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Cycling while enjoying Québec’s abounding flora and fauna
Two-wheeled adventures in nature
National parks, like crown jewels showcasing the wealth and diversity of Québec’s natural heritage, are spacious playgrounds for cyclists of all types. Many of the province’s 24 protected forests contain bike paths for all tastes. From paved or gravel surfaces and forest trails to sections connected to the Route verte. Providing direct access to nature, national parks give you front-row seats to spectacular landscapes and the forests’ typical flora and fauna. A unique experience and privileged encounters with nature await at every turn!
Performance enthusiasts are in for a thrill!
Road cycling aficionados seeking a cardio workout will be pleased with many of the national park trails and experiences. They will particularly enjoy the Parkway in La Mauricie National Park (Parks Canada), and the portion of the Route verte that passes through Parc national du Mont-Orford. As for the “Le Sommet” trail in Parc national d’Oka, it will delight mountain bikers, as will the trails of Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier and Parc national du Mont-Orford.
The most spectacular views along the trails
The cycling trails in national parks offer singular views of the flora and fauna. For example, at Parc national de Frontenac, the “Les Passereaux” trail is home to large bird populations. Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon, whose cycling network wends its way along the majestic Lac Saint-Jean and Rivière Péribonka, is ideal for observing beaver and moose habitats. And Parc national de Plaisance also has much to offer, with trails that weave through the heart of a lush forest strewn with bays and marshes.
If you like riding by the water, options abound: Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata, where a shuttle ferry allows you to complete a 14 miles (24 km) loop on both sides of the lake. Parc national du Bic with gorgeous coastal vistas and distinctive flora and fauna; and Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, near Montréal, with a 13 miles (21 km) cycling network in the middle of the St. Lawrence!
In national parks, cyclists enjoy riding on marked cycling paths with lookouts and picnic areas. As these paths are relatively flat, they are great for family rides. Some parks offer bike (free for children 17 and under), bike trailer, and tow bar rental services. Others, such as Parc national de Frontenac, Parc national de la Yamaska, and Parc national de Mont-Tremblant, offer the free “Explorateur Parc Parcours” app, which allows you to choose an itinerary based on your preferences and interests. In addition to benefiting from a personalized experience, the app helps you brush up on your knowledge!
Make the most of your trip: cycling, activities, and accommodation options
In these vast expanses of protected land where nature reigns supreme, there are plenty of options for outdoor activities. To make the most of your trip, opt for accommodations in the national parks. Campgrounds displaying the Bienvenue cyclistes! sign, which don’t require any reservation when travelling exclusively on two wheels, or rustic shelters, yurts, or ready-to-camp tents that require little equipment. Accommodation in national parks means you can unwind around a campfire and take the time to enjoy other activities offered by the park: swimming, hiking, aquatic activities, adventure circuits, wildlife watching, etc. There is no shortage of options in Sépaq national parks -- genuine outdoor paradises in the heart of a lovingly preserved and untamed nature!