Nothing beats the winterblues than sunny summer pictures. After my last two posts on bike modal shares in Ottawa based on the Statscan census, we are going to take a look at a paved path near Gracefield in rural Quebec.
This fall, we went out for a bike ride a bit further away from Ottawa at a place called Gracefield in Quebec. It required a considerable drive, about 100 km north of Ottawa. We used to visit a cottage at Lac Pemichangan at Thirtyone Mile Lake, but since the owners passed away and the cottage was sold, we don’t really go to that part of Quebec anymore. Why go all the way there then, you may ask. Mostly for a change of scenery and to check out this new paved path, the “Veloroute des Draveur” (Log drivers: log driving was a super dangerous job, read more on Wikipedia). Gracefield has paved about 20 km of a former railway track west and north of Gracefield, along Blue Sea to Messines.
Generally Karen and I are not big fans of cycling on abandoned railway tracks: we find them a bit boring (lots of trees on each side) but in a somewhat more populous area, relatively speaking, and a lake here and there it is worth trying it out. We made it a day outing, brought our own lunch and had an ice cream at the end of the day.
Clearly, it is a bit of a touristy thing, because it doesn’t really connect two major hubs, but if you are uncomfortable riding on roads, this is a good place to try out cycling and become more comfortable on a bike. I can also see that some of the locals and cottagers living outside Gracefield might find it attractive enough to bike into town and back instead of taking a car once in a while.
Another good thing is that Gracefield actually recognised cycling as an activity that might attract people. Chapeau!
Here is my Strava recording:
It looks a bit remote on the map and it is definitely not Europe, but there is still enough to see. Here is a photo impression of the path and the environment of rural Quebec.
A quick stop in Gracefield
At the end fo the day we did a few km extra in Gracefield. It appears the town is hanging in there thanks to its somewhat regional responsibility, but man is it ever another world than my small town in the Netherlands where I grew up.