2 Awesome Bike Trails in Quebec City

PSA: there are incredible bike trails in Quebec City!! This past weekend, I was in Quebec for the Women in Travel Summit. Over 400 travel influencers, creators, and brands gathered at the Fairmont le Chateau Frontenac to chat, learn, and connect. It was a long and full weekend of sessions and networking. It was also a long time to be indoors. To get some nature therapy and keep myself sane, I found two easy bike trails in Quebec City from the Old Town that follow rivers and lead you to views, sights, and sounds far removed from the city.

Bike the St Charles River Linear Park

Quebec City’s Old Town to St Charles Cemetery, 7km (up to 32km)

A linear park follows the St Charles River in Quebec City. Linear Park! Epic! How is this something that I wasn’t more aware of? The park is 32km long. It begins at the mouth of the river that flows into the St. Lawrence River, and follows until the St Charles Lake. It is 32km of multi-use trail in the middle of Quebec City. Following the trail is an incredible way to spend your day outside, and an even better way to commute in and out of the city’s core.

St Charles River view in the linear park
Early morning commute into Quebec City

I was staying at an Airbnb 20 minutes away from the Fairmont Hotel by bicycle, which was how I discovered the St Charles River Linear Park. It was the most wonderful commute to and from the conference, and gave me that very necessary outdoors time.

Grey sky over the St Charles River
It was a bit stormy and grey on the first morning

My daily commute started around the St. Charles Cemetery, a beautiful site in itself. It then followed the river, winding into the old town. Once I could see the hotel on the top of the hill, I usually had to disembark and push my bike up the insanely steep incline.

Ministry of Finance building in Old Quebec City
The ministry of finance building was particularly captivating

The path wasn’t busy on these early weekend mornings (and late weekend nights). I found myself mostly alone with the company of the birds, the wind, and the water as it flowed gently by.

St Charles River Linear Park trail
Perhaps the stormy sky kept people off the path, but it sure was nice to have it to myself!

As I had a pretty packed schedule with the conference, I was only able to see a quarter of the entire length of the Linear Park along the St Charles River. Given more time (and on my next visit), I’ll be sure to ride all the way to the St Charles Lake. Alternatively, in the winter, this path would be the perfect cross-country ski trail!

St Charles river bike path
Saturday brought the sun, allowing me to discover more of the linear park

Bike the St. Lawrence River on the Boulevard Champlain

Quebec City’s Old Town to La Promenade Samuel de Champlain, 8km (up to 5200km)

On the second day of the conference I was feeling pretty stir-crazy. The day before had been grey, windy, and rainy. It was driving me crazy to be indoors while the sun shone brightly outside, waiting for me to embrace it. Nearly falling asleep in the sessions, I decided to skip the last one and took my bike on another miniature adventure.

Quebec City bike path along the St Lawrence River
Following the St Lawrence River

Leaving the Fairmont Hotel, I biked along the sunny and VERY windy bike path heading west. The path follows la promenade Samuel de Champlain, and is part of the 5,300km Route Verte. The Route Verte is a bike path that covers much of the province of Quebec. This is certainly a trail I would like to tackle in the future! It is well signed, well kept, and beautiful. It is exactly as bike paths should be, and made for a beautiful and easy ride when I needed it most.

Bike path in Quebec City along the St Lawrence river over railroad tracks
The bike path crosses railroad tracks and bridges

At La Promenade Samuel de Champlain, there are more modern art installations and the perfect vantage point from which to view the waterway. The park itself is over 4km long, making it great for even more exploring. I stayed here a while, knowing I would have a strong tailwind on my way back. Spirit lifted and energy restored, I could return to the conference feeling better than ever.

St Lawrence River bike path in Quebec City
As part of the Route Verte, the path was clear and well maintained

Biking proved yet again to be one of the best ways to see a city. Though the old town was hilly, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to bring my bike to Quebec. The bike trails in Quebec City are well maintained and offer excellent views of their waterways. I was so happy to enjoy these trails, and am looking forward to discovering more of the province on two wheels in the future.

Lauren Chu on the St Lawrence River bike path in Quebec City
Enjoying the wind and the sun!

Gear and Food List

Day trips – none required! Though it might be nice to have a fast bike, the trails are relatively flat and could be done on any type of bicycle.

Make it Happen

  1. Understand the routes and pick a time of year you want to go. Spring is the perfect time for activities like this, as you won’t suffocate in the Summer heat.
  2. Choose your route/itinerary. I did but mere slivers of each of these routes. You could easily extend both trips by cycling further in either direction!
  3. Once that is locked in, book your flights and/or transportation to and from Quebec City.
    • Ideally, these bike trails in Quebec City are a part of a longer trip in Quebec or the surrounding areas. It is a great 2-day stop on a long East Coast road trip!
  4. Book accommodation
  5. The fun begins! Plan the rest of your trip, get your gear in order, and figure out whether you’ll rent a bike, bring your own, or buy one outright.
  6. Get outside and do the thing.

If you’re into biking in and around a city but are based in Ontario, biking from Toronto to Niagara is a superb option! For less of a challenge, bike to Elora for some excellent craft beer and views of the gorge.

St Charles Linear Park view of the St Charles River
Along the St Charles Linear Park
Biking in Quebec City

6 Replies to “2 Awesome Bike Trails in Quebec City

  1. Great post… I was there last week and really enjoyed the city. Heading back in September and will definitely consider hiring a bike 😊

    1. Cheers, thanks! I didn’t think of it as a bike city per se, but was thoroughly impressed and surprised.

  2. Awesome, I will definitely consider the bike tour on my next trip to Quebec. I usually spend a lot of time walking around and I’ve been to a couple of the places you mentioned. But renting a bike is a good idea to get around faster and to see more of the beautiful landscapes.

  3. Way to go Lauren! After seeing the weather report before leaving for WITS, I decided to keep my bike at home. I know, I know. I wimped out. If you’re going to WITS in Portland, ME next year, definitely bring your bike. That’s a great town to bike around. My husband and I actually did a century ride there back in the fall of 2015.

    1. Haha oh man, I really should have looked at the weather but since I wasn’t staying at the hotel I left myself with no choice. As per usual, I didn’t regret it! I am actually thinking about making a big bike trip and cycling from Toronto to Maine… I’d love to come back to WITS (this was my first year) and I think it could be a fun way to make a trip out of it. Maine looks AWESOME for biking!!! Thanks for reading along 🙂

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