The Soulanges Canal Bike Path offers a route along the water from Pointe-des-Cascades to Les Coteaux, a perfect way to explore the waterway that links Lake St. Louis and Lake St Francois. Though this stretch of water is often referred to as the “le fleuve” (as in the St. Lawrence River), before Hydro-Quebec rearranged the waterways in the area, the local indigenous population called the river the “Cataracoul” for its strong rapids.
Stops along the way include the charming villages of Les Cèdres and Coteau-du-Lac, which offer plenty of places to rest and grab a bite. From Les Coteaux, take the Soulanges Trail, which runs along the canal for nearly 22 kilometres. The canal was built between 1892 and 1899 but abandoned in 1959 when the Beauharnois Canal took over transportation duties in the area. Since then, there have been attempts to reopen the canal to pleasure boating, but for now it remains a window on times past.
For cyclists who need to push their limits, the Soulanges Canal Bike path extends all the way to Rivière-Beaudette, where it joins up with the Waterfront Trail in Ontario.
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