Petit Train du Nord, pedal, paddle and poutine.
It was a four day cycling adventure along the Petit Train du Nord. We drove to St Jerome on Friday evening. We took a short detour to Masson Angers to get some poutine at the corner of George and 148. The fries were very good; thick and crispy…there was choice of three gravies, white, brown and red. We had white gravy (chicken gravy) was tasty without the huge saltiness. Burgers are small but homemade. The next morning we took the bus from St. Jerome to Riviere Rouge. That was where we started our biking.
Our first day was very short on the bike about 21 km to Labelle where we stayed at the Gare in Labelle right beside the bike path. The restaurant there was very good. The poutine consisted of fries done in duck fat and the gravy was a pan sauce made with sherry. My son had the duck confit poutine…very good…good value. Note, if you are ordering the mayo…the garlic one is the best and one is good enough for 2 sides( there’s an extra charge for the mayo).
Since it was such a short day, we decided to rent canoes and do some paddling on the Riviere rouge. So when the proprieter of Gare in Labelle made us reservations…we did not realize it was a down stream paddle for 12 km. The last departure of 2:30 now made sense. A 3 hour paddle where they pick you up and bus you back to the starting point.
The water level on the river was really low and so we were constantly searching for deep water…there were many sandbars along the river. At times we had to get out and push the canoe to a deeper spot. It was beautiful going down the river looking at the many luxurious cottages (mansions) dotted along the shore. At that time of year, this river was the ultimate lazy river. We encountered many home made party platforms made from pool inflatables where one inflatable would be filled with ice and beverages…unfortunate for us we were paddling against the wind but we made it to the pick up point just in time for the 5:30 pickup…the guys picking us up were impressed as they thought it would take us 4 hours.
We got coupons for 2 for 1 drinks at the restaurant where we rented the canoes…it had a very nice deck on the top of the hill overlooking the river and falls. The restaurant had local beer so we sat the on the couches watching the river with our beer.
We decided not to have dinner there as we all wanted to go back to the Gare to cleanup after our long day in the sun. By the time we walked back, the skies opened up and we decided to have dinner at the Gare. Dinner was very nice and we were able to have dinner underneath the overhang and not get wet. The fish was well cooked and tasty as was the pizza. Dessert was a maple bacon creme brulee. Yummy!!
The next morning, we had breakfast there too …yes all three meals. The homemade bread was excellent…I highly recommend the maple walnut bread. It may be too sweet for some but the flavours were just bold enough to be able to enjoy with just butter. My son had to have the breakfast poutine…how could he resist amazing fries for 3 straight meals.