The Chambly Canal Towpath
Linking the towns of Chambly and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the Chambly Canal path is over 20 km long and is used by more than 300 000 cyclists and pedestrians each year. Part of the Trans Canada Trail and Route Verte No. 1 Circuit, the canal’s path once enabled vessels to be towed (or drawn) through the Chambly Canal.
In an era where barges accounted for the majority of commercial shipping on the canal, it was necessary to develop a path to provide for the towing of vessels. On the Chambly Canal, boats were towed by towmen and horses. The towman’s trade consisted of leading horses from one end of the canal to the other, towing barges within the locks. The towing season ran from April to September and lasted 200 to 215 days. During this period, towmen could work as much as 20 hours a day. At the time, American bargemasters regarded the Chambly Canal towpath as the best in North America.
The towpath has been very well preserved. Today, visitors can venture along this very same route to discover the site’s cultural heritage and experience the outdoors.
Distance and Terrain
Whether on foot or on a bicycle, the path represents an accessible route for all. It offers several stops that make it possible for visitors to admire the view and discover plant and wildlife.
Season and Hours Open
The canal’s path is maintained from April 15 to November 15. The park is open year round, from sunrise to sunset until 11 p.m.
Les Amis du canal de Chambly offer an affordable bicycle rental service at two different locations on the canal – at the kiosks located next to Locks No. 1-2-3 in Chambly and next to Lock No. 9 in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
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