Quebec

Quebec is the largest and one of the most visually captivating and culturally fascinating provinces in Canada. At more than 1.5 million square kilometres, La Belle Province, as it’s long been known, covers a brilliant range of landscapes and terrains, stretching from the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the East Coast, to the Hudson Strait in the North, Hudson Bay and Ontario to the West, and the American states of Maine and Vermont to its South. Now over 400 years in the making—Quebec City was established in 1608!—with an incredibly rich history and diverse culture, Quebec is without doubt your gateway to some of Canada’s most alluring experiences.

 

Why Quebec?

From the ancient Laurentian Plateau, to the verdant Taiga Forests of Gaspé, the pristine waters of Lac Saint-Jean, to the upper arm of the mighty Appalacian mountains, Quebec's reputation as the beautiful province is well deserved—and undeniable.

The View

With so many incredible options to explore, we’ve decided to focus our expedition on a few distinct experiences and regions: Quebec’s bucolic Eastern Townships and Wine Routes, the magnificent Saint-Malo Dark Sky Reserve, and the charming vistas of the Saguenay.

And—we’ve decided that cycling will be the perfect way to experience Quebec’s renowned beauty: fast enough to cover a good distance and ensure a variety of experiences, but slow enough to allow us to absorb every bit of our surroundings.

The Team

Outpost Team Quebec


MEC Gear Spotlight

Brooks Trail Running

Naturally Aligned Protection

When you’re cycling or hiking, footwear can make or break your experience–just ask Cheryl Strayed. Thankfully for me, from the moment I put on my pair of the Brooks Trail Running shoes, they provided both functionality and comfort. What’s the true test of a good shoe? I didn’t get a single blister. With strike plates and ventilated fabric, this versatile shoe is perfect for the all around adventure athlete and makes the transition from peddle to metal to trail run seamless.

Pictured: Brooks Trail Running Shoes
From the MEC Trail Shoes Collection

MEC BOLT SS JERSEY

Technical Pique

Next to lightweight, breathability might be the most important thing that you should consider when going on a long distance cycling trip in mixed weather. The MEC Bolt SS Jersey is the perfect combination of both. Soft fabric and jewel toned, these seemingly delicate jerseys are perfect for the indelicate rad girl who places functionality first, but appreciates a little bit of flare.

Pictured: MEC Bolt SS Cycling Jersey
From the MEC Cycling Jersey Collection

MEC FLYER TIGHTS

Multi Sport Lives

From bike to hike to a cliff face in the Saguenay, I’ve put these tights through the ringer. They block the wind, but are entirely breathable; they keep you warm, while keeping you cool. With a dusting of fleece on the inside and a matte finish on the outside, these pants were made for bicycling, but I’ve worn them to dinner too.

Pictured: Flyer Cycling Tights
From the MEC Tights Collection

Gear List

Our travels through Quebec will require us to bike, trek and hike to fully experience this province's diverse beauty. As always, since quality, durability and ease of use is a primary consideration for this project we will be using MEC as our supplier of choice.

Apparel

Toad&Co Tops

Toad&Co Bottoms

Cycling Tops

Cycling Bottoms

Headwear

Gloves

Shoes

Equipment

Tents

Sleepingbags

Cookwear

Bikes

Panniers

Tools/Gear

Helmets

Health

Aid

Survival

Water

Sun

Sanitation

Emergency

 

Nutrition

CLIF Bars

Meals

Filters

Beverages

 

 

 

Quebec Expedition Map

quebec biking route

Dispatches From Quebec

Need to Ride Need to Ride

It is now six months since I first pedalled again, and I find myself en route to begin a 10-day cycle journey across Quebec to uncover some of the best experiences this beautiful province has to offer. It seems the universe finds it fitting to test the depth of my love for cycling.

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City to Country City to Country

Montreal awaits, and then the Eastern Townships and Quebec’s countryside, and along with it the promise of wine,  of biking kilometre upon kilometre—with perhaps a blister or two—of Quebec City’s ancient cobblestoned streets and breathtaking fjords.

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La Route des vins du Quebec La Route des vins

 Within the last decade, Quebec’s wine country has become a force to be reckoned with, and vineyards along the increasingly-renowned La Route des vins (the Wine Route), which we cycled today, are responsible for 60 percent of the province's entire production.

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Eastern Township Well Fitted

After getting our bikes fitted and a quick stop at Vignoble de L’Orpailleur in Dunham, Quebec—a quaint, peaceful slice of Eastern Township paradise—our cycling journey along La Route des Vins begins.

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Foresta Lumina Foresta Lumina

It was like walking into A Midsummer Night’s Dream with just a touch of the Brothers Grimm’s twisted inclinations. Located in the Eastern Townships, Foresta Lumina is Coaticook’s own enchanted forest.

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Lac-Mégantic Lac-Mégantic

It's been two years since the 74-car Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway freight train infamously derailed—but there's a feeling of tremendous strength and recovery among the people of this salt-of-the-earth community.

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Pedal’s Off the Metal Pedal’s Off the Metal

To see the view, you have to get to the view. When you’re travelling light and biking for 10 days straight, this means a little self-care. Here’s a few strategies for post-ride recovery that Dan and I have used.

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Coaticook River Valley Coaticook River Valley

Seeing the Coaticook River Valley should be a part of any visit to Quebec's Eastern Townships. Stepping foot on the edge of the Coaticook River Valley Gorge is without a doubt a tremendous visual experience which I will never forget. There's good reason why it's referred to as a natural wonder.

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Mont-Mégantic International Dark Sky Reserve Mont-Mégantic Dark Sky

Visiting Mont Mégantic’s ASTROlab was a moment we’d all been anticipating—our inner kids still clinging to the astronaut dream. The reserve was the first of its kind; the region holds the title of the world’s first International Dark Sky Reserve.

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My God, It's Full of Stars My God, It's Full of Stars

As night fell on Mont Mégantic, Team Outpost made our way to the Observatory. Already the inky night sky grew dotted with billions of points of light. Every second the stars seemed to grow more brilliant, and the Milk Way spilled across my eyes and touched me with a powerful sense of awe.

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Saguenay's Via Ferrata Saguenay's Via Ferrata

So there we were, clinging to the Via Ferrata’s metal rungs, suspended from one of Saguenay National Park’s highest points. From here, the Saguenay River’s fast moving water seemed slow to a lull and the rich greens that canopied the pathways below spanned an infinite horizon. 

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First Time Mountain Biking First Time Mountain Biking

Prior to today, I had literally zero experience riding a mountain bike. But change is good. New experiences are the gateway to lifelong passions. So today, after seven days of road cycling across Quebec's serene Eastern Townships and mind-bendingly beautiful Saguenay region, I decided to try something different.

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Nature's Transformative Power Transformative Power

We were in this together. Patience, encouragement, resilience and vulnerability all emerged not just in our mountain biking endeavor, but in various moments throughout the trip. Perhaps there’s something about fifteen hour days, physical exertion and Quebec’s grand sweeping vistas that elicits this kind of connection in a travelling group—to each other and to the self. 

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Quebec City Quebec City

We begin our ride flanked by the picturesque St. Lawrence River on our right and the beautiful and unique Quebec architecture inspired by Northern France on our left. The trail runs through a variety of historical sites and winds its way towards Old Quebec and the iconic the Château Frontenac. 

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Huron-Wendat Storytelling Huron-Wendat Storytelling

While I have been fortunate to have an incredible variety of experiences during the last few days in Quebec, the Myths and Legends of the First Nations in the Ekionkiestha longhouse experience at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations has been without a doubt the most charming.

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Cliff Bar Adventures

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