Cycling Adventure on the P’tit Train du Nord

July 5, 2024 Adventure

Recently, Dharma and I embarked on a four-day cycling adventure along the P’tit Train du Nord, a picturesque rail trail that winds through the heart of Quebec’s Laurentian region. This 200-kilometer (124-mile) trail, once a railway, has been transformed into a cyclist’s paradise, offering breathtaking scenery, charming villages, and unique accommodations. Over the course of four days, we experienced the best that this trail has to offer, from tranquil forest paths to vibrant town centers. Here’s an account of our journey, including tips and highlights for anyone considering this memorable ride.

Map of the P'tit Train du Nord.
Elevation overview of the P'tit Train du Nord.

Day One: Mont-Laurier to Nominingue (Approx. 37 Miles)

We began our journey by riding the Autobus Le Petit Train du Nord from the southern terminus in Saint-Jérôme to the northern terminus in Mont-Laurier. This convenient transportation allowed us to fully enjoy the journey by simplifying our travel logistics.

Our first day on the P’tit Train du Nord began in Mont-Laurier, a quaint town that set the tone for the adventure ahead. The day’s ride to Nominingue was a pleasant and relaxing experience, covering approximately 37 miles of scenic trails. The route offered a blend of gentle terrain and picturesque landscapes, making for a perfect start.

Upon arriving in Nominingue, we stayed at Les Toits du Monde in their Le Chalet Enchanté treehouse. This unique accommodation was truly a highlight, providing a magical experience in the midst of nature. The other dwellings at Les Toits du Monde looked equally inviting, each offering a different whimsical charm. After settling in, we enjoyed the serene surroundings and reflected on the day’s ride.

P'tit Train du Nord trail marker in a small town, with a pathway extending into the distance flanked by trees and a wooden fence.
KM 200 marker on the P'tit Train du Nord trail, with a path stretching into the forested distance, flanked by greenery and a building to the side.
Dharma riding on the P'tit Train du Nord trail, surrounded by lush green trees and foliage on a sunny day.
Close-up of a smiling Devon wearing glasses and a blue cap, riding on a tree-lined path.
Dharma standing next to a bike on the P'tit Train du Nord trail, with a pathway extending straight ahead surrounded by forest and wetlands.
Scenic view of a calm, reflective water body surrounded by dense forest and greenery under a cloudy sky.
Picnic area with a wooden shelter and benches along the P'tit Train du Nord trail, surrounded by trees and greenery.
Dharma smiling standing next to a bike under a wooden shelter along the P'tit Train du Nord trail.
Devon encountering a large fallen tree blocking the P'tit Train du Nord trail in a forested area.
Dharma riding on a freshly paved section of the P'tit Train du Nord trail, surrounded by dense trees and greenery on a sunny day.
Treehouse accommodation at Les Toits du Monde, with Dharma standing on the balcony and a wooden bridge leading to the entrance, surrounded by dense forest.
Wooden treehouse at Les Toits du Monde, elevated on stilts with a balcony and surrounded by lush green trees.
Ground view of the treehouse at Les Toits du Monde, showing the wooden structure elevated on stilts with a staircase leading up, surrounded by forest.

Day Two: Nominingue to Mont-Tremblant (Approx. 34 Miles)

Day two took us from Nominingue to Mont-Tremblant, a 34-mile stretch filled with diverse sights and activities. We stayed at the Hotel Mont-Tremblant, conveniently located in the village. This area is bustling with things to see and do, making it a vibrant stop on the journey.

For breakfast, we highly recommend Ocafé, which is located in the bike shop adjacent to the hotel. The coffee and pastries there were a perfect start to the day. After biking about six miles, we passed through the actual downtown of Mont-Tremblant. Here, we discovered 83 Nord, a fantastic grocery store with great coffee and other provisions.

One thing to note for fellow travelers is the detour to the treetop walk near Mont-Blanc. Unfortunately, I didn’t make this detour, but it’s something I wish I had done. It’s an opportunity to add a unique experience to your trip.

Forest view through a grove of birch trees with various green foliage in the background.
Paved trail surrounded by tall evergreen trees and lush greenery under a cloudy sky.
Paved trail flanked by a dense row of pine trees on one side and mixed greenery on the other, with a cyclist in the distance.
Unpaved trail cutting through a dense forest with tall trees on either side, forming a green canopy overhead.

Day Three: Mont-Tremblant to Sainte-Adèle (Approx. 38 Miles)

The third day’s journey took us from Mont-Tremblant to Sainte-Adèle, covering approximately 38 miles. We stayed at Auberge et Spa Nordique Beaux Rêves, which was a perfect retreat after a few days of cycling. The saunas and pools at the spa were incredibly rejuvenating, offering a much-needed respite for tired muscles. If you’re looking to pamper yourself, this is the place to do it.

Loaded bicycle leaning against a wooden structure at a rest area along the P'tit Train du Nord trail, with trees and a picnic table in the background.
Dharma riding on a paved section of the P'tit Train du Nord trail, with dense greenery on one side and open fields on the other.
Rushing river with whitewater rapids surrounded by lush green trees and rocks, with a forested hillside in the background.

Day Four: Sainte-Adèle to Saint-Jérôme (Approx. 18.5 Miles)

The final leg of the journey was from Sainte-Adèle to Saint-Jérôme, a shorter ride of approximately 18.5 miles. The route was a nice, gentle conclusion to the trip, allowing for a relaxed pace and ample time to enjoy the scenery.

If you need a place to stay in Saint-Jérôme, either before starting your ride or upon your return, I recommend the Comfort Inn. It offers a comfortable and convenient option for resting up before heading home or embarking on further adventures.

Dharma riding towards a graffiti-covered tunnel along the P'tit Train du Nord trail, with greenery on both sides.
Dharma sitting on rocks next to a rushing river with whitewater rapids, surrounded by lush forest.
Dharma and Devon posing for a selfie in front of the entrance arch to Parc Linéaire Le P'tit Train du Nord, with outdoor seating and trees in the background.

Cycling the P’tit Train du Nord was an unforgettable adventure, filled with beautiful landscapes, charming accommodations, and plenty of opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a unique way to experience the region, this trail offers something for everyone. Each day brought new sights and experiences, making every mile of the journey worthwhile. If you’re considering a cycling trip, the P’tit Train du Nord should definitely be on your list.