Quebec Trans-Canada Highway Route between Quebec City-Levis and Riviere du Loup

Levis Quebec beach, with view to Quebec City

Why Travel between Quebec City-Levis and Riviere du Loup?

This part of the Trans-Canada takes you through early seigniorial St Lawrence communities. You drive near or even alongside the ever-widening St Lawrence as you go eastward. Ferries can take you to or from the north shore at various points. A side trip on Route 132, which meanders along the south shore through small towns and past 400 year old stone farmhouses is highly recommended.

Here is the itinerary for the 201 km along Highway #20 between Quebec City-Levis and Riviere du Loup:

Quebec City-Chateaur Frontenac View Just east of Levis is a series of overhead hydro lines connecting Northern Quebec power dams with Quebec City, Montreal and the US, with a span of 1.5 km over the river. From Quebec City eastwards, the St Lawrence River widens significantly. The river here is a tidal estuary, where freshwater mixes with Atlantic tidal saltwater. This is a major stopping-off point on the East Coast migratory route for birds. Montmagny is renowned for its snow geese which visit in October on their way south from Baffin Island.

The North Shore is characterized by forest and rugged mountains overlooking the river, the South Shore is characterized by gentle farmland plains. The St Lawrence Lowlands provide diverse range of hardwood trees including maple and birch, mixed in with white spruce, balsam fir in higher areas and black spruce and eastern white cedar in wetter areas. This attracts many species of song birds, and the area is rich in hawks (who feed on small rodents). Along the highway you may notice some orchards.

The next crossing of the river is by ferry connecting Riviere du Loup on the South Shore with St Simeon on the North Shore. The ferry takes 1:15. During the winter, the Trans-Canada is subject to Nor'Easter wind conditions, and there are gates to block this stretch of the highway at Levis and Riviere du Loup.

At La Pocatiere (Exit 439) you can get off the highway and observe the opposite shore, now 20 km away. You can observe two valleys with a hill in the middle, which marks the 40 km wide Charlevoix Crater caused by the impact of a 2 km meteor over 350 million years ago. The southern half of the crater, was eroded away by the creation of the St Lawrence River valley.

To discover the river by car, take one of the panoramic Route 132 that winds along the South Shore, and discover stunning scenery and a host of charming ancestral villages (many dating back to the 1600s and 1680s) await you! These villages were laid out on the French seigneural system, under the Anciens Regime (ie before the British) and have long narrow plots rising up from the river, used to provided transportation and the water supply. Roads connected farms to the seigneur's flour mill and the church. We have information on a number of the villages along this route:

Quebec City-Chateaur Frontenac View The Trans-Canada Highway was built away from the St Lawrence to keep these historical villages in their pristine state. There is an industry association for these villages, Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec, though the good parts of their website are French-only.

Riviere du Loup is a seaside town of 15,000, roughly the opposite bank from where the massive Saguenay pours its nutrients into the St Lawrence. There are several variations on why the town was named, though the French word for seals, "Loup," seems the most plausible. There are some parks along the shoreline where you can observe the birds and sea mammals along the river. If you head about 10-15 km east of Riviere du Loup, to where the Saguenay River mouth is opposite, you can observe lots of whales, especially beluga whales. They prefer this area as a rich feeding ground, fed by two rivers.

Trans-Canada Highway History

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

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Next West: Montreal to Quebec City Next East: Riviere du Loup, Quebec to Grand Falls, NB

Quebec Government road condition reports for this segment.

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Travel Direction:
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Detailed Itinerary


Highway Point & Features


Exit #96 Rue Fraserville NE to community of Riviere-du-loup (Riviere-du-Loup)  121 
Exit #499 Highway #20 junction with Highway #185 (Trans Canada Highway) East to community of Riviere-du-Loup, all services. South east to Quebec / New Brunswick, border. South east city of Edmundston… (Riviere-du-Loup)  91.1 
EB Rest area on south side of highway, picnic tables, toilets, telephone 93.9 
Exit #496 North to Notre-Dame-du-Portage (1 km). Accommodation & services. S to access the Riviere-du-Loup airport (2 km) 103.3 
18  Exit #488 junction with route #289 South to community of Saint-Alexandre-de-Kamouraska (3 km) 87.2 
22  Exit #480 Route de la Station, N to community of Saint-Andre (3 km). South to community of Saint-Joseph-de-Kamouraska (8 km) 121 
29  overpass: Route de St-Germain 90.5 
29  Exit #474 Route Mississipp N to community of Saint-Andre. Rue de l'Eglise S to community of Sainte-Helene (1 km) (Sainte-Helene)  107.9 
31.5  overpass: 2E Range / Route de St-Germain 76.2 
34.5  Climbing escarpment 68 
35  Exit #465 Route de Kamouoraska (N) to Kamouraska (5 km) and Route Rochette (S) to community of Saint-Pascal (1 km), services (Saint-Pascal )  29.6 
36.2  crossing small river with extensive waterfalls accessible from Saint Pascal (Saint-Pascal )  29 
38  Overpass Route du Pain de Sucre (no access) 29.9 
44  Roadside Highway Turnout Rest Area Both sides of highway, picnic tables, toilets, telephone. 47.5 
47  Exit #456, route #287 S to Saint-Phillippe-de-Mer, N to Saint-Denis (5 km) 36.9 
50  Wetlands and peat bogs to NE of highway 26.5 
54  Exit #450 Chemin du Haute-SR-la Riviere, NW to Riviere Quelle airport, services, SE to community of Saint-Pacome 22.6 
55  Crossing Riviere Quelle 18.3 
62  Overpass: Toute Verbois (no access) 5.8 
64  Exit #439 SE to community of La Pointiere. Information Centre, North side of highway. 3.4 
68  Exit 436, 2E Rue Guimond, connecting to route #132, #230 SE to community of La Pocatiere (1 km) services (La Pocatiere)  3.4 
73  Exit #430, junction with route #132 Scenic route along south shore of St Lawrence. W to Village des Aulnaies (1km), Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies (4 km) (La Pocatiere)  17.4 
87  Route De L'elglise (no access), Ste Louise 1 km N of hwy 32.9 
93  underpass Route Elgin (no access) campground 3km N 53.9 
100  Exit #414, route # 204 S to community of Saint-Aubert, Saint-Damase-de-L'islet, La-Dene-Lieve campground . N to community of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, all services & accommodation, camping 52.4 
102  Crossing the River Port-Joli 20.4 
106  overpass Chemin du Moulin (no access) 29.3 
111.3  overpass Chemin Morin (no access) east to L'Iletville 28.3 
113  Exit #400 route #285 / Route De L'eglise, S to community of Saint-Eugene (2 km). North to community of L'Islet (1 km),services, and L'Islet sur Mer (3 km), services & accommodation (L'Islet)  39.3 
114.4  EB Rest Area South side of highway, Information, picnic tables, toilets, telephone. 55.5 
114.5  WB Rest Area, North side of highway, Information, picnic tables, toilets telephone. 56.4 
116  Overpass Route Cendree-Lafeuille (no access) 47.9 
117  Crossing Riviere de Perdrix ("Partridge" River) 43.3 
118  Overpass Route Des Quatre-Chemins ("Four Ways") 41.5 
120  Exit #388 Route Petit-Cap to Route 132, N to community of Cap-Saint-Ignace, all services & accommodation 41.1 
123  Overpass, Route Ballavance (no access) 23.2 
139  Exit #378, route #283 S to Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire. NW to community of Montmagny, all services, Point-Aux Campground (4 km) (Montmagny)  15.5 
139.4  bridge over Riviere du Sud (Montmagny)  14.9 
141  Exit #376, route 228 Chemin du Coteau N to Montmagny, all services & accommodation (Montmagny)  29.9 
144  Exit #369, Route de St-Pierre N to route 132, Rue Principale S to Saint-Pierre Montagny (4 km) 29.9 
149  Exit #364 Route de St-Francois N to Route 132 and town of Berthier-sur-Mer 32 
149.6  Emergency U-turn 33.2 
157  Exit #356 Montee de la Station, N to Route 132 and town of Saint-Vallier 42.4 
161.5  Underpass 3E Range (no access) and Emergency U-turn 29.9 
165  Exit #348 to Route 281 N to St-Michel de Bellechasse (1 km) (St-Michel de Bellechasse )  61.6 
166.9  WB Rest area with restaurant with bathrooms 82 
166.9  Emergency U-turn 81.1 
167  EB Rest areas with bathrooms 87.8 
172  Exit #341 Route de Beaumont, S to town of Saint-Charles 97 km), N to Route 132, town of Beaumont (2 km), services and Camping Carol campground (2 km) 78.9 
175  Emergency cross-over lanes in median 88.7 
176  Exit #337 Rue de l'Anse S (N) and #279 S to town of St Charles (10 km)to accomodation, services and camping along #132 along St Lawrence River 71.6 
177.3  Emergency U-turn 74.1 
181.4  Emergency cross-over lanes in median 76.5 
183  Exit #330 Chemin St Roch (S) access to Camping Transit (4 km), and Route Lallemand (N) access to services, accommodation, camping 86.9 
185  Emergency cross-over lanes in median 80.2 
186  Exit #327 half cloverleaf interchange, Route MRG-Bourget (Levis)  82.9 
187  WB Exit #325 Boulevard Alphonse-Desjardins, N to Levis, all services & accommodation, golfing, and passenger ferry to Quebec City (5 km) (Levis)  67.4 
187.4  Emergency cross-over lanes in median 64.3 
188  Exit #325, 3/4 cloverleaf interchange, Route President Kennedy #173, N to Levis, all services & accomodation, golfing, and passenger ferry to Quebec City (5 km), south to community of Pintendre (3 km) (Levis)  61.6 
192  Emergency cross-over lanes in median (Levis)  54.9 
193.3  Chemin Des Iles, with St-Romuald refinery, Golf De L'Auberivière to north, water purification plant to south (Levis)  53.6 
194.3  crossing Riviere Etchernin, small rapids may be visible to south (Levis)  27.7 
195  Exit #318 half-cloverleaf interchange, services both sides, 4E Avenue (N) to community of Saint-Romuald (2 km), and Rue Commerciale (S) to Saint-Hen Chrysostome (3 km) (Levis)  46.6 
196.7  Emergency cross-over lanes in median (Levis)  47.2 
198  passing through forested park both sides (webcam 14) 44.5 
199.3  Exit #314 Truck weight station, WB exit for Chemin De Sault & Highway 73 (thru traffic stay in left lanes) 48.5 
200  Emergency U-turn (Charney (Levis))  47.5 
200.6  Railway overpass (Charney (Levis))  46 
201  Exit #312, major interchange with Autoroute #73 (webcam 8) North to Ste Foy and Quebec City Airport, south to town of Charny, east to Levis (Charney (Levis))  44.5 


Highway Point & Features


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