The new Chambly Corridor starts at Hwy 116, at the border of Longueuil and Saint-Hubert (now fused into one town). A fancy bicycle bridge leads over the rail yards and Hwy 116, from the Longueuil to the Saint-Hubert side. The bike trail then parallels a little-used rail route, running nearly straight-as-an-arrow due south to the town of Chambly, roughly 15km away.
This new route supercedes the route I used take. In 1992 and again in 1999, I rode along Hwy 116 as far as the interchange with Hwy 112. In 1999, headed for Chambly, I took Chemin Chambly as far as its joining with the new Hwy 112, and then the latter on into the town of Chambly itself. Even in 1999, I encountered construction along Hwy 116. Now it is no longer possible to take that route, as Hwy 116 is bicycles-prohibited from its very beginning at the Taschereau Bouleavard interchange. The newer route, which I only pioneered in the Summer of 2004, is much more pleasant.
|Bike Route to Chambly|
The approach from the Longueuil side is along Boulevard Jacques-Cartier. Thence is access to the distinctive bicycle overpass, with is round-and-round approach. The overpass is quite visible from Boulevard Jacques-Cartier.
|Spiral Bicycle Bridge over Route 116||Approaching the Spiral|
The approach from the Saint-Hubert side is more convoluted. From the Taschereau interchange, where Boulevard Saint-Louis meets Rue Saint-Georges, one turns right towards Taschereau and crosses it. The street is now Rue Montcalm and angles past duplexes for one block before crossing the major thoroughfare of Grande-Allée. One can continue along Montcalm for another block, sensing the presence of the Hwy 116 freeway just behind the duplexes. Then a quick zig-zag brings one onto Rue des Émeraudes, as Montcalm end. This latter ends after one block, and one must turn left onto Boulevard Édouard, which is Boulevard Churchill on the Greenfield Park side of Taschereau. This is a major street. After passing a gas station and dépanneur, it opens out onto the green space next to the highway. There is an exit and entrance to the eastbound lanes, and a bridge across to the other side. At this point begins a bicycle trail, which parallels Hwy 116 until it reaches the Saint-Hubert side of the bicycle overpass.
|St. Hubert: Approaching Bike Crossing|
The first part of the bicycle path is through a vast and open and grassy expanse, beneath the trail of overhead high-voltage lines. To the right (west) are the ends of the residential streets of Saint-Hubert. To the left (east) runs the rail line, backed by an industrial park.
|Down the Bridge and Corridor to Chambly||Chambly Trail: Heading out under the Power Lines|
The Trail continues along this grassy corridor, a few hundred feet wide, crossing the first street at Rue Soucy. After the crossing, the corridor is more narrow and the bike trail runs right along the railroad tracks, which remain to the left. On the far side of the tracks has begun Boulevard Kimber.
One comes to a vast open expance where the trail splits. The fork to the right leads off along another grassy corridor towards Brossard. One must follow this branch a short ways before doubling back towards Chambly, for what would be the straight path is given over as a course for mountain bikes./p>
Soon after coming up next to the tracks again, the Trail comes out to a crossing at Montée Saint-Hubert. Here the Trail crosses over to the left-hand side of the tracks and the grassy corridor ceases. The Trail resumes as merely a painted lane along Boulevard Kimber
|Chambly Corridor: Crossing over to left side of tracks||Chambly Corridor: Fenced off section of tracks|
A short ways along, fences sprout on both side of the railroad tracks, destined, I guess, to keep the little kids from the nearby residential neighbourhoods from crossing the tracks. The rail line almost begins to look like a commuter rail, as it might well become some day.
Once past the crossing of Boulevard Gaetan-Boucher, the Trail veers left, following Boulevard Kimber as it leaves the tracks. Between the tracks and the boulevard sprouts a "no man's land' of rough, upturned earth, an area probably ripe for future development. The Trail leaves the side of the road and enters its own right-of-way through a park. Soon, one comes out at the western end of a vast, artificial lake. Not far past the lake is an artificial ski hill, and then the Trail enters a short woodland experience before coming out again into suburbia at the intersection of what was Boulevard Kimber, now Boulevard Julien-Bouthillier and Rue Cornwall/Rue Olivia-Hamel.
|Chambly Trail: The Park in St. Hubert||Chambly Trail: Leaving the Park|
|Chambly Corridor: Lake in City Park|
Anywhere along the few blocks of Boulevard Julien-Hamel, one can cut back over to the tracks to the right. This is pure suburbia! At the tracks, the Trail resumes in a sort of semi-private right-of-way along the newly re-constituted Boulevard Kimber and along the left-hand (eastern) side of the tracks. On the far side of the tracks is Boulevard Maricourt.
|Chambly Trail: Along Boulevard Kimber, South of the Park|
At a certain point, all housing on the far side of the tracks comes to an end. Beyond the newly pierced Boulevard Maricourt is nothing but a vast stand of undisturbed woodland. This is certainly not to last!. Houses on along Boulevard Kimber and the Trail side of the tracks become more scarce. Ahead looms the overpass of the Hwy 30 freeway.
|Chambly Corridor: Into the Country at Last!|
|Chambly Corridor: Looking back towards the 30||Chambly Corridor: Looking forward at 30 Crossing|
Just past the Hwy 30 overpass, suburbia finally gives way to countryside. Across the vast farmers' fields, one can see Mont Saint-Bruno looming to the east. The Trail is now a paved route of its own, running alongside the country road that has become Boulevard Kimber. On the far side of the tracks, Boulevard Maricourt has been reduced to little more than a farm track, which will soon peter out.
There remains one last bout of suburbia, just beyond the open fields, where the ends of a series of long house-filled streets, descending from Hwy 112 (Boulevard Cousineau) meet Boulevard Kimber. There is a rural crossing of the railroad tracks and, on the far side, a bus turn-around and gravel parking lot. Boulevard Maricourt does not come through far enough to meet it.
|Chambly Corridor: The Trail on its own right-of-way||Chambly Trail: Onto its own Right-of-Way|
As the last houses give way, the trail passes over a flood-levée and then onto its own gravel right-of-way, beneath the trees and alongside the tracks, as Boulevard Kimber comes to a difinitive end. At long last, one is out it the solitude of the woods!
This solitude is broken briefly as one passes the end of a long, country street. Then, one comes suddenly upon the town line of Carignan.
|Chambly Corridor: Entering Carignan|
Just past the Carignan line, the Trail encounters the loop marking the end of two long country streets. Then it is back into the woodland, but now with a paved surface. The railroad tracks fade to the right and are no longer visible.
|Chambly Trail: Through the Woods|
The Trail is suddenly broken by the forcing through of a new street. Soon there will be houses along the street, and a stretch of woods will disappear.
|Chambly Corridor: New Street being pushed through Woods|
|Chambly Trail: The new street - take 2|
Not too far past the new street, the Trail comes out of the woods. For a long ways, it passes behind the back yards of country houses dotted along a forgotten street. To the left remain open fields, and the tracks of dirt bikers. Eventually, the Trail meets the end of a tiny. quiet street and dissolves. Now there are houses along both sides. Not too far beyond, one comes out at the main road, where there is a small 'halte' and a wooden footbridge crossing over a tiny river into the backyards of Chambly.
|The Bridge into Chambly|
Threading through the back streets of Chambly, one comes out at the Chambly Basin of the Richelieu River, the Locks of the Chambly Canal (the beginning of the Bike Trail to Saint-Jean), and the park and rapids beside historic Fort Chambly.
|Chambly: View of Lake and Fort|
|Chambly: The Locks and Canal|
|Fort Chambly||Richelieu Rapids at Fort Chambly|