Quebec’s most breathtaking snowshoeing trails

Do you dream of snow-covered mountain landscapes? Then discover snowshoeing and enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest! Not only is this sport accessible to everybody, it’s an excellent way to get around in the mountains in winter, whether you’re pushing yourself to new limits or going for a family outing. Plus, it’s a great way to discover breathtaking winter landscapes. Set off and explore Quebec’s five most breathtaking trails.

The benefits of snowshoeing

The benefits of snowshoeing for both body and mind are many. You get all the fresh air you can handle, you keep in shape and you give into the zen tranquility of nature - and perhaps even bask in a little sun. Dedicated snowshoers will tell you that it’s like meditation, with the added advantage of vast mountain landscapes that make it easy to find calm and well-being.

Finally, snowshoeing is a physical activity that’s easy on the joints and can be practiced at a mellow pace. Or if your goal is effective fitness, it’s one of the best cardio workouts.

A bit of history

The original Native Americans have long used snowshoes as a way to get around in the snow. The first colonizers in the north eventually learned to do the same, until they too couldn’t do without them in the winter.

By the 19thcentury, snowshoeing was such a widespread activity that enthusiasts even joined snowshoeing clubs. Today, after a period of abandonment, snowshoeing has returned as a popular winter activity for trekking through the snow-covered mountains, forest and country. Once made of traditional materials, snowshoes are now composed of a variety of modern materials, plus they often come equipped with crampons.

The 5 most breathtaking snowshoeing trails

Here are five gorgeous sites to go snowshoeing this winter in Quebec. Enjoy!

  • Mont Orford National Park

Mont-Orford National Parkin the Eastern Townships offers no less than 31 km of snowshoeing trails varying in length from 2.5 to 16 kilometres and in difficulty from beginner to expert. The vistas are spectacular! If you don’t have your snowshoes with you, you can rent them on site.

  • Parc national des Monts-Valin

TheParc national des Monts-Valinwelcomes snowshoeing enthusiasts with a variety of trajectories among its 77 kilometres of marked trails. Covering 154 square kilometres, it’s located in the heart of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. You can stay overnight by winter camping or you can rent a hut.

  • Mont-Tremblant National Park

TheMont-Tremblant National Parkin the Laurentians offers over 115 kilometres of trails divided into two areas. Whether for a hike, an hour-long outing as a family, or the entire day for the more experienced, there is plenty of nature to admire, and equipment can be rented on site.

  • Parc National des Grands Jardins

Located in Charlevoix, 33 km from Baie-Saint-Paul, theParc National des Grands Jardinsis a favourite of snowshoeing enthusiasts. It’s also one of the central areas of the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve. You can explore the immaculate forest and crisscross the tracks of the many mammals who live there. The park offers 64 km of marked trails and shelters where you can take a break, have a bit too eat and recharge.

  • La Mauricie National Park

Explore theLa Mauricie National Parkin winter when it becomes a snowshoer’s dream. It offers eight marked trails way out in the middle of nature (from 3.1 to 17 km) for every level: beginner, intermediate or expert. Snowshoers can enjoy sublime landscapes and incredible views.

If you don’t have the time to get out of the city, there’s great snowshoeing to be had atMount Royal Parkin downtown Montreal. Big enough for hours of exploration, you can get a whole new view on the city from the established trails, or you can explore the quiet trails less taken and feel like you’re out in the country. When you get to the top, finish it off with a hot chocolate at the Mount Royal Chalet.

4 golden rules of snowshoeing preparation

Beginner or expert, before you strap on your snowshoes, check out these guidelines to best enjoy your outing.

  1. Analyze your trajectory: walking time, lay of the land, equipment needed, etc.
  2. Customize your hike: if you’re setting out as a group, with children or with athletes, their interests will be different in each case.
  3. Check the weather forecast: adjust your gear and trajectory accordingly.
  4. Gear up well: make sure you’ll be warm and protected. Ask yourself if your snowshoes are a good fit and broken in and whether you need poles. To find out more, discover our snowshoe buying guide.

If you’re still wondering if snowshoeing is for you, remember it’s a great sport for everybody, whatever their age. Easy to access and suitable for all physical conditions, with a wide variety of trail levels, snowshoeing is quality time with the family or fun and nature with friends. Ready to start walking?