Last year, I had the pleasure of stopping at the little Mexican restaurant Le Mapache, located in the old Val-Morin train station. It was worth it for the tortillas with frijoles, but also for the atmosphere on the small terrace overlooking the bike path.
The stations are one of the charms of Le P’tit Train du Nord linear park, linking Bois-des-Filion to Mont-Laurier over 234 km. Think of Sainte-Adèle with its cozy café and open-air boutique or Labelle with its railway museum and friendly bistro.
As there is a lot to discover, it requires a minimum of preparation. You are free to plan for yourself by consulting the detailed map of the linear park, electronic or printed. But for a longer getaway, you should know that Tourisme Laurentides can prepare a tailor-made stay for you, free of charge.
One day trip
First of all, it is necessary to establish the distance you want to travel. On a hybrid bike, if you pedal regularly, you could expect a trip of 30 km. This is approximately the round trip distance between the Sainte-Adèle station and the Val-David station.
On a road bike, we're talking about a 50 km trip on average, from Prévost to Val-Morin round trip, for example. On the map of the linear park, a table of distances between towns and villages is indicated. It also includes departure points such as stations and parking lots.
During an organized stay, you board the Le P’tit Train du Nord bus towards the chosen starting point further north, with your bike in a trailer and your luggage in a compartment. Then, we cycle down to the south. A luggage transport service allows you to go freely from one gîte to another.
The shuttle picking up cyclists leaves at kilometer 0, in Saint-Jérôme. A large number of cyclists go as far as Mont-Laurier, kilometer 200. It is then a journey of a few days.
You can also cut the trip in half by leaving Mont-Tremblant instead, then stay in Val-David on the way back, which is done during a road bike weekend.
THE P’TIT TRAIN DU NORD LINEAR PARK
The new Oxford
Alo Richelieu has set up stopovers between Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Noyan, with different modes of electric transport, including a water taxi. For rent: boat, surfboard or bicycle, all electric.
Falls, bridges and trails
North of Joliette, the Parc regional des Chutes Monte-à-Peine-et-des-Dalles is distinguished by its three waterfalls, the most beautiful being near Saint-Jean-de-Matha. Downloadable Ondago map for your phone.
► Alain Demers is the author of the book Rediscovering Quebec: 101 destinations, published by Éditions du Journal.