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The Little Train of the North

Guest post sent by Ree from Montreal | Published : 12/Oct/2005 00:00

Trail Quebec
Judging from the 6 or 7 buses of Japanese tourists armed with tripods and zoom lenses that could launch canonballs I saw unloading beside Lac des Sables, the Laurentien mountains (a.k.a. les Laurentides) of Quebec possess Fall foliage that draws a very international crowd.

The mountains are also a quick escape from Montreal, with Mont Tremblant only two hours away and many other small towns in between.

Quebec in the fall is spectacular - and I could learn a lesson or two from the forementioned enthusiasts, because I mistakenly took black and white pictures. So you’re really going to have your imagination on this one.

Trail

Which brings me to the point: Last weekend I rode along the bike trail know as “Le P’tit Train du Nord”, because it follows what used to be the train tracks. It is situated in the “linear park”, which protects the trail along its 200 km, stretching from St. Jerome in the south to Mont Laurier (west of Mt. Tremblant) in the north. However, in the section I did, the highway was visible for about a kilometer, but in general it was peaceful.

Cycling enthusiasts will appreciate the challenge of distance while weekend bikers like me will like the utter flatness of old railway. On a sunny and warm October Saturday, the trail was not crowded at all, so it’s a good refuge from the packs of leaf-lookers you will find driving around the roads of the Laurentiens. You can park in the towns or at an old train station in St. Agathe-des-Monts (what I did), and rent bikes at various locations along the trail.