The Québec maritime Blog
By the seaside, in the forest and across the mountains, the scenery of Eastern Québec takes a whole different dimension when you appreciate it from the saddle of a bike. A perfect way of travelling for anyone looking for freedom, exploration and challenges, cycling can be done year-long in the maritime regions of Québec. Here are some of the cycling options in our regions, whether you prefer bike touring, road cycling, mountain biking or fat biking.
You are thinking of a bike touring trip for a couple of days or several weeks? Well, there are numerous itineraries possible on Route Verte in the four maritime regions of Québec. In the Côte-Nord region, Route Verte follows disused road sections, well-designed bike paths and the shoulder of Route 138. On the south shore of the St. Lawrence, Route Verte parallels Route 132 and takes you, among other places, through the Basque seashore, Matapedia Valley, as well as many picturesque villages of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie. The four ferry services linking the two shores give you even more options. Also, some accommodations along Route Verte hold Vélo Québec’s Bienvenue Cyclistes certification, meaning they provide special services to touring cyclists.
Also part of the Route Verte network, Petit-Témis Interprovincial Linear Park is a bikeway following an old railway between Rivière-du-Loup and Edmundston, in New Brunswick, going through the beautiful Témiscouata area, and along the majestic lake of the same name. Some primitive campsites are set up directly along the bikeway. It’s even possible to reach Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata – and enjoy its beautiful paved roads and bike paths – with the water shuttle linking the park and Cabano, as well as the ferry linking Saint-Juste-du-Lac and Notre-Dame-du-Lac.
Did you know that Route Verte also extends to Îles de la Madeleine? CTMA Cruises has established routes for day trips on and off Route Verte so you can explore this unique archipelago at your own speed. The routes take you through one of the only spruce forests on the islands, and they have some of the best viewpoints to admire the sea, watch breathtaking sunsets and enjoy the islands’ legendary beaches.
The hilly roads of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region present a very interesting challenge to sport cyclists. The Top 6 Bike Routes in Bas-Saint-Laurent are a great starting point for your planning. Moreover, Route des Monts Notre-Dame, a 163 km (101 mi.) road stretching between Sainte-Luce and Dégelis, will definitely amaze you with its grandiose scenery and its demanding climbs. You have been warned! :)
In the Gaspésie region, Forillon National Park has options for road cyclists of all levels. Routes 132 and 197 in and around the park form a nice loop of roughly 70 km (40 mi.) with several nice and long climbs, for a vertical gain of just over 1000 metres.
Forillon National Park also has something to offer to mountain biking enthusiasts. Les Lacs trail, rated Difficult, is a must for even the most experienced cyclists. The park has several gravel trails perfectly suited to hybrid bikes, including La Vallée and Le Portage trails, that cross the park between L’Anse-au-Griffon and Penouille.
Located in the heart of the Gaspé Peninsula, Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs gives you access to some 200 km (125 mi.) of forest roads and trails in a beautiful mountainous environment. Strenuous and hilly, these are better suited for intermediate to advanced level thrill-seeking cyclists.
In the Côte-Nord region, Centre de plein air du Lac des Rapides is the starting point of a vast network of mountain biking trails that take you through a typical North Shore forest.
Fat biking is quickly gaining popularity in our regions. Parc national du Bic is maintaining 15 km (9 mi.) of trails specifically dedicated to it. You can even rent a bike on site to try out this new activity that promises to give you a whole different outlook on our Québec winters. If you happen to be in Forestville, in the Côte-Nord region, in February, note that Boréal Loppet has added fat bike races, as part of its popular cross-country skiing event.
On top of that, many municipalities throughout our regions have established bike path networks for you to safely explore them on two wheels. So, during your vacations here, plan some time to stretch your legs on our roads, bike paths and bike trails!