How would you like to experience the beauty of nature in a more intimate way? No need for a plane, a train, or a car; just your cycle and the wind in your hair, with occasional water mist on your face. You can do exactly that in Quebec City, Canada! La Route verte (the green route) is the largest cycling network in the Americas, crossing every region of Qu?bec, including: Montr?al, Abitibi-T?miscamingue, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Eastern townships, and many more. Once completed, this world-class ecotourism product will be 4,300 km long and consist of marked paths, paved shoulders, and designated roadways.
If you are surprised that I am assigning the name “ecotourism” to a cycling route, this is because of its unique “green” status. The route was even ranked first in the top 10 cycling routes on the planet by the National Geographic! It was chosen for its length, beauty, and thrill.
The effectiveness of this wonderful resource lies beyond its execution, the top-notch infrastructure and planning to incorporate natural scenery, the evidence of signage along the route, and the accessible web presence to find more information. In fact, the culture of Quebec is very supportive of cycling, seeing it as preferred means of both, transportation and recreation.
When cycling on the green route, you will often see the sign, “Cyclists Welcome”, which further portrays the commitment and support of the local community. Not only will you find secure bicycle lock-ups, roofed storage at restaurants and points of interest, and water stations along the route, but to help you make the most of your cycling experience, you will also find a number of tourist accommodations and campgrounds certified under the Bienvenue cyclistes !TM program.
This program is implemented by V?lo Qu?bec Association, the same organization that helped develop the Route verte. It is an easy and convenient way of accessing cycling-friendly amenities throughout the province while enjoying the wide expanses of wilderness and the beauty of local landscapes. You can only experience this kind of freedom (and connection) on a bicycle!
Photo by Flickr porro