ykzAUflRTbJTDEjFK3epIFmgw%3BFZS9tQId_EWV-ykPb4WGYzTJTDEVwZ3HwsxCdw%3BFc8SuAIdlgqO-ynNiCHanujOTDEpwSXNqWHidQ%3BFfg0uAIda9WN-ynh7bjmA-bOTDFkHSbQFPIttg%3BFT5wuAIdnrKL-ykD2MY3nvrOTDGMSiKZane5ew%3BFfTstAId7u98-ymvE1FfsgXOTDHtFd0x4VFqig%3BFcqxwwIdcLx4-ylFWB0KfG_QTDFtTpMnbEBOVw%3BFftXxgIdjgGA-ylXdjSZtqDaTDGcm_ncYuSqBw%3BFRlptgIdCaed-ykNt2QcVBrJTDHv7x8hODFOZQ&mra=dpe&mrsp=5&sz=12&via=1,2,3,4,5&dirflg=b&sll=45.608994,-74.587555&sspn=0.208229,0.513954&ie=UTF8&ll=45.884273,-74.750977&spn=1.657612,4.111633&z=9&lci=bike). The map doesn't take bike trails into account. The P'tit Train du Nord is excellent, busy or not. I rode it twice in one trip and I want to go again. The ride to Ottawa is nice. A little busy on highway 148 but there's a decent shoulder. You could ride on the Ontario side. This route also follows the Gatineau valley trail (http://pistescyclables.ca/Outaouais/Vallee.htm). I never rode on it.
06-03-11, 08:42 PM
That looks really cool, thank you very much!! I had not come across that trail and it links really well, i will definately look into it more and will let you know what i think!! And your opinion on the petit train du nord is really encouraging so i think this will be the trip for me, thank you again!!
I'm not sure how much time you have to do your trip, but I will throw this one your way just in case it catches your interest. We have done it twice and would do it again in a heartbeat!
Le Veloroute des Bleuets around Lac Saint Jean. It's not a huge distance, (256 km) but there is so much to see and so much to capture of the Quebecois culture, I would take 4 days (3 nights) and do it B & B, rather than camping, so that you become immersed in the French language and the culture. Magnificent!
Hope this helps,
06-03-11, 10:44 PM
Another option is a short loop around Gaspé peninsula closing via highway 299. About 650km with plenty of hills and nature. It's all on roads but there's a shoulder most of the time. It doesn't get better than this for touring in Quebec, but it's a good distance just to get there. Via Rail runs on the Baie-des-Chaleurs side so you can start/finish somewhere between New Richmond and Gaspé. The bus must be going on the St-Lawrence side too... I think. I did it in eight days with nearly one full day in Percé to visit the Gannet colony on Bonaventure island. This is the best tour I can think of, but getting there and back will eat some time. There's lots of off-bike things to do as well.
Photos of my trip: http://www.borealphoto.com/Cycling/Gaspesie/Photos/4342885_sQ83R#254789487_wskT2
If you want to follow my first recommendation but want to do less distance, you can always take the train to Ottawa. That's what I'm planning to do. :)
06-18-11, 04:09 PM
This is what my husband and I are thinking of doing:
Taking the bike train from Toronto to Montreal. Then getting off in Montreal and going to Monteregie which is about 40 kms from MOntreal and the route I would like to take is about 200 kms.
Then take the bike train back. (that means that I don't have to box my bike.)
Has anyone done this? It sure looks good by the website.
06-18-11, 09:35 PM
Well i have just got back from my tour, i took the first idea and went up the petit train du nord, across to Maniwaki and then down to Ottawa. I got the commuter train out of Montreal to Saint-therese though, you can take your bike on it for free at certain times (although you have to lug it up the steps onto the train!) Had a great time and met some lovely people along the way :)! The petit train du nord is a great trail, very easy and very pretty with lots of great views, campsites, motels, cafes and convenience stores all along the way but also with bits that felt a bit more wild! I think wild camping is difficult along it, although i know people have managed it, but the land that runs alongside it is private or pretty much unsuitable.
The gatineau trail is also really nice, especially the northern part near the lac blue sea but further down it is mostly a forest trail. It is also an easy trail, but not as well groomed as the petit train which i think is why it is rated as intermediate - it is quite soft in some places. It does feel a bit more wild and i hardly met anyone on this trail, although i didnt meet many on the petit train either! I only saw one other tourer and the rest were people who were walking or cycling near the towns, further out there was hardly anyone!
I didnt manage to cycle all the way to montreal because i had a couple of problems along the way - expected when riding an old bike but i hoped it would be alright for just a week! The chain snapped 25kms outside of mont laurier but luckily there was a campsite nearby and Fred, the campsite owner was nice enough to give me a lift back to town to get it fixed and then pick me up and brought me back to the campsite again! Then 20 kms further on my tire went and a nice lady from one of the houses along the way took me to maniwaki to get a new one and then dropped me off at a campsite, as well as giving me a teddy bear for good luck! so i landed on my feet both times but i have learnt my lesson as these are spares i should have been carrying so i will do in the future!
I went to get the train back from Ottawa but i hadnt looked into this much, i arrived late on friday night and the last train to Montreal was at 6.30pm, so i stayed in a hostel and went back on the saturday but they didnt have any bike carriages until 2.15pm on Sunday, so i went to the bus station where i could by a box for 10 dollars and then pay 30 to put it on the bus, i only paid 50 dollars for the bike so i have tied it up in Ottawa and i'm gonna hope it will be alright for a couple of weeks till i can go back for it! If it helps anyone the train was 63 dollars and the bus 33 dollars, although if you book in advance i'm sure you could get it cheaper than this!
Well thats my story, hope it is helpful for someone in the future and sorry it is a bit long! Feel free to message me if you think i can help with anything!
In reply to the last post, i dont know about the train or the route but it sounds good, go for it!!
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