Nothing beats exploring the urban jungle of Montreal by bicycle. With bike paths all around the city, cycling in Montreal has never been easier. And if you know where to go, you’ll find that Montreal boasts some pretty magical bike paths – so magical in fact, they may give you a whole new perspective on your favourite city. So hop on your bike, borrow one from a friend, or take advantage of the city’s Bixi bikes and get pedalling!
Here are the most beautiful bike paths in Montreal.
This official cycling path takes you through Lachine, Verdun, and LaSalle and offers beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence River. Starting in the Western part of Lachine, the entire route is 20 kilometres and ends at Atwater Market (the perfect place to do some weekend shopping). Far less industrial than the cycle paths on the Eastern side of Lachine, the Berges Ouest Cycle Path takes you through several parks and allows you to take in the white water rafters and kayakers on the Canal. Riding alongside the Lachine Rapids is an experience not to be missed.
Probably the best urban cycle path in Montreal, the de Maisonneuve Boulevard Bike Path weaves you through the core of downtown Montreal. Starting at Berri UQAM, you’ll continue on de Maisonneuve along its incredible bike path for as long as you wish. Taking in the latest art installation at Place des Arts, doing some boutique shopping, and just chilling at Westmount Park are all in store on the de Maisonneuve Boulevard.
The Lachine Canal Bike Path has been a favourite amongst Montreal cyclists for a while. Spanning nearly 15 km, the path will take you from the Old Port all the way to the Atwater Market. Expect to see beautiful architecture in Old Montreal, 19th century industrial factories along the river, and green grass and fragrant flowers at Parc Rene Levesque. All of these features ensure that you’ll be treated to a little piece of Montreal’s history.
Cycle from the top to the bottom of Montreal on the North-South Bike Path. Starting at Berri and de la Commune right on the Saint Lawrence River, this path will take you up through Montreal’s hippest neighbourhoods. Passing through Parc la Fontaine and a myriad of smaller, but equally lovely Montreal parks, the North-South Bike Path ends at Riviere des Prairies. Thus, you’ll get to explore the up and coming neighbourhoods of Villeray and Ahuntsic-Cartierville. Fair warning: it’s going to be difficult to resist stopping for something to eat. The Plateau and Mile End are known for their amazing cuisine, and further north you’ll be gliding right through Little Italy and the Jean-Talon Market.
No summer is complete without a trip to Parc Jean-Drapeau. Take in the rugged nature of the park and be privy to the best views of downtown Montreal on your tour through the island. You can start your ride from the Old Port and cross de la Concorde bridge or or you bring your bike with you on the metro and get off at Station Jean-Drapeau. Added bonus: Parc Jean-Drapeau offers several ways to cool down after a long and sweaty bike ride, so be sure to check out Jean-Dore Beach, Aquazilla, or the Aquatic Complex.
Westmount to Outremont Bike Path
This path will highlight two of Montreal’s wealthiest neighbourhoods: Westmount for Anglophones and Outremont for Francophones. Starting at Decarie and Sherbrooke, head east to Westmount, exploring the hills as you go. Make your way up Mont Royal and check out Beaver Lake and the south-facing lookout point. Once you’re ready to continue, ride to the northeastern part of the mountain and descend into Outremont. This ride is beautiful, but also hilly. If you’re looking for a more leisurely bike ride, this may not be the path for you. There isn’t an official map for this one, so just consult Pedal Montreal to choose your preferred route.
Take a leisurely cycle through a few of Montreal’s most quaint (and hipster) neighbourhoods. Starting at Jean-Talon Market, grab some fresh veggies or just enjoy the free samples before heading south. Continue cycling through adorable Little Italy and then continue down through the Mile End. Spot hipsters in their natural habitat and be sure to stop at two of Montreal’s most famous bagel joints: Fairmount or St-Viateur.
After a quick bagel stop, continue down Rue Saint Urbain, turn left, and enjoy the beautiful tree-lined atmosphere of Avenue Laurier. From there, make your way to Parc la Fontaine via Rue Saint-Hubert and Rue Rachel Est. Once you arrive at Park la Fontaine (known as Montreal’s very own “Central Park”,) enjoy a pre-packed picnic in the park, or better yet, pick up some poutine from La Banquise.
Mix things up a bit and take a ride on Montreal’s South Shore Bike Path. Starting in Old Port, cross de la Concorde bridge making your way onto Ile Notre Dame. Explore the island’s pavilions from Expo ‘67 before continuing onto the South Shore and riding along the Saint Lawrence River passing through Saint Lambert and Brossard. The bike path is flat and suitable for cyclists of all levels.