Gravel Bike Routes to Try in the Townships

Updated on Mar 12, 2024

With almost no car traffic, landscapes as diversified as they are magnificent, the freedom of riding as you wish … here are four itineraries essentially on gravel roads perfect for your cycling outings. Gravel bike lovers hurry! Come discover them!

©Ian Roberge

From Dock to Dock

Here, be prepared for several steep elevation changes! From the Georgeville federal wharf, take a moment to admire the view of Lake Memphremagog and stock up on some protein at the Magasin Général before heading up Magoon Point Road. You’ll then make your way back down to Fitch Bay, where you can stop at the Narrows Covered Bridge, named for the narrowness of the waterway it spans. Take a break here before you tackle a climb that will eventually take you to Harvey Bay with its old boathouses and Ogden where there’s yet another federal wharf and a beautiful beach. On the way back, you’ll have a brief break along the Tomifobia nature trail for a few kilometres and then more climbs to challenge your calves and your cardio before reaching your destination. You can also divide this 8 km circuit into two smaller loops of 16 km and 35 km.

Suggestions for your après-biking: McGowan Inn, in Georgeville or the microbrewery La Memphré in Magog.

©Gaelle Leroyer

Chamelon Mystic

The Coaticook Valley is the ideal region for a gravel bike outing. You’ll find a profusion of country roads here with endless amounts of bucolic landscapes! When you take this 52 km route, you’ll ride freely far from any stressful car traffic and paved roadways. Here also, you’ll discover plenty of farms and agricultural fields. On Holmes Rd., you’ll in fact be able to observe the very impressive Stanley-Holmes round barn, built in 1907. Would you like to learn a little bit about the local history? Watch for the sculptures you’ll discover throughout the Pioneer Trail; You’ll discover three historical personalities on this itinerary.

Suggestions for an après-biking in Coaticook: The Coaticook microbrewery, the Hop Station microbrewery, Coffret de l’Imagination

The Cleveland Loop

Perfect for cyclists who wish to initiate themselves to gravel biking, this 43.5 km loop proposes some great places you’ll enjoy discovering; Notably the hamlet of Denison Mills with its small lake and its Anglican church, as well as a section on Grandmont road that will lead you across a maple bush. You’ll truly feel as if you had gotten lost in the woods! The circuit’s elevation gain isn’t too high, so you can pedal it without too much effort ... a portion of the route even follows the Richmond-Danville bike path. You can choose to start this loop in either Danville or Richmond.

Suggestions for your après-biking: in Richmond, the Café du Couvent, or the Coopérative brassicole l’Ardoise. In Danville, discover La Mante du Carré.

©Simon Diotte

The Traverse des Townships

From Sutton, where this circuit starts out, your legs won’t get a break as you ride through the first few kilometres: it’s truly an uphill challenge! Luckily, the beauty of the landscapes will compensate somewhat for your efforts, especially when you reach Stagecoach Road, where several open fields offer grandiose panoramas overlooking the Sutton massif. After a good descent towards the shores of Lake Brome, you can stop for a bite to eat in the Cœur villageois of Brome Lake (Knowlton) before you head out again to complete this 47 km loop. The last five kilometres, on a paved road, will be quite pleasant since you’ll once again enjoy an amazing view of the Sutton mountains before heading down to the village itself.

Suggestions for an après-biking in Sutton: Auberge Sutton Brouërie, À l’Abordage microbrewery, Mollies, Pleasant Hôtel & Café

©Jessie Jolin

La Grande Boucle de la Vallée

Here a circuit for hard-core cyclists … or perhaps those who own an electric bike! On this 115 km loop, cumulating elevation gains of 1,415 m, you’ll sometimes be pedalling inside a farm valley and other times right in the heart of a forest. You’ll ride through several municipalities such as Coaticook, Dixville, Saint-Herménégilde, East Hereford, Sainte-Edwidge, Martinville and Compton. Everywhere you’ll be surrounded by the aromas of nature—field flowers, balsam firs, just cut trees. When you take this route, you’ll find yourself in some very isolated dirt roads at times. So much so that if you study the route on Google Map, you discover that some roads are identified as being dead ends, when it truth, they can be taken quite easily on a gravel bike!

Suggestions for an après-biking in Coaticook: Bar Ailleurs, the Coaticook Microbrewery, the Hop Station microbrewery, Coffret de l’Imagination

Mont-Ham Loop

This 53 km circuit begins in the town of St. Camille in the Des Sources region, where the landscape varies from forest to farmland. During your outing, you’ll find yourself in constant contact with nature on these quiet country roads. Expect some good climbs along the way as well as views of Mount Ham. If you want to push yourself even more, you can include a side trip to the village of Saint-Adrien, known for its creative effervescence!

Suggestions for your après-biking: In Saint-Camille, the Café du Flâneur inside Le P’tit Bonheur building.

The Marécage Loop

Are you looking for absolute tranquility? You’ll find it here, for sure! About fifty kilometres on gravel roads in a territory covered with forest lands and maple groves, with some sections being quite rugged. Here, cellular signal is scarce, so you’ll have to be autonomous in case of a mechanical problem. On the way, the villages of Val-Racine, Milan and Scotstown offer you the opportunity to take a break. You might also consider the Donald Morisson Interpretation Centre, an unexpected pit stop with small ancestral houses and picnic tables. This route is designed for experienced cyclists. Good to know: electric bikes can be rented in Scotstown.

Suggestions for your après-biking: A picnic at Walter McKenzie Park with products from the Scotstown Deli.

Circuit 100 à B7

Our Canadian champion cyclist Lyne Bessette is at the base of this dirt road circuit, she designed as her personal training route. Might as well tell you right away, you’ll be making quite a few efforts on this 64 km loop which starts out in Bromont. In the second half of the circuit, expect a couple of steep uphill climbs, notably near the Domaine naturel du lac Gale with a portion of the route offering a 14% slope. But before attacking this section, you might want to pause at one of Brome Lake (Knowlton) gourmet stops, or yet again, relax a bit at Douglass beach to regain your strength.

Suggestions for an après-biking in Bromont: Pittstop Vélo-Café, the microbrewery Le Brouemont, Edgar Hyperlodge, BALNEA Spa, Gaïa resto vegan

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Taste the Townships
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