Eastern Townships Cycling on La Route Verte – North Hatley to Sherbrooke

Finally —- a weekend with sunshine! At the prompting of our son Jason, Helen & I decided to set our sites on a bike ride on a small section of Quebec’s La Route Verte. This is the Quebec Government’s attempt at bringing cycling to the masses. And they have done a really great job of it!

We set our sights on historic North Hatley Quebec – which is located at the base of the Massawippi River in the Eastern Townships.

North Hatley Quebec

What good is planning a bike ride unless you have also chosen a good B&B to stay at?

North Hatley B&B

We arrived on Friday evening and had dinner at one of the local hot spots. The town was pretty quiet and I was wondering what things would be like on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning and sunshine galore! A superb breakfast at our B&B and short ride in the car had us back in North Hatley and itching to ride. Things were wonderfully organized. Park your car in the town lot ($10 to park all day). There were cyclists everywhere. A sure sign of some great cycling ahead.

A slight hiccup in our plans occurred when I pumped up Helen’s front tire, removed the pump, and watched Helen’s Presta valve attempt its own version of a space shuttle launch. 1 front tire without a valve to hold in the air! Thank goodness I am actually starting to plan things out a bit better. I had brought a spare tube…. Oops it was the wrong size…. It would have to do.

A few words about the route we took. This section of La Route Verte is built on an old railway easement. Simply put – no hills! Our planned route would have us cycling from North Hatley to Sherbrooke Quebec via Lennoxville. The route from North Hatley to Lennoxville is on hard packed stone dust. You could use a road bike. But we prefer our hybrids. From Lennoxville to Sherbooke, it’s a mix of stone dust and asphalt surfaces. In the city of Sherbrooke, there is a 2 way cycling easement along the side of the road (very well done).

North Hatley - Satr of our Route

North Hatley Quebec

The ride between North Hatley and Lennoxville is superb. Pack up your bikes and go. No questions asked. The trail is very well marked – impossible to get lost.

La Route Verte Signage

La Route Verte Signage

Along the way we stopped at the site of a former copper mine. Good efforts have been made to hide the sins of the past.

Les on Top of Old Copper Mine

Les on Top of Old Copper Mine

The route between North Hatley & Lennoxville is impeccable!

La Route Verte North Hatley to Lennoxville

La Route Verte North Hatley to Lennoxville

Once in Lennoxville the route winds its way through the beautiful campus of Bishop’s University.

Helen at Bishops University - McGreer Hall

Helen at Bishop's University - McGreer Hall

And then on to the leg between Lennoxville and Sherbrooke

Lennoxville to Sherbrooke - Paved

Lennoxville to Sherbrooke - Paved

Sherbrooke Quebec

Sherbrooke Quebec

All in all this was one of the best rides we have done. The route is clearly marked and well-maintained. Of course, the awesome weather helped. I would recommend this route to any and all riders.

Note: It seems that cycling etiquette varies from place to place. On the most part, when someone is passing you from behind there is little to no warning. Keep that in mind.

16 Comments

  1. This route is my favourite of the year – so far.

    Reply
    • Mine too. You are the best cycling buddy!

      Reply
  2. What a fabulous trip! Thanks for writing it up so nicely.

    Greg + Tracy

    Reply
    • I still have one on the books for the Schomberg area… stay tuned….

      Reply
  3. Great stuff! I love that route – this makes me miss Lennoxville…only one more month!

    Reply
    • Thanks Jason. You were our inspiration to do this route in the first place.

      Reply
  4. Great write up, it makes me want to do the trip!

    Reply
    • Just do it!

      Reply
  5. Sounds like a great time. Love the pictures.

    Reply
    • You & Phil should go. Just do it!

      Reply
  6. Hi

    Nice post on one of the sweetest bike-path rides in one of the nicest parts of Quebec.

    I wish it had been built when I went to school there. The bike path is much more relaxed than on-road.

    One petit correction, it is Bishop’s University, with an apostrophe, in both french and english.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sid. My bad on the Bishop’s thing. My youngest son (going into year 4 at BU) had just pointed out my typo. You guys are a tough bunch!

      Reply
  7. We rode the route verte #5 from montreal to quebec with our fixed gear bikes on the first week of june. We did it in 4 days. Riding 450 km mostly on cycling paths is awesome.

    Reply
    • Hello Martin – I’d be interested to know where your starting point in Montreal was. Did you go via Granby?

      Reply
  8. We started in Pointe-aux-trembles on the east side of Montreal island. We followed RV#5 on Notre-Dame to Jacques-Cartier bridge then RV#1 all the way to Quebec city.

    Day 1 : Pointe-aux-trembles – Granby (115km)
    Day 2 : Granby – North Hatley (99km)
    Day 3 : North Hatley – Warwick (110km)
    Day 4 : Warwick – Quebec (128km)

    Reply
    • Thanks for the info. I find the maps on the website (La Route Verte) to be so so. I never realized how close North Hatley was to Quebec City until now.

      Reply

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