Cycling colourful Québec
No better way to experience Québec… cycle through some of the most senic natural areas of Québec and the urban centres of Québec and Montréal.
Lose all sense of time in Mauricie. This is a region of stunning natural beauty located between Montréal and Québec City. It spans from the St. Lawrence River to the heart of the boreal forest. Come for the picturesque scenery, to hike and explore dense forests, to absorb history and heritage, and always, to feel the warm welcome of its local people.
Trois-Rivières sits midway between Montréal and Québec City at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Saint-Maurice rivers. The city connects to the south shore of the St. Lawrence by way of the Laviolette bridge and to the region’s northern reaches via Route 155.
To know the Mauricie region is to love it!
Enter the magical imaginary world of popular storyteller Fred Pellerin by taking a tour of his now famous village of Saint‑Élie‑de‑Caxton, with an audio guide or by tractor‑pulled cart. Play cowboy or cowgirl at the Festival Western de St‑Tite and show off your fancy dance steps to country music. Sip delicious local beers and savour terroir foods at the microbrewery and brewpub Trou du Diable in Shawinigan, winner of several international awards. We can go on and on, you know.
The Festival Western de St‑Tite is one of the most popular country and western festivals in all of North America. Each year, it draws close to 600,000 visitors to the small town of Saint‑Tite, population 4,000. And that’s not counting the horses!
Mauricie is synonymous with wide open natural spaces, forests, lakes and rivers. La Mauricie National Park, a nature conservation area, is paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, cycling, camping, canoeing, kayaking and observing wildlife. The Park also offers a wide range of watersport activities.
Paddle the still waters of one of the region’s lakes or the Rivière Batiscan. For a more thrilling ride, tear down the Rivière Saint‑Maurice on a jet-ski, or descend the Matawin River in a kayak or raft. If you feel like angling for trout, northern pike or walleye, La Tuque in Haute‑Mauricie is the largest hunting and fishing area in Québec, at 30,000 km2 (11,500 sq. mi.). The odds are in your favour!
To enjoy the outdoors to the fullest, Mauricie has four parks, including La Mauricie National Park (536 km2 / 207 sq. mi.), a Biosphere Reserve, two wildlife reserves, some 80 outfitters, a river that’s 563 km (350 mi.) long and over 17,500 lakes.
The region’s history tells the story of industrialization in Québec. Founded in 1634, Trois‑Rivières is the second oldest Francophone city in North America. The city’s Boréalis paper industry museum pays tribute to the lumberjacks and log-drivers. The Forges du Saint‑Maurice Natural Historic Site showcases Canada’s first iron industry (1730), which contributed to the region’s economic growth for over 150 years. And let’s not forget Shawinigan, where hydroelectric development would shape Québec’s energy future.
Mauricie is also a hotbed of culture, and home to some 30 festivals, multiple museums, the town of Saint‑Élie‑de‑Caxton and its storyteller Fred Pellerin, the Cirque du Soleil in Trois‑Rivières, the majestic Our Lady of the Cape Shrine, thrilling cultural experiences like the Old Prison of Trois‑Rivières, and much more!
The Chemin du Roy (King’s Road) was inaugurated in 1737 and was the first carriageway in Canada, linking Montréal to Québec City. It hugs the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, where the settlements were located, and was built to facilitate the transport of mail and people between seigneuries.
Winter in Mauricie is anything but boring! In fact, it’s paradise. Get outside and breathe in the fresh air on a hike or snowshoeing excursion in La Mauricie National Park. Crazy about snowmobiling? The region has 2,800 km (1,740 mi.) of well-maintained, snow-covered trails. Take advantage of your visit to the region to ride the legendary Gazoduc (gas pipeline) trail in Mékinak or Sentier 360 (trail no. 360) in Matawin, or to trek along the shores of the mighty Rivière Saint‑Maurice.
For an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world, discover Atlantic tomcod fishing in Sainte‑Anne‑de‑la‑Pérade while in the comfort of a warm riverside cabin. Bliss! Animal lovers will enjoy dogsledding at Manitou Mushers, where magnificent huskies have a field day! And how about skating in heart of nature? The Domaine de la forêt perdue labyrinth offers more than 10 km (6 mi.) of skating trails through the forest.
Every winter, for close to 80 years, some 100,000 people have been taking to the outdoors to go ice fishing for Atlantic tomcod. Over 500 heated cabins dot the Rivière Sainte‑Anne. A wonderful family outing!
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