My wife and I and our five-year-old daughter are planning a 3 ½ month loop trip starting this May.
Here's our route in a nutshell: From our home in Portland, Maine, across Maine, into New Brunswick, ferry to Digby, through Annapolis Valley, over to Halifax, up far north coast pas Halifax (Route 7), onto CBI heading towards Louisbourg, then North Sydney, then ferry to Port Aux Basques, then up to Gros Morne and Northern Peninsula, ferry to Blanc Sablon, and ferries to Rimouski, then biking into Quebec City, and finally dropping down through Eastern Townships and over the mountains and back to Portland.
Fledgling journal here: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/biketrip2012, with the route shown on the 'Before the Beginning' page.
Here's a bit more about us and our trip: We're planning to take our time, about 25 miles a day, and will be heavy on the sightseeing and getting to know people side of the spectrum, rather than just grinding out miles. We're open to a spirit of adventure, and willing to go out of the way somewhat if there's a particularly scenic or interesting route. We'll be on standard touring bikes (Surly LHT's), with our daughter in a Weehoo (hybrid b/w a trailer and a tag-a-long/trail-a-bike). Dirt roads are not kind to us, although we can handle a mile or two here or there. And we're very slow (and a tad grouchy!) on hills. And we're high on safety - if a road is unsafe, we'll go somewhat far out of the way if there's an alternative.
So here are my questions, if anyone has time to give this some thought:
(1) Route 27 or Route 201 - I'm definitely thinking Route 27 is the way to go. It looks like 201 is the major highway into Quebec, and is much busier than 27. And I like the idea of following the Chain of Ponds and the Arnold Trail. Everyone agree? Or are there dissenters?
(2) Assuming we take Route 27, what is the best way to get from Quebec City (Levis, really) to the Route 27 crossing. Do we follow the Route Verte along the Chaudiere River? If so, where should we drop down to Lac Megantic? Should we go to Saint-Georges and take 204? Or bushwhack from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce or Beauceville? Other ideas?
(3) Once we're in Maine, assuming we're on Route 27, we'll take that to at least Kingfield. Ultimately, to get back to Portland, we'll be trying to avoid the Route 95 corridor/Augusta metro area and the Lewiston/Auburn metro area. That puts us in the Belgrade Lakes area, and then the Wayne/Winthrop/Monmouth/Litchfield area. So... the question then is whether to stay on 27 (or 42/145/4 - is that better?) to Farmington, and then connect with Route 41 on down to Winthrop. Or, in Kingfield, do we cut across on 16 to Anson and Norridgewock, and then drop down on 8 to Belgrade, and then to 135 to Litchfield. Or do you have an even better suggestion for us?
Thanks so much for any advice you might have!
Rob, Sarah, and Cedar