Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fredericton, NB
Bikes: 2000 Specialized FSR, 2008 Cannondale T1
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Yeah, I'd agree that Ottawa definitely is quite easy to cycle through - I'd recommend going through it in fact. Last summer I rode Ottawa to Halifax, and really enjoyed the stretch along the St. Lawrence north of Quebec City along the 132. Really beautiful cycling, nice scenery, quite easy (we also had a sizeable tailwind which helped my perception a lot). Nice little towns sprinkled throughout Quebec - I'd say it's a good route. Between Riviere du Loup and Edmundston Quebec is the Petit Temis trail - not sure if you're looking to stay on pavement the whole time, but it's a pretty good option to get off the highway for 130 km or so. It's an old railway line so it's easy grades (that section is quite hilly on the highway) up and then back down into NB. There's a few nice little towns along the way along Lake Temiscouata.
In New Brunswick if you follow the Saint John River down to Fredericton you can use the old Trans Canada, it's highway 130 now in most places, and it's a pretty quiet highway with a decent shoulder - most traffic takes the number 2 which runs more or less parallel to is, making it a pretty great cycling route. From Fredericton the 102 keeps going along the SJ River through Gagetown and some other small places - it's really scenic on the way down to Saint John, from where you could follow the Fundy coastline back up to Moncton. (You'd have to cut in from Saint Martins to Sussex and then back down to Alma through Fundy National Park, which is very hilly, but nice). Or for New Brunswick, back in the north you could cut across from Saint Leonard to Campbellton and follow the Bay des Chaleurs, which is very nice in places. After Bathurst it's really nice following it over to Caraquet, but that might be a bit out of your way. Down the Acadian Coast you can hug the coastline on some of the smaller highways that have pretty light traffic.
I'd recommend going up through Quebec and New Brunswick rather than cutting through Maine, but I haven't done the Maine route yet, so that's easy for me to say. I just know I was really happy with our route. Quebec's got great roads that they designate for cycling - check out the Route Verte (www.routeverte.com
) and for the Petit Temis trail you can check out http://www.petit-temis.com/
- they've got a pretty detailed map on there showing everything you'd need to know.
Hope that helps, let me know if there's anything else I can do!