After a lovely night at the Super 8 (we each had our own king-sized bed – luxury!), we pedalled into downtown Sainte-Agathe to see the sights before embarking on another 55km ride. (Click here for Day 1!)
🚴 Sainte-Agathe -> Sainte-Adèle
It’s a cute downtown, and the cafes looked tempting, but breakfast was included at our hotel so we weren’t hungry. Instead, we hung out on the pier overlooking Lac des Sables while a guy spun around on his hoverboard.
Then it was back to Le P’tit Train du Nord!
Seven kilometres later we were in the small town of Val-David.
When I was researching this trip, I noticed a lot of bike tours stay in Val-David rather than Sainte-Agathe, and after seeing it I understand why. First, it’s very picturesque; the Rivière du Nord runs through town, and there are five lakes in town! Plus Val-David is right on the edge of a provincial park where you can do all kinds of activities: hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. Val-David is also much more walkable and bikeable than Sainte-Agathe, which has two highways running through it. Val-David has Le P’tit Train du Nord and zero highways!
Evidently, I was too busy enjoying the scenery to take many photos. If we were to do this trip again, we’d definitely spend a day just chilling in Val-David. But alas, we didn’t have time for that this tour, so we continued biking until we reached a picnic spot 4km later at Lac Raymond.
It was pretty, but very buggy on this wet, spring day.
We continued around Lac Raymond, and on the border between Val-Morin/Les Laurentides and Sainte-Adele/Les Pays d’en Haut, the trail became gravel again.
Le P’tit Train du Nord runs alongside La Riviére du Nord before veering away to Sainte-Marguerite Station (of which I neglected to get a photo), and just 2 kilometres later there was a sign saying PISTE FERMÉE. Even with my limited french, I knew that said “Trail Closed”. Yesterday we had passed a similar sign nearing Sainte-Agathe, and up ahead there was a guy with a truck clearing tree branches, but he let us pass. This was probably the same situation, right? They wouldn’t just close the trail completely in the middle of nowhere for maintenance work, with no detour.
So we continued cycling, but in less than a minute we saw some people cycling towards us. Great! We could ask them if the trail was passable. Turns out, it was not — the maintenance crew had turned them back.
There we were, a couple from Ontario, a couple from BC, and a local Québècois man. Naturally, we asked the local if there was a detour. Good thing one of the women from BC spoke french better than me! Still, the local man didn’t know of any detours.
As the local pedalled home, the rest of us turned to Google. In this mountainous area of Quebec, there are not many roads that don’t dead-end at a body of water or a mountain. We learned there was only one road we could take that would get us to the next town, Sainte-Adèle, and that was Chemin Pierre-Péladeau.
Chemin Pierre-Péladeau is a highway with many steep descents and ascents, and a narrow, pot-holed shoulder.
(In our VIDEO you can see a sign that warns of an 11% grade!)
But we made it!
And found our way back to Le P’tit Train du Nord and Café de la Gare where we celebrated arriving alive with a delicious lunch.
As you might have guessed from the name, Café de la Gare is in the old Sainte-Adèle train station building. Along with the usual facilities (washrooms, water, etc.), there’s also a full-service bike store, Espresso Sports.
Fed and rested, we said goodbye to the couple from British Columbia and continued on.
🚴 Sainte-Adèle -> Saint-Jérôme
Almost immediately we saw another PISTE FERMÉ sign, but the staff at Café de la Gare said that cyclists could get through, and there were people eating at the cafe who’d come from that direction, so we kept riding.
Thankfully, they were right! We didn’t even come across any maintenance crews.
A mere 4km after Sainte-Adèle, we were at the Piedmont station stop. The closer you get to Montreal, the closer these stations become.
A couple kilometres later, we came across a big wooden bridge that leads to this huge park just east of Saint-Sauveur.
And not long after that, we arrived at the old train station in Prévost, which is a tiny town that looked to have some nice places to eat, though we weren’t hungry after filling up in Sainte-Adèle.
We were beginning to see a lot more people using the trail. As it got busier, there was also more signage and some gates to slow cyclists down before intersections. Cyclists have a stop sign, but so do motorists. We were pleasantly surprised that motorists always waved us through first.
The next section of trail is really woodsy, which makes sense because this area is the Parc Régional de la Rivière du Nord.
Just outside Saint-Jérôme (exactly 6km from our destination), we stopped at the park rapids.
And then… we were in Saint-Jérôme at the end of Le P’tit Train du Nord, kilometre zero!
Le P’tit Train du Nord is a beautiful, well-maintained trail. We especially enjoyed all the old train station stops. Highly recommend!
Then we were back in Montreal, ready to ride the epic Tour La Nuit!