A Quebec City cycling vacation offers great food, excellent bike routes and history in the only walled city in North America. Our group of cyclists stayed at the Auberge du Littoral as it was located close to the old city but right across the street from a major bike path.
Cycling Ile d’Orleans
Drive across the bridge to the island stopping at the tourist office for a map. They directed us to a nearby parking lot where other cyclists were already getting ready. Starting our ride heading down a small hill passing the chocolate shop and great views of Quebec City sitting on the heights above the St. Lawrence River.
Turning the corner at the western end of the island we started a gradual climb past interesting homes, many with the red steel roofs traditional with this region. Continuing we passed fields of strawberries with rows of berry pickers working under the hot sun and of course fruit stands selling these and other fruit from the island.
After about 10 km it was a quick descent into Saint-Laurent, our first stop where we checked out the church in the center of town. The next 17 km was fairly flat with constant views of the St. Lawrence on one side and brightly coloured houses on the other. We were a group of 13 cyclists but we saw numerous other riders along the route.
In Saint-Jean across from the church local artists had displays in a local park which we viewed after visiting the neighbouring pastry shop. There was a bit of a hill leaving town but we were rewarded with sweeping views of the east end of the island before arriving in quaint Saint-Francois after about 11 km.
We continued up a small hill to a park with washrooms, picnic tables and a snack bar which was about half way on our journey. However the main feature was a wooden tower which offered views of the Mount St. Anne ski resorts and the St. Lawrence.
Continuing around the eastern tip it was a very slight incline passing fruit farms, wineries, cheese stores and other food shops. The last section was downhill completing out 67 km ride. This entire tour is along paved shoulders, best to visit mid-week.
Corridor des Cheminots & VeloPiste Jacques-Cartier
Next up on our Quebec City cycling vacation was a ride along the Corriodor des Cheminots bike path. The first 3 km of this route features a lot of traffic lights as you ride through the city but heading to the northwest you start a gradual climb along a tree lined bike path (with lots of other cyclists) passing the Native Centre at Wendake after about 11 km. Continue the gentle climb of this 22 km route.
This route connects with the VeloPiste Jacques-Cartier which is part of the Verte Green bike route system and is a 68 km bike path passing lakes and rivers as you head northwest. We stopped along with many other cyclists after about 4 km which there is a train caboose with a washroom and water tap plus a nearby picnic shelter. This is also where the pavement ends with the remainder of the route on a hard packed surface.
Velo Route Cote de Beaupre
From Quebec City you head east on the Corridor du Littoral bike path with the magnificent Montmorency Falls on your left. Just past the bridge to IIe d’Orleans this route, also signed as La Route Verte 5 continues on Avenue Royale. This is a very narrow street with little traffic which winds amidst historic homes until you reach Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. This is a major tourist site with many people visiting the historic shrine.
Continue to the Mont-Sainte-Anne area before returning.
Corridor du Littoral
Heading into the city along this major bike path we come to the St. Charles River where it is possible to take a side-trip for about 9 km on each side passing old buildings before continuing along the original route.
The Corridor du Littoral continues along the St. Lawrence River and lower town with the imposing Old City on the heights above you. It is best to explore the Old City on foot which is what we did walking along the city walls, the Dufferin Promenade and stopping in some of the shops along the way.
If you continue along the bike path you will see the Plains of Abraham on the heights to your right, the history area where the battle from Quebec was fought many years ago. Today there is a new bike path (opened May 2016) with switch backs taking you up to the park which you can explore by bike.
For more cycling opportunities in Canada click on the link.
A Quebec City cycling vacation is for anyone looking for short getaway with scenic bike paths, historical attractions and great food.