Quebec Trans-Canada Highway Route from Riviere du Loup, Quebec and Grand Falls, New Brunswick
Here is the itinerary for Highway #185 (Quebec) and #2 (NB) from Riviere du Loup, Quebec and Grand Falls, New Brunswick:
Route 128 follows and early portage route through the Appalachians. This route was used by First Nations, and later fur traders and settlers, to connect the Saint John River valley with the St Lawrence. This area was also important to defence of the colonies, providing a land route between the fortresses at Halifax with and Quebec City. After the War of 1812, a number of smaller forts were built to protect this route, including Fort Ingall on Lake Temiscouata, but were abandoned after the Ashburton Treaty resolved the US-Canada border in 1842.
The area was once heavily forested, but were cleared for farmland, the timeber industry or lost to forest fires and disease (spruce budworm). Most of today's forests are second-growth in various stages of re-growth. Hardwoods include aspen, yellow birch and maple, and softwoods include balsam fit, red pine, white pine and white spruce.
Where the land is poorly drained, highly acidic peat bogs accumulated, and are currently being harvested. The harvesting process is to dig a drainage ditch, let the peat air-dry for a few days, and then suck it up with giant vacuums. If you travel here in May/June, travelers will see pink blooms on the peat bogs from bog rhodendons.
The Quebec New Brunswick border is marked by the Edmunston Airport. While most of the runway is in Quebec, the airport buildings are in New Brunswick. From here east, the highway exit numbers mark the number of kilometres from this point.
At Edmunston, the Saint John River from the west is joined by the Madawaska River from the north. From Edmunston south to Grand Falls, the river marks the Canada-US international boundary. Grand Fall is best known (no surprise) for its waterfall. At Aroostook, the Aroostook River joins the Saint John. In the early 1800s, farmers in the off-season would head upriver and lumberjack in the virgin forests. This caused the bloodless 1839 Aroostook War (also called the Port and Beans War), where both Maine and Britain claimed the forests of the Aroostook. The border dispute was resoled in 1842 by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty which set the US-Canada border at its current position.
In November 2009, it was announced that Highway #185 will be widened to 4 lanes to connect with the already "twinned" Highway 2 in New Brunswick. It will then re re-designated as Autoroute 85, as a continuation the short stretch extending south of Riviere Du Loup (which opened in 2005).
Trans-Canada Highway History
Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map
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|Next West: Quebec City to Riviere du Loup||Next East: Grand Falls to Fredericton|
Quebec Government road condition reports for this segment.