Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean Bicycle Tour
August 13-22, 2020
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 13, 2020 – Tadoussac to Sacre-Coeur
Friday, August 14, 2020 – Sacre-Coeur to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord
Saturday, August 15, 2020 – Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to Saint-Honore
Sunday, August 16, 2020 – Saint-Honore to Hebertville
Monday, August 17, 2020 – Hebertville to Alma
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – Alma to Dolbeau-Mistassini
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 – Dolbeau-Mistassini to Normandin
Thursday, August 20, 2020 – Normandin to Roberval
Friday, August 21, 2020 – Roberval to Saint-Gédéon
Saturday, August 22, 2020 – Return Transportation to Tadoussac
Thursday, August 13, 2020 – Tadoussac to Sacre-Coeur 41 km (25 mi.)
Our first day is kept short after a late morning departure following our morning reception. 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. 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 14, 2020 – Tadoussac to Sainte-Rose-du-Nord 62 km (39 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 15, 2020 – Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to Saint-Honore 53 km (33 mi.)
The biggest hill of our tour faces us the very first thing in the morning. It is a short day, however. We are planning time for people to explore Chicoutimi, the largest and most vibrant of the several areas that make up the city of Saguenay. There are some good restaurants and corners to explore here.
Sunday, August 16, 2020 – Saint-Honore to Hebertville 71 km (44 mi.)
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 further though a complicated, but fun, network of bicycle paths. We pass through Jonquiere, the place with the highest percentage of French speakers of any city in North America. We wind our way along the newest section of the Route-Verte cycling network. Leaving the Saguenay region, we follow through forests and lakes toward Hebertville.
Monday, August 17, 2020 – Hebertville to Alma 57 km (35 mi.)
We reach the shores of Lac Saint-Jean. Once we reach the huge lake we connect with the Route de Bleuets bicycle path system. 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. We end at the city of Alma, with a small cycling network of its own.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020 – Alma to Dolbeau-Mistassini 82 km (51 mi.)
We follow the cycling paths along Lac-Saint-Jean. 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 19, 2020 – 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 20, 2020 – 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 21, 2020 – Roberval to Saint-Gédéon 52 km (32 mi.)
Our final day of riding. We complete our circuit around Lac St-Jean. 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.
Saturday, August 22, 2020 – 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 –daily route maps -tour escort; Gary Conrod will be along the route, he has 184,000 kilometres cycling experience, including many years cycling all over Quebec; –Pointe Talon Park passes; –return transportation from tour end point to Tadoussac.
About Our Tours:
Our tours are different! We run friendly and fun bicycle-camping trips. There are not many groups left like us out there doing this. Running inexpensive tours by camping and not doing inns is now a rarity. We have done it this way since way back in 1987. It gets a little bit harder each year to crawl in and out of tents - we are not getting any younger, but we would still rather be doing it our way - under the stars.
Our events usually have between 18 and 35 people, the majority older adults. Since our camping groups are a bit larger compared to inn to inn tours, there are far greater chances of finding others with the same interests. During a week to 10 day tour everyone gets to know pretty well everyone else. Rather than a tour with just a handful of people, possibly none you have things in common with, our size allows a wide range of personalities, interests, and similar riding speeds. We feel our trips are just the right size for fitting in. Lots of friendships are made on our tours.
We run our tours in prime natural settings in Eastern and Atlantic Canada. Our tours are a bit harder to get to - they will need more planning. Running events in remoter regions with limited options raises costs a bit more than if we did them in busier places. We feel getting away from the heat, humidity, cities, stress, tension, and traffic makes the experiences we offer completely worth it. Our return rate is among the highest of any cycling organization - as high as 90% on some tours, so overall people seem to love what we are doing and value their experiences.
Our trip will be a tent camping adventure, but for some who say their camping days are behind them can join in on our journeys. A limited number of Bed and Breakfasts and motels are along our route. Upon request, a listing of motels and Bed and Breakfasts will be sent with confirmation. Due to the small places we go to, early reservations are strongly recommended.
Each cyclist can have their own choice of dining. Some prepare meals at our campsites. Participants buy food daily at designated spots and we transport it to the end point. We have a large amount of cooking stoves, equipment, and cutlery – no need to bring any of that gear to our tour. Others prefer to enjoy as many restaurants as the route allows. We will provide a list each day of what you will find along our route.
Each morning you will bring your baggage to our truck. You are then free to ride at your own pace. Your bags will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the next campground or indoor selection.
During the ride, our support vehicle will be at your service if you need a lift or other assistance. Maps and information materials will help guide you along the way.
Preparation and Equipment:
We will carry whatever you feel you need to enjoy the tour. You must supply your own bicycle, tent and sleeping bag.
Join Us On Our Tour!
$1440 CAD (Canadian Dollars)
Returning Participants Appreciation:
We are proud of having among highest the return rates of all bicycle touring organizations. In appreciation, returning riders are offered $100 off.
*Credit Card - (Visa and MasterCard) - We put cards through by phone to avoid sensitive information passing through our web site. Please call us at 888-800-2498; or 902-423-2453. Please also for security reasons, do not send credit card numbers by email or text. American and foreign participants have the Canadian amount converted to their currency at the current exchange rate.
*PayPal - we can send you an email with a link that goes to our PayPal page. American and foreign participants have the Canadian amount converted to their currency at the current exchange rate.
*Personal Cheque or Money Order - Postal mail: PO Box 1555 Stn CRO Halifax NS B3J 2Y3 Canada. Note that the bank rate is different than the "paper" rate. Use this link on the day you send payment Exchange Rates Use the column (Client Sells - Receives Canadian). If the math gets complicated contact us and we will help sort it out. Note that the postage rate to Canada is higher than U.S. domestic rate, ask what it currently is, mail can be turned back.
*E-transfer - Canadians can use email transfer - send payment link to [email protected]
*Wire Transfer - please contact us and we will check if this can set up without unreasonable charge from your area.
Youth and Child Rates:
We have rates for youth and children, please contact us for details.
All taxes are included.
Deposits – Getting on Board:
To secure a spot on one of our trips a $300 deposit is required. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the day of departure. If we do not receive your final balance on time, we will consider your reservation cancelled. We will attempt to remind you as the date nears.
Cancellations and Change to Later Trip Charges:
We understand things happen in life and sometimes you have to cancel or defer your bike tour. A fair amount of work and arrangements are involved with each registration ACC receives and the cancellation timeline outlined below is strictly adhered to. Exceptions will not be made for any reason. This includes weather or personal emergencies. We highly suggest that you purchase travel insurance. There are many companies that offer inexpensive trip insurance, and we recommend you look into it.
Your cancellation fee will be determined based on the day the written notice is received. There is no refund if you arrive late or must leave a tour early.
Change to later Trip Option - Registrations may be forwarded to a future event within 3 years with the timeline outlined below. Moving your tour ahead is a better deal than the costs of cancelling outright.
|Over 60 Days||refund minus $200|
|31-60 Days||refund minus $400|
|16-30 Days||50% of trip price|
|15 Days or less||no refund|
|Change to Later Trip Fee|
|Over 60 Days||$100 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years|
|31-60 Days||$200 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years|
|16-30 Days||$300 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years|
|15 Days or less||$400 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years|
Since there are no exceptions to the cancellation policy outlined above, unfortunately including personal emergencies, we highly recommend that each participant have cancellation and travel insurance. This type of insurance covers illness, accident, loss of luggage, or other unforeseen occurrences. In addition, we also recommend travelers health insurance to supplement your own medical insurance. Atlantic Canada Cycling does not provide travel insurance or health/accident insurance. This is strictly the participant’s responsibility.
Cancellation of Event:
Atlantic Canada Cycling has never had a cancelled event in its twenty-seven years. We do, however, reserve the right to cancel any scheduled tour. In this event you will receive a full refund of any money paid (for tour operation only). In this event ACC is not responsible for expenses incurred by individuals in preparation for the trip such as non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, equipment etc.
ACC Registration Form:
Our Participant Form is below. It should open in a new page in your browser. If not, try to right click and “save target as”, "file as" or "linked content as", depending on your browser to download. The form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is on most computers but if not you can download from Adobe. If you have problems, please contact us, we can email or fax a form to you. [email protected] Call us at 888-800-2498
ACC Registration Form: Click Here!