Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Bicycle Tour

Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Bicycle Tour
The Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region is one of our favourite places. It is a tour that will have two distinct sections. The first will be along the Saguenay Fjord. While there will be a few big hills, overall our route on the east side is quite doable.  The majority of the route for this part of the tour will follow a river through beautiful stretches of wilderness.

The second part of the tour will be an incredible cycling experience – almost three hundred kilometers of cycling paths along Lac Saint-Jean! Almost completely paved and well-maintained, more and more bicycle paths are being added every year to this incredible network. So much great cycling away from traffic! Plus, the route mostly follows along the lakeshore. There are countless rest areas along the shoreline, a few beaches, plenty of cafes, and other diversions, some reachable exclusively by cyclists on the path system.

The tour’s distances should offer a comfortable mix of cycling and socializing. There will be suggestions offered for more cycling each day to keep keeners busy, as well as non-cycling diversions.

This is a unique cycling tour in North America – one with the majority of its route beyond the reaches of car and truck traffic. Add in the interesting diversions Quebec’s culture brings along the way and you have our must-do tour!


Thursday, August 23, 2018 – Tadoussac to Sacre-Coeur
Friday, August 24, 2018 – Sacre-Coeur to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord
Saturday, August 25, 2018 – Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to Jonquiere
Sunday, August 26, 2018 – Jonquiere to Saint-Gédéon
Monday, August 27, 2018 – Saint-Gédéon to Sainte-Monique
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 – Sainte-Monique to Dolbeau-Mistassini
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Dolbeau-Mistassini to Normandin
Thursday, August 30, 2018 – Normandin to Roberval
Friday, August 31, 2018 – Roberval to Alma
Saturday, September 1, 2018 – Return Transportation to Tadoussac

Thursday, August 23, 2018 – Tadoussac to Sacre-Coeur 53 km (32 mi.)
We begin our tour at the  very scenic and interesting small town of Tadoussac. It was France’s first settlement on the mainland of New France and an important trading post in the seventeenth century, making the town the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada, and the oldest surviving French settlement in the Americas. There is a lot to do and explore for a small place. There are many good restaurants and fun places to shop and walk about.

Here where the Saguenay River pushes into the Saint Lawrence, the cold, salt water is brought to the surface and attracts a great number of marine mammals. This is one of the greatest whale-watching places of the world. At times the whales can even be seen from shore, there are a few great viewing spots we can lead you to. Almost this entire area has been designated as a marine protected zone, covering a large portion of the St. Lawrence Estuary and nearly the entire Saguenay Fjord.

The Saguenay Fjord is a unique environment in Quebec.  Our first day is kept short after a late morning departure following our morning reception.  At camp,  and our first day on the fjord, there are cruises, sea kayaking, canoeing, fishing from a boat, Zodiac excursions and sailing – all fantastic ways of discovering the fjord!  The main attraction of the Sainte- Marguerite Bay is undoubtedly the beluga whales. Clusters of small white whales are frequently seen in summer from a gazebo erected at the entrance of the bay. A park ranger is stationed there all afternoon to help you discover the fascinating world of this protected species. An exhibition is also dedicated to it and invites you to also discover the history of the village of nearby Sacré-Coeur.
Friday, August 24, 2018 – Tadoussac to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord 63 km (38 mi.)
This is a spectacular day and after returning home may grow to be one of the most remembered. The second half of the route is through a protected, wilderness area. We will enjoy two to three hours riding along a winding riverside stretch of fields, rivers, forests and waterfalls. It is the home of small black bears, lynx, beavers, and moose. We emerge at what is considered one of the most attractive villages in all of Quebec, the very scenic village of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord, nestled between hills along the fjord.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 – Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to Jonquiere 76 km (46 mi.)
The biggest hill of our tour faces us the very first thing in the morning.  We pass through Chicoutimi, the largest and most vibrant of the several areas that make up the city of Saguenay.  We will take the main cycling path as far as Arvida.   There are some good restaurants and corners to linger at.  We then negotiate our way though a complicated, but fun, network of bicycle paths. We wind our way along the newest section of the Route-Verte cycling network.  We end late in the day at  Jonquiere, the place with the highest percentage of French speakers of any city in North America.  
Sunday, August 26, 2018 – Jonquiere to Saint-Gédéon 68 km (41 mi.)
We follow through forests and lakes to the shores of Lac Saint-Jean. Once we reach the lake, we then connect with the huge Route de Bleuets bicycle path system. We will have time today to relax on the beach.  This small town is home to the highly rated Microbrasserie du Lac Saint-Jean. They have a restaurant on site, which we will drop by in the evening.
Monday, August 27, 2018 –  Saint-Gédéon to Sainte-Monique 77 km (47 mi.)
We follow cycling paths along Lac-Saint-Jean.  The Véloroute des Bleuets (Blueberry Route) is a 256 loop that takes circles the lake through a variety of landscapes – including forests, farms, a huge park, and long stretches of shoreline. The terrain varies from flat to gently rolling hills to a few outright hills
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 –  Sainte-Monique to Dolbeau-Mistassini 57 km (35 mi.)
Parc Pointe-Taillon is a forested preserve along Lac St-Jean. Inside it are 45 kilometres of trails. We will pass through the park, which is a protected haven for birds, beavers, and moose. There is a huge peat bog and also many varieties of forest plants.  We end at a very nice camp on powerful Mistassini River, flowing behind us through a series of rapids, creating a peaceful atmosphere.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Dolbeau-Mistassini to Normandin 85 or 45 km (53 or 28 mi.)
There is an option today of exploring a new cycling trail. This trail is a 45 kilometer circuit passing along a river and series of rapids, beaver colonies, and many wild blueberry fields. This trail is not paved, in keeping with its special natural setting. We hope everyone will be able to join this section, but if any bikes have too narrow tires for it, we have some suggestions of other extra cycling routes. We end at another beautiful place with powerful rapids.  The Ashuapmushuan River flows by us, the roar of its immense rapids lulling us to sleep.

Thursday, August 30, 2018 – Normandin to Roberval 53 km (33 mi.)
We follow the lakeshore, passing through several small towns and villages, including Mashteuiatsh, a surviving aboriginal community.  There are several options to extend today’s cycling.

Friday, August 31, 2018 – Roberval to Alma 72 km (45 mi.)
Our final day of riding. We complete our circuit around Lac St-Jean and end at Alma. We have one of our favourite places reserved for tonight to go over our experiences, at a Greek restaurant which has healthy food and local Lac-Saint-Jean beers on tap.

Saturday, September 1, 2018 – Return Transportation to Tadoussac
We wind our way back to our starting point and our farewells. 


What We Provide:
– Comprehensive ride guide; all about what you will experience on route, history, culture, trivia -camping facilities -luggage transfer; we will carry your gear, just bike and enjoy the ride! -bike mechanic assistance -sag wagon service –support vehicle available for breakdowns or drives to shorten your day -Indoor accommodation at Jonquiere -daily route maps -tour escort; Gary Conrod will be along the route, he has 177,000 kilometres cycling experience, including many trips to the region; return transportation from tour end point to Tadoussac.

Entry Fee:
$1262 CAD (Canadian Dollars)


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