Loop du Parc (161km)
Updated: Jul 5
Route Author: Rodd Heino
Location: Gatineau Park, Quebec
Distance: 161.1km (100.1 miles)
Suggested Tire Width: 35mm or wider
Amenities: The village of Chelsea, approximately 20km into the loop has a depanneaur, pizzeria and pub. The town of Wakefield approximately 20km further north has a Tim Hortons, a general store and several pubs. The hamlet of Eardley, approximately 50km from the end of the loop, has a restaurant and depanneur. Finally, the town of Aylmer near the end of the loop has all the amenities a riders could want.
Estimated gravel time: 55%
Parking: Bate Island, Ottawa.
This century ride starts from Ottawa and includes a complete circuit of Gatineau Park.
Starting from the parking lot on Bates Island in the Ottawa River, riders cross the Champlain Bridge to Quebec, then proceed counter-clockwise on a series of multi-use pathways, before heading north through Gatineau Park via the Gatineau Parkway.
The route ultimately exits the park via Chemin de la Mine, eventually arriving in the quaint village of Chelsea. Leaving Chelsea and heading north, the loop turns left onto Route 105 (while busy, includes a wide paved shoulder), then turns right onto Chemin de la Riviere, the route's first significant stretch of gravel, following this road all the way to the town of Wakefield.
North of Wakefield, the route then proceeds on a mix of pavement and gravel for approximately 25km, before reaching Route 366 (riders ought to exercise caution as traffic can travel quickly here and there is no paved shoulder). Turing right, riders stay on Route 366 for less than 10km to the hamlet of Lac-des-Loups. Here, the route leaves the 366, following Chemin Lionel-Beausoleil along the northern border of the park, eventually transitioning to gravel via Chemin du Lac-des-Loups and Chemin Gold Mine Nord.
The loop then continues along the south-western border of the park, via a series of gravel roads, including the aptly names Chemin Stone, before eventually heading south to the hamlet of Eardley. From here, the route briefly follows the Route Verte on a series of paved roads, before crossing Route 148 to Chemin de la Montagne.
Following this section of pavement for a few kilometers, the loop returns to gravel and heads south via various side roads, crossing Route 148 again, and briefly following a section of doubletrack to Chemin Queen's Park. Riders follow this road all the way to the town of Aylmer. Here, riders take the multi-use pathway along the Ottawa River all the way back to the Champlain Bridge, and the starting point on Bates Island.
Photos Credit: Rodd Heino