Parc Linéaire de la Rivière Saint-Charles

A wild river run through the city

Urban

Beginner-friendly

Half day

Beginning in Lac-Saint-Charles and ending at the Old Port, Parc Linéaire de la Rivière Saint-Charles follows a scenic river – complete with waterfalls and wildlife – as it courses through the heart of Quebec City. The whole park stretches 32km, and its varying surfaces are a perfect training ground for beginner or avid runners.

Parc Linéaire de la Rivière Saint-Charles

Parc linéaire de la rivière-Saint-Charles, Rue Domagaya, Québec City, QC, Canada

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Planning your run

A sample route toward Kabir Kouba Falls

Start in the city

One of the main perks of Parc Linéaire de la Rivière Saint-Charles is that you can link up with it from pretty much anywhere in town. It’s a 32km long park through Quebec City that starts at the river’s source, Lac Saint-Charles. The Wendake Tourist Office is a good place to begin your route because it’s transit accessible and parking is easy and free. Head down the stairs toward the amphitheatre and keep going, and you’ll hit the trail quickly.

Gone with the wind

When you arrive in the park, you’ll probably wonder whether you should head right or left. Both are beautiful routes to take, so go whichever way looks less-travelled. Or you can keep your run fresh by knowing which way the wind is blowing. A tailwind always seems to make a sluggish day feel more swift.

Kabir Kouba Falls

If you head south from the tourism office, you’ll quickly reach Kabir Kouba Falls – a photogenic gem you might not expect to see so close to the city. The spray of the cascade will cool you right down on a hot summer’s day to keep you energized for the route ahead.

All types of terrain

The path ahead is a mix of terrain. There are bridges and stairs, and the surface changes between crusher dust, clay, asphalt and wooden planks. This is a perfect place to practice stair sprints if you’re looking to build some speedwork into your routine. The trail is marked and maintained very well. So well, in fact, that you might whiz right by small attractions. Keep your eyes open for art sprinkled throughout the park.

A change of pace

While Parc Linéaire de la Rivière Saint-Charles is reserved for pedestrians for most of its 32km expanse, there is an 8km section accessible to cyclists and rollerbladers. If you’d like to trade in your running shoes once in a while for a ride along river, use this small section to bike on your recovery days.

Essential gear

The great thing about running? You don’t need much gear to get out there.

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