The King's RoadTravel through three centuries of history!
The King's Road (Chemin du Roy) is the oldest roadway in Canada. From 1737, it linked New France's three largest cities: Montréal, Trois-Rivières and Québec City. Nowadays, a marked itinerary allows you to discover the rich heritage of the Québec City and Area, the Mauricie and the Lanaudière regions. This route runs for the most part along the St. Lawrence, enhancing your itinerary with an ecological jewel: Lac Saint-Pierre, a World Biosphere Reserve. You can also cycle the King's Road, as several sections are part of the Route Verte (green route) bikeway.
The King's Road passes through picturesque villages, many of which are perched on cliff tops. Some of these villages conceal magnificent stone homes built from the 17th to 19th centuries, a legacy of the French Regime. Inns, restaurants, artisans' studios and old-time general stores await you in these historic buildings. Among the municipalities known for their architectural heritage, you have to see Deschambault, Cap-Santé and Neuville, all members of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec network.
Visit certain buildings classified as historic monuments, such as the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières, today a museum, and the church in Cap-Santé, one of Québec’s oldest (1754-1763). Neuville, Deschambault, Grondines and Berthierville also boast pretty chapels and old churches. The Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap (Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape), an important pilgrimage site, is well worth the detour with its stained-glass windows and imposing Casavant organ. In Old-Trois-Rivières, enjoy a walking tour and admire this small secular quarter. For more magical moments with history, don’t miss Cap-Rouge, with Parc Cartier-Roberval, and Sillery (Québec City). A few mills, such as the Chevrotière mill, will catch your eye as you follow this extraordinary heritage route!
The King’s Road (Highway 138) runs from Repentigny, in the Lanaudière region, right up to Old Québec City, passing through the Mauricie region. Distance: 260 km (160 mi.).