The Québec maritime Blog
The next time you visit the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, head inland away from the St. Lawrence River to discover magnificent scenery and other treasures in Témiscouata. It’s an area I like to visit again and again. Let me tell you about my cycling adventure around Lake Témiscouata with my partner.
We took advantage of a lovely summer weekend to camp in Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata and cycle in the area. The best way to soak up the beauty of the forest landscapes around the lake and in the park is to explore the many bike trails, including the Petit-Témis Interprovincial Linear Park. In fact, some sectors in this area are only accessible by bike.
The park attendant we spoke to about our plans provided us with invaluable information. She outlined our two options: we could head out on the park trails, which meant we’d have to ride up several hills at the start of our ride, or we could opt for the water shuttle, which would take us across the lake to the town of Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac—and which meant we’d have to tackle the hills at the end of our ride. We opted for the latter. Once aboard the shuttle, I was able to take in the beauty and size of the lake. Did I mention that we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day for this adventure?
As soon as we reached the other side of the lake, we hopped on our bikes and headed off on the trail that would take us to the ferry at Saint-Juste-du-Lac. The trail mostly runs right alongside Lake Témiscouata as well as through a wooded area that offers a bit of shade. Observing the houses and cottages overlooking the lake, I felt a bit envious... What a great place to live! If you cycle fairly fast, you can reach the ferry in an hour, but I recommend taking your time, since there are many spots where you might want to stop. Why not pack a lunch and picnic somewhere along the way?
The Saint-Juste-du-Lac ferry is not very big, but there’s plenty of room for bikes. We took advantage of this mini-cruise to admire the scenery as well as prepare ourselves for the many hills awaiting us on the other side!
Once on the other side of the lake, the landscape looks completely different. As we cycled uphill, I felt like I was on a country road dotted with houses that are spread out from one another, but the reflections of the sun on the water reminded me of where I was. I was starting to feel a bit tired, but as soon as we arrived at the entrance to the park, where there’s more shade and the trail flattens out, I forgot all about my fatigue. Don’t get me wrong, this part of the trail is just as pleasant as the rest, but it’s definitely more challenging. The secret is to go at your own pace!
The last part of our ride was through the forest in Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, which was one of my favourite parts of our outing. The tranquility of the trail, the scents of the out-of-doors and the sounds of the birds all contributed to the charm of this trail.
After nearly three hours of riding, we finally reached our campsite. We chose not to stop very often along the way, but I recommend you give yourself a whole day for this ride. That way, you can pause in various sectors of Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac to fully appreciate the beauty of your surroundings and also rest. Don’t forget to inquire about the schedules of the water shuttle and the ferry since you’ll need to plan your bike ride around them.