When you set out
To help you plan, you can download a free map from the official website. But it’s not a tough route to follow – the bike path is more or less a straight line, hugging the waterway through some Montreal parks and neighbourhoods. Just start pedalling south; you can’t really make a wrong turn.
Grab and go
If you want to pick something up for a picnic lunch, we recommend the Atwater Market for the local vendors and old-fashioned, bazaar-like atmosphere. It’s just over 4km south from your starting point. Grab a banana to stash in your backpack or bike jersey for later, and if you need to fuel up before you keep going, the floating Canal Lounge is a new addition in the area for an evening bike ride (it’s open from 5–11pm).
Need a break?
If you want to stop and catch your breath, there are plenty of parks along the way. René Lévesque, another 10km south of the market, is home to a remarkable sculpture garden, while the Des Rapides is a calm spot to find nature in the city, and is a biodiverse sanctuary for migratory birds.
The bike path is completely flat with a crushed-rock surface, which makes for easy cycling. From end to end, the trip takes about an hour, but you could take longer if you’re riding at a leisurely pace, especially if you stop to enjoy the local snacks, art and scenery. Pack some picnic supplies in your pannier for a break before you turn around and head back.
There when you need them
All year long, the Lachine Canal bike paths are open to public from dawn until 11:00pm. They’re best to ride in summer and fall (since the city only maintains them between April and November). If you want to get a bit deeper in Montreal’s history, you can stop at any of the five working locks to learn more about their role in the city’s industrial history.