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Quebec Rides


The name "Québec", which comes from the Algonquin word kébec meaning "where the river narrows", originally referred to the area around Quebec City where the Saint Lawrence River narrows to a cliff-lined gap.


The name Canada comes from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement." In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier later used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village, but the entire area subject to Donnacona (the chief at Stadacona); by 1545, European books and maps had begun referring to this region as Canada


Be sure to click on the many links in the descriptions for more information.





Charlevoix Ride


The Charlevoix region, located in Quebec, includes parts of the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains region of the Canadian Shield. This dramatic landscape includes rolling terrain, fjords, headlands and bays; the region was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1989.


The topography of this region was dramatically altered by a meteorite impact that occurred 350 million years ago creating the Charlevoix crater (photo): The impact created the forty-mile-wide crater that is the heart of Quebec's Charlevoix region, ranging from just west of Baie-Saint-Paul to just east of La Malbaie. Today, the area inside the crater is home to 90 percent of Charlevoix residents.


The 229 mile ride is broken up into 2 parts to make the route easier to follow:


1) Part 1 - Quebec City to La Malbaie.



Ride - Part 1 (outbound) - This 108 mile ride follows the St Lawrence and soon stops at Montmorency Falls (map). Walk over the spectacular suspension bridge above the falls or take the cable car for great views. The ride continues past Mont Ste-Anne (a famous ski area with great views of the Saint Lawrence.) Take the small diversion to pretty Petite-Rivière-Saint-François and enjoy the view at the quai (photo). Next pass through beautiful Baie Saint-Paul, home to many artists and performers. Continue east and stop at the scenic view just outside of town on the right (photo1) (photo2). Continue riding on Route 362 with great views of the river. Take a quick detour to the Coudres Ferry view (photo) and then continue past the pretty towns of Les Eboulements and Saint-Irénée. Finally, make sure to take the small detour to the white bridge view (photo) just before La Malbaie. Be sure to look for street performers in the park across the street (video). This outbound ride ends at the resort town of La Malbaie.


Lunch is at Joe's Smoked Meat in La Malbaie (review) or at L'Orange Bistro (review) in Baie Saint-Paul.





2) Part 2 - La Malbaie to Quebec City.



Ride - Part 2 (return to Quebec City) - This 121 explores the gigantic crater that is a remnant of a cataclysmic meteor strike eons ago (photo). The ride follows the rim of the canyon from La Malbaie to Clermont. The route then turns north and heads straight toward the rim of the crater. The road climbs the crater wall and continues to the visitor center at Parc National Des Hautes-Gorges. Return the way you came and then turn west on the Route des Montagnes (mountain route) to for some great crater rim views on the way to Baie Saint-Paul. The ride then travels west on Route 138 to the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. This town features the famous Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (photo) (video), the Cyclorama of Jerusalem, and the Edison Museum. The route finishes by following Royal Avenue back to Quebec City. Be sure to sneak a peek at the nice view of Montmorency Falls as you ride by.





Saguenay Fjord Ride


The Saguenay Fjord is the southern most fjord in North America. Tadoussac is a major whale watching location as whales congregate near the mouth of the Saguenay River.




Ride - This 361 mile ride follows the St' Lawrence northeast through Charlevoix. Arrive in Baie-Ste-Catherine and take the free Tadoussac Ferry to the north shore of the Saguenay River. Ride route 172 deep into the heart of Quebec along the north shore of the Saguenay Fjord. Stop in the pretty town of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord on the fjord. Cross the river in Chicoutimi and see the white house. Take route 175 across the Canadian Shield back to Quebec City.





L'Anse-Saint-Jean Fjord Ride


L'Anse-Saint-Jean is a pretty town on the south shore of the Saguenay Fjord. Route 381, Route 170, and Route 362 along the Charlevoix Coast makes for an awesome riding triangle.




Ride - This 343 mile ride is one of the most popular in Quebec. Route 381 is a pretty twisty ride across the Canadian Shield. The road has nice curves and mountain views. Stop in La Baie on Ha! Ha! Bay. It is hard to beleive that ocean liners stop here. Next follow Route 170 east along the southern shore of the Saguenay Fjord. Stop in pretty L'Anse-Saint-Jean for some pretty fjord views. Follow the pretty river route along the Charlevoix coast and continue on to Quebec City.





 Chicoutimi Ride


Chicoutimi is at the head of the Saguenay River and is affected by its tides. It experienced severe flooding in 1996 and the white house is a symbol of its resilience. Both Routes 175 and 381 cross the Canadian Shield which are the oldest mountains on Earth.




Ride - This 285 mile ride crosses the Canadian Shield in both directions. Travel north on Route 175 to Chicoutimi. Travel along the Saguenay to La Baie which is a port for ocean liners on Ha! Ha! Bay. Take rugged Route 381 south across the mountains to Baie-Saint-Paul. Turn south and follow Route 138 back to Quebec City.