The Regional County Municipalities of La Jacques-Cartier and Portneuf contain many geographic sites offering equally spectacular sceneries.
This cycling trail, connected directly to Quebec City by the Corridor des Cheminots, is sure to charm you.
The municipalities of St-Gabriel-de-Valcartier and Shannon, at the east end of the trail, are located on the outskirts of the Quebec Urban Community. Free parking is conveniently provided in front of the Valcartier military base. From the onset, the powerful Jacques-Cartier River offers lovely views of the remains of the old power station and of the rapids necessary to the yearly Atlantic salmon runs – both well worth the small detour.
Fossambault-sur-le-Lac, via a secondary trail, reveals its rich natural landscape and provides an opportunity to cool off at Plage du Lac St-Joseph for a fee. Afterwards take advantage of the many activities for the whole family available at the Duchesnay Station site in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, famous for its hotel and cottages.
As you arrive at the Duchesnay Station you will cross the lovely Ontaritzi River, then continue onwards to Lac Sergent in all its splendor. If riding with your family, why not make a little stop at the Vallée Secrete? A reservation is required but the little ones will love it. After travelling approximately half the trail between Saint-Gabriel de Valcartier and Rivière-à-Pierre, a stop in Saint-Raymond, where a multitude of services for the whole family are offered, will be welcomed. Come discover the renowned cheeses from the Alexis de Portneuf cheese factory. You then cross the Ste-Anne River on an authentic railway bridge to continue toward Saint-Léonard and Rivière-à-Pierre. In Saint-Léonard, we suggest a small detour of a few kilometers to discover the small village of Portneuf, where can enjoy the vista of the farmers fields and livestock. And in autumn, the landscape offers a symphony of colors as far as the eye can see!
Back on the trail towards Rivière-à-Pierre you must stop at Plage du Lac Simon for a refreshing dip. Take the time to discover Chute à l’ours and the « Halte du Pont de pierre » rest area where nature is at its most magnificent. The flat terrain now becomes mountainous as you reach the wildlife sanctuary of Portneuf and the Batiscan Zec (Maximum grade on the path is 3%). Also worth discovering is the Municipality of Rivière-à-Pierre, with its Auberge in the center of the village, the « de la Marmite » falls and Granite interpretation Center (free access) in front of city hall.
Enquire about the possibility of riding the train to make your stay truly unique and original.