The highway drive from Montréal to Québec City typically takes a little less than 3 hours. However, after learning about a cluster of picturesque small towns in a region known as the Eastern Townships, we allocated an entire day to explore several interesting small towns during our drive to Québec City.
Due to our limited time, we followed parts of Townships Trail, Wine Route and Summit Drive recommended by the Eastern Townships’ tourism site. The Eastern Townships, known as Les Cantons-de-l’Est in French, originated in 1796 when the British granted land to Loyalists fleeing the United States during and after the Revolutionary War in the 18th century. It reminded us of the quaint and charming towns in Vermont and New Hampshire when we explored New England 10 years ago. We covered several small towns: Bromont, Dunham, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Magog, North Hatley and Compton. At one point of time, we were literally half an hour drive away from the US border.
From the Eastern Townships, we continued our scenic drive on Chemin du Roy to Québec City. Chemin du Roy, the King’s Road, is a historic route that connects the province’s two biggest cities in New France: Montréal and Québec City. The road dates back to 1737 and it is one of the oldest highways in North America. We drove past Trois-Rivières, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Deschambault and Grondines before arriving in Québec City.
The road trip took us 12 hours. By the time we got done with our dinner and walked back to our accommodation, it was 11 PM. It was a tiring day, but we got to get out from the vehicle several times to explore the beautiful small towns by foot.