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  1. #1
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Ottawa to Montreal trip

    I'm trying to figure out which side of Ottawa river is better for riding, the Ontario side or the Quebec side. Has anybody done both and can compare? Road surface, scenery, camp sites, towns with stores to buy food?

    On Quebec side we'd ride Route Verte (http://tinyurl.com/RouteVerte-Outaouais), on Ontario side we'd follow route from this site: http://www.hedney.com/o-m.htm.

    I'm just starting to research the trip and would appreciate your input.

  2. #2
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    The food is bound to be better on the Quebec side.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  3. #3
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    That what I was thinking too ;-)

  4. #4
    Senior Member marmot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    The food is bound to be better on the Quebec side.
    Not necessarily. Depending on your route, Ontario could be offering fresh Lancaster perch, Glengarry cheeses and Beau's all-natural beers vs. Quebec's chien chaud, poutine and Jos. Louis cakes. You can find good food -- and very bad food -- on both sides of the mighty Ottawa.

  5. #5
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    The ontario side is much quieter and often closer to the river. The road is in better condition for the most part.

    The Quebec side is better serviced (camping, food quality and variety), simpler to follow (148 and 344). The scenery has a little more variety and nicer towns but the traffic noise on the 148 can get old fast.

    I prefer riding in Ontario and camp in Quebec. You can cross the river in many places. Most ferries are 2$ and take cash only.

    This is what I would do: http://maps.google.ca/maps?saddr=Unk...b&z=9&lci=bike

    The idea is to visit/camp at Plaisance park and camp in Carillon. You could cross the river in Cumberland to Masson-Anger.

    As the map shows, you can get through Voyageur park to Pointe-Fortune. The park is nice with a few beaches but camping is expensive. Better cross to Carillon and camp at the municipal campground (left off the ferry). The 16$ are just as good as the 20$ ones, and there are 11,50$ bike-only sites in the Von Allen woods across the road behind, which are totally quiet (and probably mosquito-ridden), but without tap water and shower. You can shower at the main campsites. Showers take loonies (I had to ride in town just to get loonies). With the bags off the bikes, I suggest taking a short ride on the path parallel to the road and come back on the road along the reservoir. Get food in Hawksbury or Grenville.

    From Carillon, you can explore the little network of paths to l'île-aux-Chats and reach St-André-Est on Route des Seigneurs (Google Maps wouldn't allow that). Stick to the 344 to Oka.

    From Oka, I always get across to Hudson and ride into MTL from the west because it's more convenient for me. It's a nice ride except for a few spots between Avenue St-Charles and the island of Montreal. Highway 20 between Vaudreuil and the island of Montreal is accessible to bikes with a wide shoulder. Once on the island, stick to Lakeshore. I've never entered Montreal from the north.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  6. #6
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Thanks Erick, that's wonderful advice! I never even thought about crossing back and forth. I guess I didn't know you actually could cross the river in so many places.
    And thanks for taking the time to make a map, really appreciate it.
    Last edited by lucille; 06-30-11 at 10:34 PM.

  7. #7
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Ooh. I want to keep that map too.

    Tell you what. You can try it out Lucille, and I'll ride it next year.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  8. #8
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    Ooh. I want to keep that map too.

    Tell you what. You can try it out Lucille, and I'll ride it next year.
    It's a deal!

  9. #9
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Thought I come back with a report, if anybody else is planning to do the trip (other than Boudicca ;-)

    We pretty much followed Eric's route. He's absolutely right, the Ontario side is much quieter, and nicer to ride. That Route Verte part on the map is super busy. Nice shoulder, but trucks and cars zipping by at 100 kms/hr (it's a 90 km/hr road) got a bit tiring after a while.
    The ferries were fun, campsites very nice (you need quarters for showers in Quebec's campsites), we never had trouble finding a supermarket to get food and water.

    On the same trip we went to St Jerome, boarded the bus (www.autobuslepetittraindunord.com) that took us to Mont-Laurier and rode down to Montreal. Le Petit Train du Nord is very nice, as often mentioned on this forum. Especially the northern part, which is paved.
    The crushed stone on the southern part unfortunately was much worse than we expected. I think it's the variety of stone that's used, but it's not the same as rail to trails in Ontario I've been on. The surface was very soft and very dusty. It felt like riding through quick sand at times. Maybe it was just us on fully loaded bikes, but we found it hard and not much fun.
    I wouldn't recommend this part of the trail to anybody with asthma or breathing problems.

    Overall great trip, riding in Ottawa and Montreal couldn't be easier. Toronto has a lot to learn.

    If anybody has questions, please go ahead.

  10. #10
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    I just did this trip, doing Eric's suggested route (and Brian Hedley's directions found on a google) and it was fantastic. The ON side is so much quieter!
    I took the ferry at Thurso to ride through Park de Plaisance - the boat that takes you to the eastern part of the park was not running during the week until summer; it was a beautiful 20 kms in and out but a backtrack I hadn't planned on. I entered Montreal from the west and it was nice except for a busy part along Vaudreuil-Dorion. Overall a great trip for an intermediate rider - so flat, and beautiful!

  11. #11
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums, Julie! Glad you had such a nice trip!

  12. #12
    Senior Member BikeNewEngland's Avatar
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    I've done both -- the local roads in Ottawa are more interesting. La Route Verte 1 along the Ottawa River in Quebec is just a highway with a very wide shoulder. Here's a ride from Montreal to Ottawa: Montreal-Ottawa Tour

  13. #13
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    Riding in Quebec is a NO NO on the TransCanada and all provincial road with 2 digits

    Riding in Quebec is a NO NO on the TransCanada and all provincial road with 2 digits
    such as 10, 15, 20, 40 (TransCanada ). It's the only province with this rule. The fine is expensive around $200.00. When going to Montreal from the west on the south side of the Ottawa
    river is by Vaudreuil/Dorion , Île-Perrot then St-Anne de Bellevue. Follow the bike
    path. Do not cross on hightway 20 or 40 you will get a ticket, cameras on the bridges are checking you.
    Have a nice ride.

  14. #14
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    You can ride on highway 20 on île Perrôt. It is not a freeway.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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