The Québec maritime Blog
Year-round, I’m a big fan of the great outdoors! In the winter, I swap my hiking boots for snowshoes or skis and set off to explore the trails, whether in national parks or elsewhere. Here are a few suggestions of places to visit for your next snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or backcountry skiing trip.
Pohénégamook Santé Plein Air
If you asked me to suggest an all-inclusive package for your vacation this winter, I would not hesitate to recommend Pohénégamook Santé Plein Air. Whether you are travelling with family or friends, this four-season resort offers a multitude of activities and there is something for everyone: skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, skating, wildlife observation, etc. It’s impossible not to enjoy yourself here!
Snowshoeing: 15 km
Cross-country skiing: 45 km
Available lodging facilities: inns, cottages, cabins, country homes, condo hotels
Other activities: Scandinavian baths, dogsledding, ice fishing, etc.
Parc national du Bic
Parc national du Bic is my colleague Yanick’s favourite—it’s HER park! It’s hard not to be charmed by this park’s many capes, bays, coves, islands and mountains. Its small size (only 34 km2 or 13 sq. mi.) makes it familiar and accessible. This park is ideal for an introduction to the outdoors. Families will also be delighted with the winter program, which offers fun activities on many weekends: torchlight excursions with hot chocolate and marshmallows, a crepe supper and maple taffy on the snow!
Snowshoeing: 35 km
Cross-country skiing: 8 km
Backcountry skiing: 20 km
Fatbiking: 13 km
Available lodging facilities: yurts, winter camping sites, Echo cabin, yurt or EXP cabin
Other activities: kicksledding, hiking
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata
Snowshoeing is a very special way to enjoy the peacefulness of Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata. The beautiful forest covering the Notre-Dame Mountains is particularly picturesque under the snow. In the Saint-Juste area, follow the Rivière-des-Mémoires trail along one of the most beautiful rivers of the park, or opt for the Grey Owl hike to admire some unique vistas of the lake. The National Trail, near Squatec, offers another way to explore the park. Neither marked nor packed down, the trails will undoubtedly give you a feeling of tranquility in a majestic scenery.
Snowshoeing: about 15 km, plus the National Trail
Available lodging facilities: huts
Other activities: backcountry skiing, hiking
Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay
The main attraction of Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay is obviously the fjord,. You are sure to be impressed by what has taken nature thousands of years to shape. Several trails meander along this waterway, which allow you to see it from various perspectives. Even if you’ve visited this park in the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to experience its impressive scenery transformed by winter, during a short or long hike!
Snowshoeing: 25+ km
Backcountry skiing: 50 km
Available lodging facilities: cottages, rustic shelters, huts
Ferme 5 Étoiles Holiday Resort
The Ferme 5 Étoiles Holiday Resort offers visitors a unique experience within the same enchanting setting as Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay. Here you can enjoy interacting with the farm’s family members, who will share their infectious love for the region and make a point to welcome you warmly.
In addition, animal lovers will be charmed by the many dogs, wolves, moose, rabbits, etc. that live on the farm: I bet you’ll fall in love with all of them!
Snowshoeing: at the Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay
Cross-country skiing: 7 km
Available lodging facilities: condo units, cottages, motels, B&B, yurts
Other activities: dogsledding, sliding, wildlife observation, ice fishing
Lac-des-Rapides Outdoor Recreation Centre
Winter sports have also a place of honour at Lac-des-Rapides Outdoor Recreation Centre, near Sept-Îles, with an extensive network of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. There are several options to please everyone, from families to serious skiers looking for an intense training, to make the most of this North Shore’s winter wonderland!
Snowshoeing: 12.5 km
Cross-country skiing: 25 km
Parc national de la Gaspésie
Are you up for a challenge? Do you want to climb mountains? Parc national de la Gaspésie allows you to reach new heights! From personal experience, I know there’s nothing like making it to the top of a mountain after much effort and admiring what the landscape has to offer: mountains as far as the eye can see! Whether you are a beginner or experienced climber, you will find trails that suit your abilities in this park. Want to reward your efforts? I recommend a stay at the Gîte du Mont-Albert. This 4-star hotel offers comfortable and cozy rooms in an enchanting mountain setting. Gourmets will also be delighted with the hotel’s excellent cuisine featuring local products.
Snowshoeing: 50+ km
Cross-country skiing: 22 km
Backcountry skiing: 70 km (short hike) 190 km (long hike)
Available lodging facilities: inn, cottages, rustic shelters, huts, winter camping sites
Other activities: hiking, telemark, snow surfing, etc.
Auberge de Montagne des Chic-Chocs
Imagine a huge natural playground of 60 km2 (23 sq. mi.) nestled in the Chic-Chocs Mountains. With its all-inclusive package, the Auberge de Montagne des Chic-Chocs strives to make your stay the most memorable of your life! With only 18 rooms to take care of, the staff has plenty of time to pay attention to every guest. Various activities are available every day, all of them accompanied by friendly interpreter guides. You also don’t have to worry about equipment, as the Lodge provides everything you need. Once outside, the vast expanse of mountains surrounding you will inspire you to challenge yourself!
At the end of a full day, you’ll be happy to relax in the outdoor spa or sauna or sit comfortably by the fireplace. And what better way to end an evening than by sharing your adventures with other guests while feasting on a delicious meal prepared by the chef. The Lodge is renowned for its great food—you will not be disappointed! Once you’ve enjoyed the unique atmosphere of the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs, you may never want to leave again!
Snowshoeing & Hok skiing: 30+ km
Other activities: alpine touring, splitboarding
It’s by making a list like this one that I realize how fortunate I am to have all these possibilities available to me. Are you planning a trip to one of the regions of maritime regions of Québec this winter? Visit our website for more information about all the places mentioned above.