Do you dream of cycling around the Gaspé Peninsula? Here is some information that will help you plan this epic cycling tour!
Cycling route, distances and elevation changes
Route 132 circles the Gaspé Peninsula for 885 km, from Sainte-Flavie back to Sainte-Flavie.
In Gaspésie, the Route Verte, which is the longest bicycle route in North America, follows Route 132 almost in its entirety, mostly along the highway’s shoulder. Only about 83 km of Route 132 is not recommended for cycling, including between Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine and Rivière-au-Renard. This segment of the highway has few shoulders, steep grades (up to 13%) and meanders between cliffs and the sea, making it unsafe and not recommended.
In addition, Vélo Québec has identified nearly 40 hills with a grade of over 6% in Gaspésie, mainly between Tourelle and Marsoui, Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine and Rivière-au-Renard and in the Forillon National Park and Gaspé area, but also as you approach Percé, in the vicinity of Port-Daniel, between Nouvelle and Escuminac (up to 10%) as well as between Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc and Saint-Octave-de-Métis.
For more information, visit routeverte.com and our biking webpage, which includes a table of distances between municipalities in the region as well as rest areas and elevation profiles. Whether you explore the region northward (clockwise) or southward (counterclockwise), you will have to contend with the hilliness of Gaspésie. The wind and weather can also make a difference! Keep reading for more details.
Orléans Express (1-888-999-3977) is the bus company operating in Gaspésie; their buses will enable you to get to the region as well as travel within it. When travelling with your bike, additional bike fees apply, including a box charge. (Your bike will need to be disassembled to fit into a box.) You can also ship a bike using their Expedibus courier services.
In addition, the RÉGÎM public transit network (1-877-521-0841) offers shuttle services between several municipalities along Route 132. There is no additional cost for the transportation of bicycles.
These two options will allow you to cycle around the Gaspé Peninsula while avoiding the segment between Sainte-Madeleine-de-la-Rivière-Madeleine and Rivière-au-Renard, which is not approved by the Route Verte.
Accommodations and services
All cyclist-friendly (“Bienvenue cyclistes”) accommodations certified by Vélo Québec offer a bike pump and tools for minor repairs, as well as a closed and locked location to store your bicycle overnight. Certified campgrounds provide a sheltered location where you can eat during bad weather and a guaranteed camping space, even without a reservation, if you are travelling exclusively by bicycle.
Gaspésie offers 30 certified cyclist-friendly establishments. Consult the complete list on the Route Verte website and find even more accommodations on our website, along with a list of bike repair shops and big-box stores selling bikes in the region’s main towns and cities.
Weather and wind
Since Gaspésie is a maritime region, temperatures can change rapidly from the coast to inland. You may also be surprised by fog, mist or wind in our region. Make sure you travel with the appropriate clothing.
For weather forecasts for your destination or statistics for the last few years, visit weather.gc.ca and theweathernetwork.com.
The winds in Gaspésie mostly come from the south and/or west (38%). For this reason, many people prefer to travel around the peninsula in a clockwise direction. On the other hand, winds from the northeast, although less frequent, blow onshore from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and are tougher to negotiate.
How to get here
By train: Travel with VIA Rail to Mont-Joli, Amqui, Causapscal or Matapédia. Additional bike fees apply.
By plane: You can fly with several companies to the airports of Mont-Joli or Gaspé. Additional bike fees apply. Bikes are accepted on a space-available basis only and subject to certain conditions. Please inquire about the terms of transportation before your departure.
By boat: Take the Matane–Baie-Comeau–Godbout ferry. As a cyclist travelling without a car, you will only have to pay a passenger fare, with no extra charge for your bicycle.
Are you ready to take on the challenge of cycling around the Gaspé Peninsula?