Our winter destinations close to urban centres
This winter, we invite you to get out and play outside! Quebec is full of exceptional territories for winter sports or for simply having fun in the snow. Even if you live in a city, there’s no excuse for missing out since many of our destinations are located near urban centres. Are you ready? It’s time to put on your toques!
Close to Montreal
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
A few kilometres from Montreal, Île Sainte-Marguerite of Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville offers beautiful snowy landscapes for skiers, snowshoers and fatbikers alike. The mostly flat surface of the trails makes them accessible to the whole family. In order to make your outings with your kids even easier, the Grande-Rivière, Petite-Rivière, and Île Sainte-Marguerite snowshoe trails are accessible by sledge. During your excursion, you may have the good fortune to meet up with a white-tailed deer, the park's uncontested winter star.
Parc national d’Oka
A mere stone's throw from Montreal, Parc national d’Oka combines historical and natural heritage, and it’s a place where you can do all sorts of activities too. To admire the territory, you’ll want to set out along any one of three lakeside snow-hiking trails offering a magnificent view of icy landscapes. If you're looking for an activity to test your mettle, the park offers a snowshoeing hike on Colline du Calvaire, a circuit in rugged territory for experienced snowshoers. Also, fatbike lovers will enjoy our many trails. Special family activities are offered during winter weekends. The park also offers a ski school for youngsters lasting seven to eight weeks. On the agenda: cross-country skiing techniques, games, and training scenarios to make learning to cross-country ski easier and more fun. This is a great activity to add to your winter schedule!
Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno
A few kilometres from Montreal, Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno is a must for cross-country skiing, with its 35 km of mechanically-maintained trails. On Saturdays and Sundays, come and warm up at Le Vieux Moulin tea room with a good cup of tea or coffee. Nothing better than a hot drink after having played outside all day! For the whole family, there's several activities (cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fatbiking). There’s also a sliding slope near the memorial, a few minutes’ walk from the Discovery and Visitors Centre. In addition, access to youngsters 17 and under is free in a family context.
Close to Quebec City
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
A mere 30 minutes from Quebec City, you can go winter hiking or snowshoeing in the forest, regardless of your proficiency level in Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier. If you’re feeling really daring, Chemin de la Vallée trail along Rivière Jacques-Cartier will offer you impressive views of the mountains during your snowshoes or fatbike run. During this hike, you’ll discover the beauties of the valley during winter. In addition, the park is inaugurating a brand new snowshoe trail this winter: L'Escarpment. This nearly 9 km trail (round trip) gives access to a different point of view over the valley, and is located between the intermediate and difficult levels.
To delight the little ones, you can also do some snow tubing before returning home. If the weather conditions are good enough, you can also enjoy our 500-metre ice pathway in forest where skaters can admire the river and the beautiful valley landscapes.
If you want to sleep on the spot, the park offers, in addition to EXP. cabins, yurts and more traditional cabins, five Écho cabins located in Le Raquetteur sector (km 5). You’ll have front row seats from which to set off and conquer the most beautiful snowshoe trails in this truly exceptional territory.
Located about half an hour from Quebec City, Duchesnay is the perfect place for winter activities of all kinds. For sports enthusiasts, it offers a good many kilometres of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails for all levels. And those who aren’t afraid of challenges can even learn how to Hok ski!
After a day of thrills and chills, spills for some, and fits of laughter too, the bistro of the Auberge Duchesnay awaits you with a well-deserved meal. Take the time to enjoy a great spread concocted by our chef while reminiscing about the highlights of your day.
Aquarium du Québec
At the heart of Quebec City, Aquarium du Québec and its 10,000 marine specimens await your visit! Rest assured, the animals don’t suffer from the cold during the chilly season! On the contrary, they love to perform, even during winter. With the whole family, you’ll want to take this huge outdoor and indoor playground by storm! And if you're looking to be dazzled even more, why not take part in Festilumières, the perfect family outing? This stroll along an outdoor and illuminated circuit is offered on a variable schedule during winter.
Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
Located only 15 minutes from Old Quebec City, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is one of the most spectacular sites in the province. During winter, the waterfall is simply fabulous! Following the trail along the cliff, you'll reach the suspension bridge where you'll feel the waterfall roaring under your feet. You can also observe it from the suspension bridge and the cable car which will be open from February 8, 2020, In very cold weather, the fine splashes projected by the waterfall eventually freeze and form the famous Sugarloaf, an impressive ice cone, at the foot of the falls. To return, just retrace your steps until you hit the Manoir because the panoramic staircase is not accessible during winter.
Camp Mercier – Réserve faunique des Laurentides
This is truly paradise for skiers and hikers alike! Camp Mercier, nestled in an almost unaltered natural setting of Réserve faunique des Laurentides, easily lives up to its reputation as the quintessential snowy winter destination. Located less than an hour from Quebec City, it offers classic and skate cross-country skiers, as well as snowshoers, a wide variety of trails, an exceptionally long season, spectacular scenery, and unparalleled views. With such a reputation, it's hard to resist the call of this snowy paradise!