My second Wikiveler article will be about the magnificent Richelieu Valley beginning at the Champlain Lake near the U.S. Border to the Sorel-Tracy region where the Richelieu River slowly ended up in the St.Lawrence River. When you take a quick look on a geographic map, you can see that the Richelieu Valley is well situated not too far from Montreal in the region called Mont?r?gie.
- From Blackpool U.S. Border (U.S. Freeway 87), you will ride on the Freeway 15 (Canada) not for too long. You will take the Provincial Road 202 East. After arriving to Lacolle, you will take the Provincial Road 223 up North. You will see the Richelieu River on the passenger's side.
- From Philipsburg U.S. Border (U.S. Freeway 89), you will follow the Provincial Road 133 until you will arrive to Saint-Pierre-de-V?rone (Pike River). You will take the Provincial Road 202 West. You will travel thru Venise-en-Qu?bec and Noyan. You will cross the Richelieu River at Noyan to Lacolle and you will have to turn on the Provincial Road 223 up North.
A beautiful journey
The Richelieu Valley is a very important historical region of Quebec. Samuel de Champlain had discovered that region and the source, a big beautiful lake, had been named after him (Champlain Lake). A few battles took places and fortifications were raised from the 18th Century until the 19th Century. You will be able to see two different fortifications:
- Lieu historique national du Fort Lennox (built by the English Government). In Saint-Paul de l'?le-aux-Noix, near Lacolle.
- Lieu historique national du Fort Chambly. In Chambly, a few miles after Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
You will be able to find more details about those places on the Government of Canada's Website: www.pc.gc.ca. On the Provincial Road 223, you will cross Saint-Paul de l'?le-aux-Noix, Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu and you will arrive at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the biggest town on the Richelieu River. A lot of different accommodations: restaurants, cinema, shopping centers and places to stay for the night. Suggestions:
- Hotel Gouverneur Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. www.gouverneur.com / 1-888-910-1111
- Auberge Harris / Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. www.aubergeharris.com / 1-800-668-3821
The day after
The next morning, after a copious breakfast, you will follow the Richelieu River from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Chambly where you will be able to visit the "Lieu historique national du Fort Chambly". If you want to take your time by eating in a beautiful place, both along the Richelieu River, I can suggest two different places:
- Restaurant Chez Marius. 1737 Bourgogne Avenue, Chambly. 1-450-658-6092.
- Fourquet Fourchette. 1887 Bourgogne Avenue, Chambly. 1-450-447-6370 / www.fourquet-fourchette.com.
In the afternoon, longing the water, east side of the Richelieu River (you will cross the Richelieu River at Chambly and take the Provincial road 133 up North), you will be able to see beautiful little mountains: Saint-Bruno, Saint-Hilaire and Rougemont. Beautiful little towns: Richelieu, Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu (a beautiful church), Otterburn Park and Mont-Saint-Hilaire. In Mont-Saint-Hilaire-Otterburn Park, there are a few orchards were you will be able to find apple products and a beautiful place where to taste chocolate products:
- Vergers Petit et fils (orchard). www.auxvergerspetit.com / 1020, Chemin de la Montagne Rd, Mont-Saint-Hilaire / 1-450-467-9926.
- La Cabosse d'Or (chocolate). www.lacabossedor.com / 973, Chemin Ozias-Leduc rd, Otterburn Park / 1-450-464-6937. Note: to find Chemin Ozias-Leduc rd from Provincial road 133, you will have to take the street named "Mont?e des Trente". The "Chemin de la Montagne" will cross Chemin Ozias-Leduc (Mont-Saint-Hilaire). A lot of restaurants, a few shopping centers and little places are quite interesting to visit in Mont-Saint-Hilaire and Beloeil (across the Richelieu River). There is a beautiful English Manor in Mont-Saint-Hilaire where you can share a wonderful meal surrounded by history and a magnificent view, and you will be able to stay for the night.
- Manoir Rouville-Campbell. www.manoirrouvillecampbell.com / 125, Chemin des Patriotes Sud / 1-450-446-6060.
If you choose to continue the trip along the river, you will have to make a choice between both sides of the river. Beautiful scenes are offered to you, but you will be able to take a ferryboat a few times between Mont-Saint-Hilaire and Saint-Ours-sur-Richelieu. Each side, there are a few places to stay or to have a meal:
- Auberge Handfield. www.aubergehandfield.com / 555 Rue Richelieu, Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu / 1-450-584-2226. This regional institution is also the owner of a sugar shack.
During the 19th Century (1837-1839), Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu's region had been the battlefields of the French Canadian Patriotic war against the English Government, because French Canadian didn't want to disappear as a Nation. The French speaking group had a well known leader named Louis-Joseph Papineau. A lot of people followed him and they won the Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu's battle but they lost the war in Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, bothe in 1837. If you would like to taste the spirit of the French Canadian culture, I suggest two places:
During "Maple syrup time" (March-April):
- Cabane ? sucre Paul Blanchard. 751, Rang des Trente Est, Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu / 1-450-584-2682.
- Restaurant "La T?te ? Papineau". www.lateteapapineau.com / 466, Chemin des Patriotes, Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu / 1-450-584-3786.
After a light breakfast, why not understand more about the Patriotic War that took place in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu by visiting an historical place: ??? Maison Nationale des Patriotes. www.mndp.qc.ca / 610, Chemin des Patriotes, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu / 1-450-787-3623. A few miles from Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu, you will see a little island, another historical place: ??? Lieu historique du Canal-de-Saint-Ours. www.pc.gc.ca There is a special thing about this place because you will be able to see how fishes can travel across waterfalls because of human help. No more details here, you will have to see by yourself.
End of the Trip along the Richelieu River
When you will arrive at Sorel-Tracy, you will find another big city with shopping centers, cinema, restaurants, hotels and motels, and a theatre near the water in Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel. Three suggestions:
- Chez Isabelle (bakery). 241, Boulevard Fiset Blvd / 1-450-743-4442.
- Laiterie Chalifoux (cheese and dairy products). www.laiteriechalifoux.com / 493, Boulevard Fiset Blvd, Sorel-Tracy / 1-450-743-1381.
- Th??tre du Chenal-du-Moine. 1645 Chemin du Chenal-du-Moine, Sainte-Anne-de-Sorel / www.tcm.qc.ca / 1-877-224-3625.
This is the end of a beautiful trip along one of the most beautiful region of Quebec, Canada, the Richelieu Valley. I am hoping that I convinced you to take time to visit the French Canadians and their history.
R?al Houde, GFA www.realhoude.com Tuesday, September 24th 2013.