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Published on Sept 20, 2022
When the time comes to discover new corners of the Eastern Townships, we’re always eager to go! And since the Granby region is still relatively unknown to us, we were very happy to explore the Estriade cycling network.
By Jessica Belisle and Ian Roberge
It was a somewhat cloudy autumn day when we rode out for a light workout on the Artria cultural loop, a 56 km long section on the Estriade network, where we discovered dozens of outdoor sculptures to admire. Forming a loop between Granby and Waterloo, this route also takes us through the Parc National de la Yamaska.
Having arrived in Granby early in the afternoon (after we had climbed Mount Orford to enjoy the vibrant autumn colours), we put on our cycling clothes and helmets and headed out for a leisurely ride. Indeed, apart from a few sections of the Parc national de la Yamaska, the route is mainly flat. Therefore, it’s easily accessible for every level of cyclists.
We started the loop clockwise, then quickly took a short side route for our first stop at the observation tower on the shores of Lake Boivin. This time of year, the magnificent point of view we find here allows us to admire many migratory birds.
For those looking for a short outing, you can continue on the Granbyenne bike path along Lake Boivin and return to the starting point for a total loop of 7 km.
As for us, we returned to the main trail towards our second stop: The Centre d’interprétation de la nature du lac Boivin. Here, visitors can learn more about wetlands conservation and even head out for a walk on the different paths here.
We then made our way to the Parc national de la Yamaska. The bike path passes through a lush forest where we were delighted by the autumn colours. In the summer, when the weather is warm, visitors can stop for a swim at the beach of the Choinière Reservoir.
Good to know: if you’re just riding through the park on the bicycle path and don’t wish to stop, you won’t need to pay the usual park entrance fee.
The rest of the route is covered in stone dust and leads all the way to the town of Waterloo following a gentle upward slope. When we visited, we had to take a detour due to some construction work being carried out, but we were able to pause in the downtown area and enjoy the landscape on the shores of Lake Waterloo. If you have a little time, it’s well worth stopping a moment for a cup of coffee or a quick lunch before starting the second part of the route.
It took us a while to do the first section, but the next part was quite fast. Once you leave Waterloo, it’s all paved and downhill; What a treat!
Did we mention the route’s giant sculptures? You really mustn’t miss these! You’ll find several on this segment of the trail, and it’s well worth a stop to view some of them up close. Most were created during symposiums that were held between 1998 and 2005. They’re spread across the landscape along the path and immerse you in the universe of the artists who produced them.
Back at the starting point, near the tourist information centre in Granby, we stopped to admire Lake Boivin’s large fountain. Then, after changing our clothes, we headed for the Kapzak bistro where Jason Kacprzak’s Polish-Québec-inspired cuisine awaited.
The ambiance was warm and welcoming, and the service was very courteous. Since we were quite famished after our very active day, we opted to share a platter offering different cuts of meat. The presentation was as superb as the dish was delicious. We also suggest you try the pierogi appetizers and the fried pickles as a little extra!
Once again, we had a magnificent day in the Eastern Townships, exploring nature and the region’s tourist attractions. In fact, every time we visit here, we’re totally delighted, which is why we keep coming back!
2 metres, 20 seconds, a face covering... You know the drill. This summer, we all need to do our part to make this vacation season both enjoyable and responsible.
(In fact, I can even stand apart.)
(Anyways in #touristmode, I'm in no hurry!)
(Ring ahead to avoid the crowd... it’s that simple!)
(I promise... this is no time to joke around.)
Together - For a safe vacation - Let’s be responsible.