Route verte – Bicycling Quebec


Route verte (“Green Route”) is a bicycle route system that covers the province of  Quebec, Canada with 3300 miles of bikeways, and growing.  Vélo Québec, a bicycle club, developed the idea in 1992.  In 1995, the government of Quebec decided to work with the club and invested $88.5 million (Canadian) over ten years to make the system a reality.


“You can cycle the Route verte all at once, section by section or by following your own itinerary. Some people regularly use the sections close to their homes, while others make a special trip a few times a year. The Route verte can be a personal challenge or a relaxing place to spend your leisure time. You can enjoy it alone, as a family or with friends. Every year, numerous groups organize special outings along portions of the bikeway. When it comes to leisure, tourism, health and the environment, the Route verte is an invaluable asset.”

                                 – Vélo Québec

Route Verde System

Route 2 at Verte Ville-Marie

Start of Route verte 2 at Ville-Marie, Québec, Canada.

The system includes dedicated bike paths as well as paved roadway shoulders and some roads without shoulders.  Eight major routes connect 320 communities across the province.  In Late 2014 the province decided to cut the maintenance budget for Route verte by 50% leaving local communities and volunteers to keep the paths clean and repaired.

In a petition signed by more that 34,000 people asking the province to fully fund the maintenance, supporters pointed out the following:

  • The Route verte stands as a unique achievement in North America, with 5,300 kilometres of connected bikeways;
  • Petit train du nord

    Parc Linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord a 124 mile Rail to Trail Project
    Photo by Jean-Pierre Lavoie [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    5 million people ride on the Route verte every year, and 6 million people live in a community within a 1-kilometre radius;
  • The Route verte is a model for many other initiatives of this kind elsewhere in Canada and in the U.S.;
  • The Route verte is the number-one draw used by tour operators to attract out-of-province visitors;
  • The Route verte crosses nearly 400 municipalities, representing three-quarters of the Quebec population;
  • The Route verte has a positive impact on public health, the environment, active transportation and Quebec’s overall image;
  • The Route verte is a social and economic driver in the communities it runs through. Bicycle tourists spend more money, travel more frequently and stay for longer periods of time than the average recreational traveller. Over and above the tax revenues collected by the Quebec government on cycling-related activities, a significant number of businesses benefit directly from the corresponding tourism spending, including 500 members of the Bienvenue cyclistes! network, restaurants, tourist attraction operators, makers

Number One Bike Route

National Geographic named the route the number one bike trail in the world in 2008.


“The newly completed Route Verte (Green Route) crosses the province of Quebec from east to west, running for more than 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers) along carefully selected rights-of-way and rural roads. Well signed, it’s easy to follow and includes directions to interesting sites. The terrain and vistas vary immensely, from calm stretches along the St. Lawrence River to mountain views in the Laurentides.”

–  National Geographic – Journeys of a Lifetime

When You Go

Planning a trip starts with the Route Verde website where you can find maps, accommodations and a lot of other information. The website also offers Cycling in Quebec : Official Guide / 8th edition that includes all the details for a perfect adventure.

 Route Verte System Map

Please Share

#bicycling #quebec #routeverte

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

Pin It on Pinterest