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.
Day 2 – 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.
Day 3 – 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.
Day 4 – Saint-Honore to Hebertville 71 km (44 mi.)
We will reach the main Route-Verte cycling path, and take it first 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.
Day 5 – 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, part of the Route-Verte system, 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.
Day 6 – 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.
Day 7 – 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.
Day 8 – 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.
Day 9 – Roberval to Saint-Gédéon 52 km (32 mi.)
Our final day of riding. We complete our circuit of the Route Verte/Route-Bluets 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.
Day 10 – Return Transportation to Tadoussac
We wind our way back to our starting point and our farewells