Biking is a terrific way to discover the Magdalen Islands since the distances between islands are relatively short and you can easily stop to discover local attractions along the way. One of the most scenic routes is along Route 199 on Grosse-Île Island and Grand Entrée Island. I parked the car at Old-Harry Point where there is access to Grande Échouerie beach and it has a number of services like bathrooms, showers, and picnic area. It’s not free, but the parking was nominal (under 5$). Grand Échouerie beach is another fantastic place to check out. The white sandy beach rivals North Dune Beach, but there are also caves and cliffs to explore when the tide is low. Plus it is a popular spot for those who like kite surfing.
After leaving my car at Old-Harry Point, I made my way down Route 199 all the way to Grand Entrée Island where you can discover a local marina with fishing boats and some restaurants. It was a fairly easy ride out with lots of downhills (so be warned that the way back is a bit tougher!). Along the way there are some awesome look out spots and you can also head off the road by following a trail just off Route 199 near Grand Entrée Island. If you pick up a local map, you should see it clearly indicated. I have a road bike and I did ok on the trail, just be aware it’s shared with 4 wheelers. The whole outing with a lazy lunch and too many photo breaks took about 5 hours, so it’s definitely do-able in one afternoon.
A quick note about road safety: Route 199 for the most part just has a paved shoulder for bikes and in some cases it’s just gravel. Be super cautious when biking because there are some drivers who view the speed limit as a recommendation not a law and there a few good hills in the area…. Overall though, I am not the most experienced biker and felt perfectly safe. Plus, you will likely encounter tons of other bikes, it’s not uncommon! 😉