Does cycling through Canada’s greener pastures sound good to you? Then say hello to Route Verte. French for the 'Green Path’, this route takes you through lush meadows and sprawling forests as you travel from Montreal to Quebec City—and it won’t take long to see where it gets its name. On the Route Verte, you’ll avoid traveling the popular route along the mighty St. Lawrence River and will instead make a detour through Quebec’s rural south-east. This area, which is known as both the ‘Eastern Townships’ and ‘Cottage Country’, is a popular spot for residents of Montreal to purchase or build their own green getaway. And it is exactly this relaxed holiday flair that you will feel in the whole region.
On this well-maintained cycle path, you will cycle by quaint, small towns, roll through sprawling maize fields and into seemingly remote, neverending forests where you’ll seldom see another human being. And even though large parts of the cycle path are built on old railway lines that seem to travel in straight lines forever, you don’t need to worry about the basics across the route’s full 275 miles (444 kilometres): A source of water is never far away, something you’ll be reminded of as you cycle over the numerous impressive bridges en route, and gradients are not something to fret over here. The majority of the route is comfortably flat, and thanks to the region’s tourism reputation, accommodation is never difficult to find. If you’d prefer to camp, this is also possible thanks to the numerous campsites along the route. Just remember, however, that you’re in Canada, and it can still get pretty chilly in spring and autumn—especially at night. If you are on the road during the summer months, you’ll usually have reliably good weather.
Since 2007, the Route Verte Network has connected several cycle paths in Quebec. Visit routeverte.com to read about which parts of the route might currently be closed and to find accommodation for your trip.
If you look at today's tour on the map, it's mostly straight ahead. Because between St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Farnham, as well as between Farnham and your destination Granby the route Verte 1 runs on a disused railway line. It is wonderfully quiet between the three small towns. Here and there a farmhouse, framed by fields, meadows and small groves.Since you can let your gaze wander on the straight paths, you will soon notice the knobbly hills, which protrude from the otherwise very flat landscape. These are the hills of the Monteregie range of hills. Nine of these hills begin eastward from Mont Royal in Montreal. The rock of the round hills is very weather-resistant and so the hills are up to 1100 meters high.Granby is a small regional center known for its large mall and zoo. In the streets of the city center, you will find some options for your dinner.
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You leave Granby along the south shore of the small Lac Boivin, which is a reservoir of the Yamaska River. On the shore of the lake, a marshy area has formed. It was the last days fairly flat, it is today hilly and in very small sections even steep. Reason for this are the Mont Shefford and the Mont Orford, which you are driving today. The latter is waiting for you with a small, wooded national park. In general, today's section is very woody.On the way with Waterloo and Eastman are two small towns along the way, where you can take a little break at the lake. In the Mont Orford National Park you will find the renowned music school of the same name. If you are lucky, the students will be able to show off their skills as part of a small, vain concert.
From Magog to the day's destination Sherbrooke, you can also take a short stretch along the main road, but then you would miss two beautiful highlights. First you leave Magog along the river towards Lac Magog, which you circle in a Nordschleife to get to North Hatley.North Hatley is a small village on the north shore of Lac Massawippi. Through the many old villas and estates the place has a very special flair. Often it is the backdrop for filming and many writers are inspired here. The picnic area on the shore is therefore an attractive break.To get to your destination Sherbrooke, Route Verte 1 will take you through a sparsely populated valley along the banks of Rivière Massawippi.
Sherbrooke is the largest city in southeastern Quebec and also the cultural center of the region. Take some time to explore the streets around the waterfalls of Rivière Magog.In Sherbrooke, the Rivière Magog flows into the Rivière Saint-François, the course of which you will follow on your stage today. The river fans out again and again, thanks to many small islands and usually has a natural shore. There are many trees on the sides of the bike path. Unfortunately, between Brompton and Windsor, the highway is also very close, but the great bike path still inspires.The small towns of Brompton and Windsor are also suitable for small stopovers. Of course it's best if you equip yourself with picnic utensils and sit down at a quiet spot by the river.
Between Richmond and Victoriaville a very rural section awaits you. Two small places and otherwise a farm, nothing else. What you'll notice on the way are the signs to Asbestos. This place has its unusual name actually from a mine, in which the insulating material was mined.Your way to your destination Victoriaville is a lively little town with many cafes and bars where you can enjoy your deserved dinner.
Before you drive to Quebec City tomorrow, it will be really quiet again today. Alongside the road are Princeville and Plessisville only two small towns, otherwise the image of dense forests and isolated farms. Here and there once a small settlement.The course of the route Verte is usually straightforward and well laid out. Every few kilometers there is a nice place where you can take a break.