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Best Route to Montreal

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Best Route to Montreal

Old 03-07-22, 05:39 AM
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Pratt
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Best Route to Montreal

I'm planning to do a little trip to Quebec this July. Idea is to ride from Burlington, VT to Montreal, spend a day or two sight seeing, then train to Chambord and a circuit of Lac St. Jean on La Route des Bleuets, back to Montreal, then back to Burlington.
A mix of camping and small inns, B&Bs, etc. I like back roads, dirt is nice, but not panicked by traffic if it is unavoidable.
Any advice?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-07-22, 06:53 AM
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Tony P.
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I'm familiar with the area but never biked the entire ride from Burlington to Montreal. However, I suggest you consider going directly north from the north end area via the Island Line trail, use the bike ferry and continue through Grand Isle. Cross into Canada north of Alburg, then follow the Richelieu River on either the east or west side. From there, the routes are numerous, and the choice depends on whether you prefer suburbs or country riding. Contact the bike ferry for information on schedule for the day you plan to cross. Stopping points are numerous and depend on how many miles you plan to do in a day.

Last edited by Tony P.; 03-07-22 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 03-07-22, 10:07 AM
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indyfabz
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The Island Line Trail is definitely cool. Last year I had an extra day in Burlington during a tour south from St. Albans, VT. Rode north from North Beach Campground but could not go beyond the missing bridge because it was a Monday and the ferry was only running on the weekends during September.
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Old 03-07-22, 12:28 PM
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gauvins
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You may want to look at the "Route Verte" map
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Old 03-07-22, 02:41 PM
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Definitely plan on the Island Line and then up toward/through Alburgh. I'm just wondering if, say one side of the Richelieu is better than the other, any info on great, or hideous, campgrounds, or auberges, etc.
Merci en avance.
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Old 03-08-22, 07:13 AM
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This is part of a trip we planned for 2020 and it remains on the shelf until things open up more.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29695218



It can be extended with the P'tit train du Nord trail.


I think about a 4 hour train ride gets you to Quebec City if you're looking for a side trip.

You know this no doubt, but do keep an eye on what it takes to get into Canada. I looked at the website about a month ago and it was..obtuse. After clicking through 4-5 successive webpages (you progressed through webpages like a flow chart...an actual flowchart would have been helpful) it seemed like the last step took you back to the beginning webpage for another lap. The border was open, but just try to figure out how to cross it, reliably, on a bike. Two of us looked at it and decided to pass for now.

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/tr...s/wizard-start

It may have changed in the last month..our plans are firming up elsewhere for now. Covid-things in general are improving and I expect getting into Canada will get easier.
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Old 03-08-22, 08:19 AM
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as gauvins says, check out La route verte stuff, its a good reference.
The last time I rode from Mtl to Burlington, we followed bike pathy stuff route verte out of montreal, going along the st lawrence seaway bike path route to the south shore of montreal near ste catherine, and then just took small country roads to the border near Rouses Pt at the top of lake champlain--ie we didnt follow the richelieu river, but took a slightly more direct route to end up near the town of ste catherines

the st lawrence seaway route was better for us as we were leaving montreal from that part of montreal anyway, so it was just shorter crossing the st lawrence river over the "Estacade" bridge (that is beside the large Champlain bridge) , heading along the long spit that divides the st lawrence seaway for large ships from the main st lawrence river, all the way out to ste catherines, and then just looked at maps and took small country roads that led down to the border.

I'd say that whatever small roads you take are fine, but the route verte route going along the richelieu river will be nice too, I just havent done it, so dont have any recommendations.

the main thing is that once you approach montreal, the good system of bike paths makes getting into the city makes for a much more pleasant biking experience. I ride on these bike paths all the time and they really are a pleasant thing that makes riding in and around montreal a nice experience.

good luck on the whole border thing. We went over the border back at the beginning of the winter, just when they changed the rules for not having to have a test to get back in, but we VERY CAREFULLY followed all the steps required to fill out the online stuff beforehand, to avoid getting a fine coming back in.
And yes, at that time, the instructions for the border crossing stuff to do was not particularly clear, and the website stuff was at times frustratingly not intuitive.
REALLY get this sorted out before you come, although I suspect everything is a lot simpler now, and as Yanks, it should be pretty easy driving/biking over the border (biking is essentially considered the same as car travel rules wise).

good luck, its a nice ride and montreal is a fun city to explore and visit.
and yes, the lake champlain old train spit bike route thing is cool to ride on, just gotta be sure of the little ferry boat operating or you're out of luck.
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Old 03-08-22, 08:52 AM
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Great stuff!
Pretty much confirms what I was tending towards. I'm sort of giving Canada another few months to settle the entrance requirements, and find out where to get a test that they will accept. Mostly, I don't want to lock myself into a poor route choice when a better one is available. Fishboat, your route looks like what I am thinking of, ferry back from Platsburgh might be fun. DJB, just what I am looking for.
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Old 03-08-22, 12:01 PM
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Biking over the "new" Champlain bridge is pretty cool, it's a honking high bridge and has a great, wide bike lane over it. Going over the estacade thing is fine also. You'll just have to look at the good info easily found about biking into the city to see which way over the st Lawrence is better for you.
you can also ride over the Jacques Cartier bridge too, so there are numerous options.
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Old 03-08-22, 07:33 PM
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BobG
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Early morning ride across the Cartier Bridge!


view from Jacques Cartier Bridge, Montreal > NH, 1987

Last edited by BobG; 03-08-22 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 03-09-22, 06:57 AM
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Good shot Bob, gives a good impression of the view of the city coming over it.
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Old 03-09-22, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Great stuff!
Pretty much confirms what I was tending towards. I'm sort of giving Canada another few months to settle the entrance requirements, and find out where to get a test that they will accept. Mostly, I don't want to lock myself into a poor route choice when a better one is available. Fishboat, your route looks like what I am thinking of, ferry back from Platsburgh might be fun. DJB, just what I am looking for.
As of Feb 28, foreign nationals need to be fully vaccinated and show a recent negative COVID test to enter Canada. I don't expect more restrictive rules in the foreseeable future, and although there is definite movement towards easing restrictions, I wouldn't bet on a significant changes either (such as lifting all requirements). Once inside Canada, rules are more relaxed than they were a few weeks ago (obsolete "vaccine passport", fewer mask mandates, etc.) -- for all practical purposes, life seems to be returning to pre-COVID norms. If recent history is a useful indicator of what's in store for next summer, expect low COVID prevalence, and attitudes to match (unlike last summer where anxiety was high despite relatively few casualties).
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Old 03-09-22, 05:47 PM
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Pratt
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Pretty Much What I Expected

Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
As of Feb 28, foreign nationals need to be fully vaccinated and show a recent negative COVID test to enter Canada. I don't expect more restrictive rules in the foreseeable future, and although there is definite movement towards easing restrictions, I wouldn't bet on a significant changes either (such as lifting all requirements). Once inside Canada, rules are more relaxed than they were a few weeks ago (obsolete "vaccine passport", fewer mask mandates, etc.) -- for all practical purposes, life seems to be returning to pre-COVID norms. If recent history is a useful indicator of what's in store for next summer, expect low COVID prevalence, and attitudes to match (unlike last summer where anxiety was high despite relatively few casualties).
Does the website list acceptable places to get tested?
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Old 03-09-22, 06:19 PM
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gauvins
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Does the website list acceptable places to get tested?
Yes. Click on the link (above) for all the details.
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Old 03-10-22, 05:18 AM
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Pratt- My route south (taken 3 times) was very similar to Fishboat's proposed route from Montreal to Chambly. I took Chambly Road all the way from Longueuil, parallel to his more circuitous RWGPS suggestion. Those rides were 30+ years ago, I can't comment on today's traffic.

From Chambly, however, my route trended more easterly as I was headed for NH. I stayed east of the Richelieu River and crossed into VT at Freilighsburg/E Franklin thus that part would be of no help for you heading for Burlington. My first overnight southbound was Lake Carmi SP, VT.
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Old 03-13-22, 11:05 AM
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Another vote for looking up Route Verte. I did a similar ride about ten years ago (388 mile vacation in Quebec). My one route-related caution would be that good bike routes in the area are plentiful enough that just because you're on a bike route, doesn't mean you're following the right bike route to get where you want to go.
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Old 03-13-22, 06:39 PM
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It looks like Chambly Road will bring me to Route Verte #1 which then enters Montreal over a bridge that debouches in a neighborhood full of bike friendly lodging.
Merci mille fois for all the good suggestions
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