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Old 10-26-06, 10:22 AM   #1
dendawg
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Le Petit Train du Nord

After reading about this 125 mile long rail trail in National Geographic Traveler I thought this might be a nice week long bike vacation next summer. Anyone have any experience with any of the organized tour (organized to the extent that they move your luggage from B&B to B&B) operators or B&B's along the route? Who do you recommend going with?
Thanks
Dennis
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Old 10-26-06, 03:42 PM   #2
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I did it on my own, and it was very easy. I engaged a company which drove me and my bike from the south end to the north end so I could ride it one-way. I rode the trail about 5 years ago, and there were two small companies which offered that ferry service at that time. It was quite inexpensive. These outfits will also ferry your stuff each day, I believe, but since it's an old railroad right-of-way, the grade is extremely gentle along the entire trail. The only real climb I experienced was when I left the trail to ride up to Mt. Tremblant village.

I stayed in an inn one night, and an inexpensive B&B the 2nd night. There are lots of accommodations along the trail or very near the trail. I didn't make any reservations, but I went right after Labour (Labor) day, when the crowds had gone home. Lots of places to eat, ranging from nice restaurants to poutine shacks. The northern part is much wilder than the southern half, even though the southern half has most of the mountains. It was unpaved (but a good surface) when I rode it, but I heard that much of it has since been paved.
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Old 10-26-06, 09:52 PM   #3
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You wouldn't happen to know the name of the company that ferried you and your bicycle north or have any webdite links?
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Old 10-27-06, 08:33 AM   #4
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Sorry, I don't remember the name. It was a small mom & pop operation. Try googling or checking if there are any links on the websites for the trail (usually referred to as "le P'tit Train du Nord"--note the spelling "P'tit").
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Old 10-27-06, 08:44 AM   #5
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http://lepetittraindunord.com/

It's a very nice ride.
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Old 10-27-06, 05:34 PM   #6
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Thanks. Also found this other operator through a google search

http://www.transportduparclineaire.com/infogen_e.php
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Old 10-28-06, 09:14 AM   #7
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I did it with a freind in May, 2005. Four days was appropriate for us, age 60.
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Old 10-28-06, 10:22 AM   #8
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I did it with a freind in May, 2005. Four days was appropriate for us, age 60.
did you rent bikes there or take your own?

My favorite wife & I are planning a cycling vacation in Canada next summer and looking at a number of options. This is a new one to me - I thought we'd be over in St. Johns and Nova Scotia. We loved Quebec during a real week's vacation in '03 but that was before we started cycling.
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Old 10-28-06, 11:06 PM   #9
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We plan on taking our own, though one of the bus operators listed bike rental (hybrids) for $90 a week if I remember correctly. Now to pick a good week to get away. I'm thinking late spring or after labor day.
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Old 10-31-06, 11:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by centexwoody
did you rent bikes there or take your own?

My favorite wife & I ...
We took our own bikes.
How many wives do you have?
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Old 10-31-06, 01:26 PM   #11
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St. Johns and Nova Scotia.

Saint John, or St. John's?

What is the topography of the trail like? I know the ride will be moderate since it's a rail trail, but a satalite photo I saw showed a really rocky mountain in the middle. I like rocks so I was wondering whether one sees that or if it's all lined with trees?
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Old 10-31-06, 09:11 PM   #12
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The trail goes very close to the base of Mont Tremblant, which is probably the rocky mountain you saw in the satellite photo, but the trail itself has a gentle grade for its entire length. The surface was good, though there were a few soft spots adjacent to road crossings. I rode a touring bike which worked fine for the trail.
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Old 10-31-06, 09:51 PM   #13
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Thanks Axolotl, I'm not worried about the trail I was wondering about the visuals, any spectacular rockscapes. Quebec has some wonderful rocks and even climbing in many places.
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Old 11-01-06, 10:27 AM   #14
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I'm now seriously considering this ride for the summer of 2007. I would be riding a recumbent with 700 X 28 tires. Should I consider wider tires
My plans also call for riding from Montreal to the start at Saint Jerome. I have looked at the road maps and there appears to be secondary roads. Are they suitable for cycling?
Are there cycling maps that I can purchase for this area?
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Old 11-01-06, 11:24 AM   #15
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Sections of the trail towards the north end are paved. The rest is OK for 28 mm tires provided there hasnt been a lot of rain. You may be able to get maps for bike routes from this site http://www.velo.qc.ca/rv/ang/index.lasso
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Old 11-01-06, 01:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown
How many wives do you have?
A confirmed monogamist, I can handle only one wife at a time. So I only have one at present but she is my absolute favorite of the two I've had...
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Old 11-18-06, 09:44 PM   #17
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I haven't been on this trail, but other Quebec rail trails I have been on felt squishy to the point i had to let down tire pressure in 37mm. Actually this would probably be a great recumbent trail since there probably aren't many places to stall out on.


It was also mentioned going in late spring or late summer, early fall. Good a plan as any. However, one has to be careful about late spring up north, because that can be the worst of the worst bug wise. And that can be a massive experience. Anytime in the fall is good as long as you don't his cold or wet weather, but if you nail it, that's as nice as it gets.
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Old 05-27-07, 08:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axolotl
The trail goes very close to the base of Mont Tremblant, which is probably the rocky mountain you saw in the satellite photo, but the trail itself has a gentle grade for its entire length. The surface was good, though there were a few soft spots adjacent to road crossings. I rode a touring bike which worked fine for the trail.
Ok, we booked a trip for the second week of July. Hopefully not too hot. Do you think a road bike will be ok for the trip? Most of the trail seems to be crushed rock and sand. We''l be carrying light packs and using the bus service to ferry most of our gear between lodgings.
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Old 05-27-07, 09:12 AM   #19
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The northern half is paved. The sourthern half was well packed and very smooth when I rode it, smoother than some paved roads. The surface was a bit loose at intersections. I think you should be alright with a road bike.
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