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Route Verte Info

Old 07-26-11, 03:25 PM
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Dan The Man
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Route Verte Info

I'm trying to plan a bike trip for my parents. My dad is not keen on riding on highways, so I am trying to find something that is entirely on paved bike trails. This obviously lends itself towards the Route Verte in Quebec. I am thinking from Ottawa to Montreal. They live in Eastern Ontario. According to the Route Verte website the north side of the Ottawa River is an off-road bike path the entire way to Montreal, but I haven't found any other blogs or trip reports to back that up. It sounds more like it's on the side of a highway. Can anyone tell me what kind of path it is?

Does anybody have any better info resources for the Route Verte, or somewhere you can download maps of it, or get more info about directions and what not. I've heard that Cycling in Quebec is a good guidebook, but it's not available locally and will take too long to ship here.
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Old 07-26-11, 06:14 PM
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Okay, I finally figured out how to use the Route Verte online map. You have to be at or higher than the 4th level zoom (at least on my little computer) to be able to see the type of bikepath. Ottawa to Montreal is half on the highway. The P'tit Train Du Nord though is 200 km entirely on paths.
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Old 07-26-11, 08:35 PM
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Erick L
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Ottawa - MTL is almost entirely on a paved shoulders and part is on the rather busy highway 148. The Ontario side is quieter.

Le P'tit Train du Nord is all path, and it extend south towards MTL. You can take a transport from MTL or St-Jérôme that will carry you and your bike and gear to Mont-Laurier. The southern half is crushed stone but very rideable.

You can link trails from MTL to Quebec City via Granby. This is mostly on crushed stone. Easy riding but a bit boring in parts.

Another good trail is the "Cheminots" path and Jacques-Cartier trail from Quebec City to Rivière-à-Pierre. It's about 100km from the City center to the northwest end.

Le Petit Témis looks interesting but I've never cycled it myself.

The Véloroute des Bleuets would be an excellent choice. About 256km around Lac St-Jean on paved, crushed stone and quiet streets with a good mix of culture and nature.
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Old 07-27-11, 07:05 PM
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My family has done both the Veloroute des Bleuets and Le Petit Train du Nord. We are somewhat experienced but definitely not performance-oriented tourers, so our skill level may be a good match for your parents. The Train du Nord is probably the best route we've ever done. The shuttle from St Jerome makes it really convenient. There are several campgrounds conveniently spaced along the way, B&Bs, etc. The only issue is that the ride is short for an avid cyclist. You can also make an easy side trip to the Mt Tremblant ski town, which has many shops, places to eat, etc. We stayed at the hostel in Mt Tremblant one night. This side trip is a little hilly. Otherwise the longish climb in the middle of the route is all at low grade.

The Train du Nord route is quite scenic, entirely off road, well maintained, moderate grades, has covered shelters along the way to take refuge from rain, etc. In my mind, it sets the standard for this kind of rail-trial, accessible and easy off-road route. If the location is good for you and the length appropriate, I highly recommend it. Do take quality bug spray, since the route follows a river for much of the way.

The loop along Lac St-Jean is not the best choice for someone who wants to avoid riding in traffic. We enjoyed riding around the lake, but parts of the route were on busy roads.

The Route Verte itself, although extensive and wonderful, is almost all on road. We have ridden several other sections. I am always amazed at the number of tourers we see on the road in Quebec.

Have fun!

Jim
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Old 07-29-11, 08:31 PM
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My wife and I biked from Ottawa to Magog, QC in 2007 and earlier this month from St-Jean sur Richelieu to Edmundston, NB. It is difficult to avoid riding on roads if you take a long tour but easy to stay on the trail if going from St-Jean sur Richelieu to Waterloo and then North to Drummondville. There is a rail trail from Low, QC to Maniwaki, QC but you need to bike on roads prior to getting to Low and Mont-Laurier. Crossing Montreal and getting to St-Jean is easy. We made no prior reservations and had no problems finding motel accommodations. The route from Levis to Riviere du Loup is exceedingly beautiful as it borders the St-Lawrence River. There was very little traffic and the drivers were very considerate. Let me know should you wish to receive additional / specific details.
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