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Old 06-24-14, 07:19 PM   #1
velowallah
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Quebec to Tadoussac/trois-pistoles loop

I am considering a trip from Quebec up to Trois-Pistoles, then ferry across and back via Tadoussac and Charlevoix. I heard Charlevoix has lots of hills, but would this be a pleasant route without too much traffic? I really hate riding along 18 wheelers!
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Old 06-25-14, 09:41 PM   #2
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Highway 138 on the north shore has truck traffic, but usually a decent shoulder. I'd say the worst parts are coming out of the Saguenay ferry. Let everyone pass you as there's no room just out of the boat. Be careful during the subsequent waves of traffic where you have a bunch of impatient drivers trying to pass one another. The other is through St-Tite-des-Caps. The "shoulder" 18" wide with frequent drain grates but at least you get 4 lanes so there's room. It's still a nice ride. You can take highway 362 (very hilly) and 360, as well as local roads in a few places. Staying on highway 138 south of St-Tite-des-Caps is kinda fun if you like downhills. BTW, there's much less, if any truck traffic on Sundays.

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Old 06-28-14, 06:33 AM   #3
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merci Erick. Considering the hills, I find it hard to estimate the time it would take. How long on average in your opinion from Quebec to Escoumins? Do you think it makes a difference whether I do the route counter-clockwise or clockwise? I found almost no travelogues about this route online. wondering why, as it seems one of the few imaginable loops you can do near the ocean.
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Old 06-28-14, 09:28 AM   #4
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I'd do it counter-clockwise. The wind usually follows the St-Lawrence and can be pretty sustained. It's flat and exposed on the south shore so it's better to have a tailwind. It's not as much a factor on the north shore.

It's 260km between Les Escoumins and QC. I'd give 3 days, 4 or more if you want to visit. Whale watching is popular from Les Escoumins to Tadoussac, and you can see them from the shore or the free Saguenay ferry. Îsle-aux-Coudres is a nice place to ride. Baie-St-Paul is a quaint town with lots of art galleries. Île d'Orléans is also a popular place to ride. The stretch between Beaupré and QC is peppered with bits from the early colony. There's Montmorency Falls. Lots of places to stop.

The north shore isn't as popular as the south shore because it's hilly, there's no parallel freeway so more traffic, and it hasn't been developed as a bike route like the south shore has. It's also more isolated, especially between St-Tite-des-Caps and Baie-St-Paul and St-Siméon and Tadoussac. You get people seeking hills and people who didn't know how hilly it is. Gaspésie is a better loop if you want to ride next to the sea.

A little clip of th south shore: Bas St-Laurent à vélo - 2012 - YouTube
Charlevoix, in the opposite direction you'll be going, and anything after 2:00 isn't on your route: Charlevoix 2012 - YouTube

Highway 362:
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Old 06-28-14, 11:27 AM   #5
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Actually, I was counting on Via`s bike train service to use Quebec city as a start/finish point, but it looks like Via cut that service Go figure why they would cut Ottawa and Quebec and keep Abittibi!
There's still service to Jonquiere. Do you know anything about the route verte along the Saguenay? It looks far from the river and quite boring, from the map anyway... But maybe there's a possible loop from there and then across the river at Escoumins and back at St-Simeon. My issue with the Gaspe loop is that it's too long, and I've driven the stretch inland and wasn't too thrilled with the monotonous black spruce scenery.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:49 PM   #6
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Hi,

I thought I'd share this link with anyone planning on doing touring in Quebec using the provincial roads network. Essentially maps of daily traffic amount on most of the numbered roads. Website is in French, but pretty easy to figure out with the symbols. The only thing missing is an indicator of how wide (if any) is the shoulder.

Atlas des transports : Débits de circulation
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