Day 3: Labelle to St Jerome (116km)

The lake was impossible to resist. I got up at 6:00 to be in the lake by 6:15 for a 45 minute swim with the sun rising over the hill top. The water was pretty fresh so I was shivering at breakfast, but a great way to start the day. Our AirBnB host provided a nice breakfast and even gave us a quick lift down to LaBelle from the cottage so we could avoid the loose gravel roads.

At this point, the Petit Train switches from pavement to stone dust, but still a high quality biking highway. Absolutely no complaints. The route to Tremblant is very pretty where we encountered another stretch of paved trail going through Tremblant, St Jovite and along Lake Mercier. It was a saturday morning on a beautiful weekend so the trail was very busy with runners, tourers, and tri dudes in full aero. It was actually nice to get through this traffic filled section and back on quieter stone dust trails. After St Jovite, there is a very lovely winding but very gradual climb over around 15km to 430m. The top of the climb is around St-Faustin-Lac-Carré where there is a water stop as well. After that there is a long relatively flat section to St-Agathe-des-Monts which follows along a major highway so not my favourite stretch.

We got off the path at St-Agathe-des-Monts to head downtown and had a mediocre lunch and very good soft serve ice cream. The trail starts to head downhill at this point towards Val-David and there is a bit more local traffic. After Val-David the real fun starts as you can motor on a beautiful and winding descent. There is a bit of pedestrian traffic here for people walking to very nice beaches along the trail. There are plenty of available stops at this point as you near the Montreal suburbs. The trail also often runs along the Riviere du Nord which is incredibly beautiful and idyllic.

Around the 20km remaining mark, we arrived at the St. Jerome suburbs and local bike traffic picks up. We arrived at the start of the Petit Train around 3:00 in the heart of St Jerome and celebrates with nachos and mojitos at the Vielle Station de Gare. We had a bit of time to kill before heading to the AirBnB so did a grocery run for dinner and the next morning. The AirBnB was a cute place in the St Jerome suburbs, but we were plenty tired enough to happily stay in for food and movies.