Where to start
To access the route, you can either hop on the metro and head to Henri-Bourassa station, hop off and keep heading north, or cycle all the way through the middle of the city along Christophe-Colomb Avenue. It all depends on how much time you want to spend on your bike. If you land in the river, you’ve gone too far.
Since the route runs almost completely along the water, it can get pretty windy at times so have a wind breaker handy, along with your other favourite ride gear.
Point your compass
From the access points listed above, you have the option to head east or west along the path – both of which will eventually take you to each respective tip of the island. If you head west, you’ll tour through a lot of nature parks and outdoor leisure areas. If you head east, stop by the Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park.
Since the entire route is 50km long, it’s not a bad idea to split the trip into two days. This will leave you lots of time for pit stops and shaded snack breaks along the way.
Indulge a little
Île-de-la-Visitation is not only home to nice trails, but it’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat or cool down with an ice cream stop. Bistro des moulins is located within the ruins of an old mill with a view of a waterfall. If you’re just looking for something sweet to finish off your picnic, stop by Crème & Délices.
When rivers meet
Once you hit Parc du Bout-de-l’île you’ve reached the very eastern tip of the island. From this vantage point you can see the intersection of both canals (the Prairies River and the St. Lawrence) and it’s also home to some pretty whimsical sculptures. This is the perfect place to finish your trip before you hop back on the metro or bike home.
To the west
While you may not associate Montreal with birding and wildlife viewing, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that along Boulevard Gouin. When you’re riding to the western tip of the trail, make sure you leave some time to chill in Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse along the marshy bits of the river. It’s a great spot to look for turtles, beavers and lots of different birds.