Pedaling and Pampering in the Heart of Quebec



By: MICHELE PETERSON  
Published: August 29th 2010
in News » Local

Cycling through Quebec
Pic: Javier Sanchez
Converted rail station
Pic: Javier Sanchez

Spandex shorts, fiberglass bike helmets and a willingness to bunk down in a school gymnasium are typical requirements for long-distance bicycling trips. Pampering spa treatments have generally not been part of the package. Until now.

 

A new spa facility in Sainte-Adèle means that cyclists headed for Quebec’s Linear Park Trail can now experience spa treatments at strategic stops along its 200 kilometre route. The availability of a handy luggage transfer service makes it even easier. Open 24 hours and seven days a week, Transport du Parc Lineaire offers transportation, bike rental, emergency service and baggage handling that delivers your suitcase to your hotel each day before you arrive.

 

Beginning in Mont-Laurier in the north and ending in Saint-Jérôme, 20 minutes outside of Montreal, the Linear Park Trail passes through a scenic landscape of pine forests, rushing rivers and picturesque villages. Most cyclists complete the route in three days.

 

Despite my inexperience, I figured regular spa stops would overcome any discomfort. All I needed to do was pedal, and my suitcase with the comforts of home and plenty of pampering would be waiting. I wasn’t disappointed. 

 

Relaxation came easy at my first spa stop, Le Pimbina Spa and Massage, located in Mont-Tremblant. Although the cycling trail, affectionately known as the Le P’tit Train du Nord (after the snow train that used to carry Montrealers to the winter ski slopes) had been built on a  former railway bed and was relatively flat, the addition of a headwind and some unexpected hills left me hobbling by day’s end. Fortunately, a candlelit massage room – a favourite retreat for skiers and snowboarders during the winter season – awaited. I opted for a one-hour aromatic Swedish massage that focused on “handle bar” shoulders, sore leg muscles and over-worked hip joints.

 

Later, I unwound further in the outdoor hot tub before retiring to my room.  

 

The next morning, the trail was a slideshow of peaceful lakes, public beaches, dramatic river canyons and restored railway stations converted into cafes and cyclist-friendly rest stops. A favourite stop was Auberge de la Gare, a country inn, offering  Belgian beer on its outdoor patio overlooking the bike path.  

 

By late afternoon, I arrived at Manoir Sous les Arbes in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. Situated on six hectares of peaceful country meadows, this graceful French manor home was the first spa facility in the Laurentians and remains a landmark among those seeking tranquility and wellness. Owner Jeannine Landry’s facility boasts 16 treatment rooms and an extensive spa menu featuring temptations such as therapeutic leg wraps and pedicures. 

 

From there, it was a short hop to Hôtel Le Chantecler, a lakeside resort that is popular among Jewish travellers for its kosher meals (for large groups) and wide range of recreation activities. The diverse spa menu includes four types of massages and special treatments such as seaweed and mud body wraps. 

 

As I wound up my cycle and spa holiday in Sainte-Adele, my muscles felt so freshly toned, I was almost ready to invest in a pair of spandex cycling shorts.  

 

 

 

Linear Park Cycling Trail: (www.laurentides.com)

 

Pimbina Spa and Massage: (www.pimbina.com)

 

Manoir Sous les Arbes: (www.manoirsouslesarbres.qc.ca/)

 

Hôtel Le Chantecler: 1 888 916-1616 (http://lechantecler.com)

 

Auberge de la Gare: http://www.aubergedelagare.com/

 

Luggage Transfer: www.transportduparclineaire.com

 

Quebec Tourism: www.bonjourquebec.com



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