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!!