Lanaudière by bike

Texte — Marie Charles Pelletier Photos — Eliane Cadieux

Three routes for exploring the area by bike – with sweat on your brow and the wind in your face, and a tasty treat on each route.

A standout feature of the first BESIDE office was that it had as many bicycles as tables, all of them inside a meagre room. And it was a regular occurrence for anyone unlucky enough to be walking too fast to trip over them. Inside our current, much larger office, the very first sounds of a drill to ring out signalled the installation of our long-awaited bike rack.

Our team members have always been fans – to say the least – of two-wheeled, human-propelled land vehicles. BESIDE Habitat has naturally become the starting point for a host of new routes, in particular for our Development and Architectural Program Manager, Stéphane Bélanger. Here are three, each one with a reward – because after all those kilometres on a bike, you deserve it.

*Note: these routes are for experienced cyclists, and you might wake up sore the morning after your excursion!
**We recommend downloading the RidewithGPS app (free) to help with navigation.


Route 1

This hilly route takes you past Lac Cloutier, in the old forestry village of Sainte-Béatrix. But first, you’ll pass Maison Staner, a butcher shop with delicatessen in Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez that’s known for its sandwiches, fresh bread and pastries. After this necessary pit stop, get back in the saddle and head for Sainte-Béatrix. You’ll ride along Lac Cloutier on a winding path dotted with little cabins before quietly returning to your own.

*This circuit includes asphalt roads with fairly generous shoulders, and speed limits of 50, 70, or 90 km/h.
  • Distance: 51 km
  • Length: 2.5 – 3.5 h
  • Elevation gain: 529 m
  • Paved: 99%
  • Unpaved: 1%
  • Starting point: BESIDE Habitat


Route 2

This route is Stéphane’s favourite, and is sure to please everyone who loves to adventure off the beaten path. From your cabin, you’ll cross BESIDE’s protected park northward and go through an old logging camp. Next, the route takes you along the 9th Lake and paved roads with very little traffic. Stop around the midway point at Délices du Palais, an ice cream shop whose reputation precedes it. The last section of the route includes freshly paved roads as well as an ATV trail and small gravel roads. All you need to live out your rock-n-roll dreams.

*This route starts with 4km of old unmaintained ATV trails which is all part of the adventure! Ride at your own risk.
  • Distance: 47 km
  • Length: 3 – 4 h
  • Elevation gain: 620 m
  • Paved: 62%
  • Unpaved: 38% (minimum tire width : 38-42mm)
  • Starting point: BESIDE Habitat


Route 3

This route is ideal for anyone wanting to stretch their legs before supper or unwind a little after a good cup of coffee. You’ll ride along sparsely travelled gravel roads, with a clear view of the surrounding plains, and pass through the small village of Corcoran before returning to BESIDE Habitat. We suggest grabbing a bite at your cabin before heading to Lake McGuire and throwing yourselves in!

  • Distance: 22 km
  • Length: 1–1.5 hours
  • Elevation gain: 232 m
  • Paved: 81%
  • Unpaved: 19% (minimum tire width : 38-42mm)
  • Starting point: BESIDE Habitat

Click here to discover other routes.

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