Escape into the wintry countryside! You can enjoy cross-country skiing not far from Québec's cities and often in them. Gatineau (Outaouais) is home to an immense natural paradise, Gatineau Park, which delights skiers with over 200 km (125 mi.) of groomed trails carving through forest and valley. Not far from Trois-Rivières, the Mauricie National Park of Canada promises cross-country enthusiasts hours of fun with more than 80 km (50 mi.) in trails. You can also sleep on site, in cabins accessible only by ski!
The Sépaq's network offers a multitude of trails in exceptional natural settings—Québec's national parks and wildlife reserves. For example, the parc national du Mont-Orford, in the Eastern Townships, has thirteen trails, for both classic cross-country skiing and ski skating. Camp Mercier, in the Réserve faunique des Laurentides (Laurentides wildlife reserve), has some 70 km (43 mi.) of cross-country and ski skating trails, while the réserve faunique de Portneuf, located midway between Québec City and Trois-Rivières, is particularly favored for the beauty of its Laurentian forest and its accommodations in charming cabins.
Cross-country skiing... around the mountains
Most downhill ski centers are also equipped with trails for cross-country skiing. One of the largest is at Mont-Sainte-Anne, near Québec City. This ski centre boasts a 224-km (139-mi.) network of trails, 135 km (84 mi.) of which are for ski skating. In the Laurentides, the Tremblant resort, a popular downhill skiing spot, is renowned for its delightful accommodations, luxury boutiques and numerous restaurants. Cross-country skiers will not be sitting idle, with an impressive 90-km network (56-mi.) of interconnected trails inviting them to admire an incredible array of scenery. Mont Grand-Fonds, in the spectacular Charlevoix region, has 160 km (100 mi.) in trails for cross-country skiing buffs to explore. Also in Charlevoix, the imposing Massif has a Nordic skiing trail at its summit, offering magnificent views of the river.
Are you a thrill-seeker? Try an exhilarating excursion lasting several days. Choose from a number of options, with overnight stays in huts or more luxurious inns. Here are a few!
• The Chic-Chocs mountain range, in the parc national de la Gaspésie, is a favorite destination among serious cross-country skiers, with magnificent visitor facilities and breathtaking panoramas.
• Parc national du Mont-Tremblant (Laurentides) boasts a network of 111 km (69 mi.) of ungroomed trails and four huts.
• Both the Charlevoix region, with its Sentier des Caps and Traversée de Charlevoix trails and the parc national des Grands-Jardins, and the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, with the Saguenay and Monts-Valin national parks, are essential destinations for skiers looking to put their skills to the test deep in the heart of nature.
• You can access superb trails right from the doorsteps of certain hotels and inns. One such trail, the P'tit Train du Nord linear park, is a delightful route extending some 40 km (25 mi.) through the Laurentides region.
For further information and/or reservations, contact:
1 877 Bonjour (1-877-266-5687)