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Bike adventures

Beyond the mainstream

Home | Un petit détour-somewhat beyond the trail | A comment on myself-Un petit commentaire sur moi | le long de la voie ferrée | Beyond the mainstream

For more on the adventures down the Gatineau river valley and the Ottawa River area click here


Link to have a bird eye view of the region...

While Mont Laurier is typically the end of the line for most, the “Route verte” leads further north along the 117 highway whose asphalt embankment lends itself marvelously to such travels. Although the embankment is missing for several Kms immediately north of Mont Laurier leading to the understanding that caution is adviseable mostly once considering the heavy vehicule traffic I encountered . But once the wide asphalt embankment resumes, it's fine sailing for at least the next 120 miles which leads you past the very secluded Verendrye park and into Abitibi where again the embankment is missing for some Kms just east of Val D'or . If you're into it don't forget that once you get into the park, despite the constant traffic there is only one place to pick up supplies which is towards the southern end of the park and is named “Le Domaine”.


Once travelling in the park there are endless possibilities in the sense that there are so many access roads leading to so many hideaways including 2 Native reserves that are worth a visit. If such is your goal, you should enquire at the park entrance to leave your potential coordinates with further consideration for the fact that there is a user fee for the services since this is a campers paradise . Furthermore the folks also know of your wherabouts if ever you decide to purposely “get lost”. Mind you that whilre there is the occasional hill , if you are looking for mountains you may suffer a deception the place being best suited for those which would like to lose their time sailing the globe on their canoes since the interconnecting lakes with so many dead ends must have a combined shoreline greater than the distance you would need to circle the earth if ever you would dare try. While this may seem like an exagerration considering the fact that none of the lakes is extremely large, it seems aparent upon further investigation that there seems to be an endless shoreline to investigate in the search for that big fish !




Once outside the park and in Abitibi the road resumes on a normal no thrills course. Although by my personal experience , it is apparent that the roadside embankment disappears in the vicinity of Louvicourt. Thus be extremely cautious considering the reality of heavy traffic . The 3 major towns in the region ( Val D'or, Amos and Noranda ) each have an extensive network of trails which give a more thrilling approach to siteseeing. Apart from that there are also lengthy trails uniting certain regions such as is the case for the trail going from the immediate proximity of Amos (actually Tachereau) towards Noranda which passes on the ex rail line and the trail between Angliers and Ville Marie (which is 160 Km's further south of Noranda) . The trail I use from Bearns on towards Temiscaming is actually an ATV trail which despite its use mostly is excellent for travel by bike being on the path of the ex rail line.



What the future holds

Despite the fact that I have given a lengthy description of some of the paths which may be erronously considered as the most popular ones , it is apparent that I have only skimmed the surface once it comes down to describing all the possible venues being in the impossibility to review all the well known paths most notably such delights as the path circling Lake St John and those in the vicinity of Quebec city ,the eastern townships (including the one goin from Montreal to Quebec from the south shore) and the Gaspé region . Actually I have avoided mention of such paths since apart from not having extensively travelled on them myself, relevent informatioin on such venues is easuily available at the relevent WEB sites . Irrespective of such a fact, it is clearly apparent that for those brave enough to confront the wilderness, I was of the opinion that the main routes mentioned give a sense of adventure that will appeal to those searching for a change in pace from the accustomed .

With regards to the future, it is clear that with the inevitable saturation of urban passages leading to the four corners of a city the last frontier remains the wilderness most notably lengthy treks spanning hundreds of miles. In that regard there are some promising developments most notably the planned trail in north central Quebec south of the 113 from Lebel sur Quevillon on towards Chapais which would be on the dismantled rail line. Apart from such known plans, only the future will tell what tangible developments arise. Although preliminairy indications are extremely promising considering the popularity of the implanted passages. For those willing to take the time and risk the effort, I'm certain that they will be rewarded not only for the scenic delights to uncover but also for the sense of accomplishment creating a level of revitalisation further enriching their state of existence if they dare discover existence under such a new perspective.

Despite the fact that I am not a writer by profession hopefully you have found this account  useful if not instructive . I Also have to admit that despite having finished college in 1986 -in Montreal at the college situated at 185 Fairmount west street- I have mostly been inactive since the early 1990's as the result of a frail state of health leaving me rusty intellectually ...  Please excuse me for such...




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