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  1. #1
    Commuting & Touring Guy Doconabike's Avatar
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    recent information on the Route Verte in Quebec?

    Hi,

    Am planning on a bike touring trip across the Route Verte in Quebec this summer. Have been reading about the route and am eager to go.

    Has anyone done the Route Verte recently?

    Any suggestions for sources of good maps?

    Any suggestions for guides with listings of hostels and campsites?

    Any general advice on the Route Verte?

    Thanks,
    - jc

  2. #2
    Macro Geek
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    Start here:

    http://www.velo.qc.ca/rv/ang/index.lasso

    I have ridden the Route Verte through several regions of Québec, and truly pleasant trips are not only possible, but almost inevitable. Last year I rode east along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River from Lévis (across the river from Québec City) to Rivière-du-Loup. The route is fairly flat and generally downhill, although I occasionally took detours along sideroads to get different views.

    Sometimes you need to get off the Route Verte. One year, I found my own route through the Eastern Townships for about three days of riding, and ended up in beautiful Lac Mégantic. Then I followed the Route Verte up the Chaudière River through St.-Georges and Sainte-Marie to Québec City.

    A really good source of information, both for planning and en route, is Bonjour Québec:

    http://www.bonjourquebec.com/
    Toll-free in Canada/USA: 1-877-BONJOUR.

    Keep that number! It's a very helpful service. Until a few year ago, the travel counsellors would book your rooms in hotels, motels, and B+Bs. Alas, they no longer do this. But still an excellent resource.

  3. #3
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    The Route Verte is huge! Start with the website: http://www.routeverte.com/rv/ang/index.lasso

    The problem is it's only one "official route". It mostly use rail-trail, roads with shoulders or quiet roads without shoulders. There are many other perfectly cyclable routes that are just as good or better. For exemple, there's no Route Verte in the northern part of Gaspésie but it's one of the most beautiful place to cycle, and one stretch has humongous shoulders to boot!

    I'd suggest finding a place to visit and ask again for the best route. Sometimes the Route Verte is the best, sometimes it isn't.

    I use mapart regional maps. You can find them in most convenience store here or at mapart.ca. For guides, I use the regional tourisitic guides . Each region has its own. It's very complete, perhaps a bit heavy but you can take only the pages you need. You can order them by phone or chat here (there are also brochure by theme). The Route Verte is composed of regional cycling route and they have their own map. I use them sometimes. One thing I don't use is the Route Verte guide.

    If you have any question, just ask. I started to map out some cycling routes for my site (see my signature). If you ask about a route, I might just map it for you. :-)
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  4. #4
    Commuting & Touring Guy Doconabike's Avatar
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    more information on Gaspésie

    Hi Erik,

    Thanks for your kind reply and good information on your website. We have ordered maps and some bike touring books.

    Based on various websearches and family discussions (and advice on your website), we are seriously considering the Gaspésie Peninsula.

    It seems that there are several ways to bike there. Once route is la Route Verte along the west and south of Gaspésie

    http://www.routeverte.com/rv/voyager...?code=gaspesie

    and another seems to be a loop along the Northeast corner of Gaspésie.

    http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/canada...mond/637320407

    If we had tons of time, it seems like combining the two might be very cool, but we have only a week or so.

    Do you (or any other touring folks) have any opinions about the merits of either of those options? e.g. advice on availability of camping, hostels, good shoulders, scenery, parks, swimming holes, etc?

    Any replies from fellow tourers would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    - jc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doconabike View Post
    Do you (or any other touring folks) have any opinions about the merits of either of those options? e.g. advice on availability of camping, hostels, good shoulders, scenery, parks, swimming holes, etc?
    I circumnavigated the Gaspe a couple of years ago. It's quite nice. The shoulder comes and goes. There were more semis on the road than I expected. The north shore is more scenic, but also more hilly. There are 10-15% grades. There are plenty of campgrounds, and a few hostels, including one built to look like a castle. There are also lots of little motels and cabins. Forillon National Park is nice, with some good hiking trails. I did some kayaking at Perce. It was too cold for me to go swimming.

  6. #6
    Year-round cyclist
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    You say you only have 1 week. Are you coming by car, by plane or train?

    My first suggestion would be to start in Sainte-Flavie (some 30 km East of Rimouski) and ride all the way around the peninsula. Or you could ride from Rimouski, do the Northern, Eastern and Southern parts and take the train somewhere around New Richmond.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  7. #7
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    This is the official guide to the route verte

    La Route Verte du Quebec, Guide officiel de l'itinéraire et des services
    ISBN: 2-922072-32-0
    MSRP: 19.95$

    You can get it (or be directed on hot to get it) by reaching:

    Vélo-Quebec
    1251 Rachel Est
    Montreal (Québec)
    H2J 2J9

    phone: 514-521-8356
    fax: 514-521-5711

    The guide is in french, but since it mainly consists of maps and addresses (identified with icons), it shouldn't be a problem.

    Welcome to Québec - Bienvenue au Québec!

  8. #8
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Forget the second option on highway 198 through Murdochville. This road is hilly, has nothing but forest, a ghost town and logging trucks. You don't need a Route Verte quide in Gaspésie... just follow highway 132. Honestly, I don't think you need a Route Verte guide anywhere.

    The "short loop" I described on my website is about 650km (click the brit flag for English). I did it in 8 days, including one day rest in Forillon and nearly a full day in Percé. Perfect for a week, I think. You can look at the map too. You can
    double-click to zoom-in and click-hold to drag the map around. Double-click on the right button to zoom out. I didn't trace the whole route because it's easy to follow. I recommend this loop highly.

    The "complete loop" is around 1400km and goes through the Matapédia valley.

    The Route Verte part has a shoulder on Baie-des-Chaleurs. The villages are bigger and the traffic is higher on that side too. That's where you'll find semis. There's one place around Bonaventure where the Route Verte goes inland on a suspicious road but the highway by the sea still has a shoulder. Go figure.

    On the north and east, the shoulders comes and go. Traffic is lower. Few trucks, lots of tourists. My info is starting to be dated but conditions are improving every year.

    Eastbound from Ste-Anne-des-Monts, take 1st ave until the end. Then highway 132 has a huge shoulder that disappear only in villages. It's mostly flat until Manche d'Épée. The road is hanging between mountain and sea. It's spectacular and unless you're unlucky, the strong tailwind will make you fly. Some of the best cycling in all Quebec. I believe there's a campground in Mont-St-Pierre.

    The roller-coaster begins in Manche d'Épée. From there, it's one hill after another. They're usually 1km at 10%, the longest being in Ste-Madeleine, 3km long, 2 at 13%. The shoulder comes and go on that stretch. The typical hill has three lanes and one shoulder. Two lanes going up and one+shoulder going down. There's room for everyone. There are small stretches with no shoulders at all but nothing scary. The worst part is entering the town of Gaspé.

    Highway 299 has no shoulder but is very quiet. It's flat along the Cascapedia river (faux-plat). There's no sign of civilisation. There are salmon fishing spots scattered along the way and you can camp there or anywhere else. There's a small restaurant where the road leaves the river. There used to be a motel as well but it burned down. Maybe it was rebuilt. I camped there and used the tenant's shower.

    After, the road goes up, up and up a again. Then down down down to Gaspésie park. A bit of ups and down and then down down to the St-Lawrence. I really love that loop!

    The St-Lawrence water is very cold. There are beaches in Forillon and Gaspé town (Penouille, Sandy Beach) and a very nice beach in Bonaventure.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    The "complete loop" is around 1400km and goes through the Matapédia valley.

    The Route Verte part has a shoulder on Baie-des-Chaleurs. The villages are bigger and the traffic is higher on that side too. That's where you'll find semis. There's one place around Bonaventure where the Route Verte goes inland on a suspicious road but the highway by the sea still has a shoulder. Go figure.

    On the north and east, the shoulders comes and go. Traffic is lower. Few trucks, lots of tourists. My info is starting to be dated but conditions are improving every year.
    When I did it I looped through the Matapédia valley, and it came to 813 km.

    I found there were lots of semis on the north side, which surprised me.

  10. #10
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    You're right, 1400km is way too much although 800km surprises me. You can easily add 100-200km depending on where you end up on the St-Lawrence. Anyway, I still prefer the short loop. It leaves more time to do the tourist thing and you ride through Gaspésie park. The 299 is one of the quietest highway I rode on.

    I should've said northeast for the trucks. The traffic up to Ste-Anne-des-Monts is a reason why I prefer the short loop. The scenery is not as nice either. Truck traffic quiets down even more passed the highway 198. Too many hills and fewer and smaller villages to deliver to.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    You're right, 1400km is way too much although 800km surprises me. You can easily add 100-200km depending on where you end up on the St-Lawrence.
    I took 132 to Amqui, and then 195 to Matane. Yeah, if you stick to 132 it adds a bunch of distance.

  12. #12
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    Is there a better rotation to take? I would prefer anti-clcockwise so I could be on the shore side of the road, but maybe there is more traffic that way or another.

  13. #13
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    It's more common to ride clockwise because the wind on the St-Lawrence is stronger. The wind isn't exacly weak on the Baie-des-Chaleurs though. It's less a factor on the short loop because the flat part along the St-Lawrence is shorter but starting in Rimouski or even Matane, I'd definately go clockwise. Of course, you can be unlucky and get the rare easterly wind.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    It's more common to ride clockwise because the wind on the St-Lawrence is stronger. The wind isn't exacly weak on the Baie-des-Chaleurs though. It's less a factor on the short loop because the flat part along the St-Lawrence is shorter but starting in Rimouski or even Matane, I'd definately go clockwise. Of course, you can be unlucky and get the rare easterly wind.
    I agree, clockwise is the way to go. I had a great tail wind all along the north coast. I had a nasty headwind on my first day on the Baie-des-Chaleurs side, but after that the wind wasn't bad.

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