With its wooded forests as far as the eye can see, its frozen lakes surrounded by wooden chalets, its Jack London style landscapes, its " dernier trappeur " ambiance and the extent of its marked trails covered with ever fresh snow, the Belle Province is an ideal destination to discover dog sledding, ice carving and ice fishing. And at the beginning of February, the Québec Winter Carnival, the largest winter carnival in the world, is an unmissable event for discovering Nordic cultures. So get your reservations now!

Québec, the land of snowmobiles

Quebec is one of the most popular destinations for snowmobiling. Nearly 33 000 kilomètres of trails have been laid out in the Belle Province, with precise signage and different types of circuits. Among the most popular regions, the Laurentians and Lanaudière are among the most popular. With 2 300 kilomètres, Lanaudière, located only an hour and a half from Montreal, is appreciated for the diversity of its terrain (forests, frozen lakes, crossing villages...). Saint-Donat, an old forest village on the edge of Mont-Tremblant National Park and the neighbouring Laurentian region, is the ideal starting point for snowmobiling adventures in the Lanaudière region. For the more sporty, it is possible to make real multi-day snowmobile raids, wrapped in a wetsuit " grand froid " capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, a full face helmet " full face " screwed on the head and a hood slipped under the helmet to protect the face from the cold tingling.

In the kingdom of snow sports

Quebec is an adventure terrain and a natural paradise for snowmobile and sled dog enthusiasts. These are the two most popular sliding sports. The vastness of the territory, the beauty of the landscape and the extent of groomed trails make it possible to enjoy these two most popular winter activities. Less well known than the Laurentians, Lanaudière offers a charming natural setting for budding mushers (carriage drivers) or snowmobilers in search of adrenaline. The frozen lakes, immense white expanses bordered by forests, form an ideal sliding terrain for speeding on snowmobiles or sled dogs. Towed by a caterpillar track, the snowmobile can rocket across the smooth surface of the frozen lake, easily reaching 120 km/h ! The white scenery is racing by as the handlebars begin to shake

The best way to stay on course is to tighten your wrists and give the handlebars a strong push to steer this infernal machine. Three lakes deserve a détour : Lac d'Archambault, in Saint-Donat ; Lac Taureau, near Saint-Zénon, and finally, Lac Blanc, near Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, on the border of the Mauricie region. These three lakes form breathtaking natural scenery. They are easily accessible by snowmobile on groomed trails or by sled dogs. A huge water reservoir covering an area of95 km2 with more than 500 kilomètres of shoreline, Lac Taureau is the most impressive. In winter, it turns into a white space worthy of Canada's Far North

The immensity of Lake Taurus provides a feeling of infinite escape, far from civilization, for a moment out of time. Crevasses hidden by the lake's irregularities make one think of a moving glacier. Crossing Lake Taurus on near 12 kilomètres involves risks for snowmobilers. It is advisable not to deviate from the tracks visible on the improvised trail.

Quebec, pristine natural spaces

Mont-Tremblant National Park is one of the most beautiful and largest natural parks in Quebec. Covered by a dense forest dominated by sugar maple, spruce and birch, the park offers wide trails winding between frozen lakes and rolling landscapes. Straddling the Laurentians and Lanaudière, Mont-Tremblant Park is a preserved space. The snowmobile trails form in places a real " boulevards ", and the temptation is strong to speed up in this landscape at the end of the world. In the Lanaudière region, Montagne Noire is the highest mountain in Saint-Donat, perched at 875 mètres. At the summit, a small belvedere allows you to see the entire Lanaudière and Laurentian regions from the top on a clear day. Montagne Noire is also known for being a historic site where a Canadian Liberator bomber crashed at octobre 1943

Quebec also has many nature reserves, such as the Mastigouche nature reserve in Lanaudière, called " réserve wildlife Mastigouche ". Inside, it is a Jack London style forest landscape, spotted with white. Above all, it is a nature reserve, a veritable reign of wide open spaces and animal life. This reserve is a white getaway in the middle of unspoiled nature, a concentrated glimpse of wild Quebec.

The tradition of outfitters

What would Quebec be without its outfitters, these traditional log lodges located in the middle of the forest or on the edge of lacs ? Originally, these inns were designed for hunters and fishermen. Today, they have become more modern and offer, in winter, many activities related to snow or ice (snowmobiling, dog sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing, etc.). Some of them have even been transformed into true charming accommodation and luxury establishments offering all the comforts, with appreciated gastronomic tables. There are approximately 675 pourvoiries in Quebec, of which close to 400 are grouped together in an organization that représente : the Quebec Outfitters Federation

Any stay in Quebec will inevitably take you to a sugar shack or " érablière ", to regain the pounds lost during the winter. It is the best way to regain weight after the activities and the harsh weather conditions. Attended by Quebecers who come here with family or friends, these are inns where typical meals are served at " bonne franquette ". In the middle of the maple trees whose sap is used to make the famous maple syrup of the same name, you can enjoy traditional dishes made of pancakes, baked beans, pea soup, eggs, ham, maple ears, butter and maple candies, taffy on snow and, of course, the inevitable maple syrup

A winter carnival that you can't miss

During the carnival, a real winter fever grips Quebec City. To attend the carnival this year, you will have to go between February 5 and 14. And you won't regret it, because it's certainly the biggest winter carnival in the world!

There are more than 200 activities to enjoy the pleasures of winter throughout the city and it's a real trip to discover northern cultures.

Artists will do snow sculpture, the brave will take snow baths, sportsmen will try their hand at canoe racing and families will go for a walk around the Ice Palace. And, in this very special year, only the parades will unfortunately be cancelled. But that won't prevent an unforgettable trip to the land of Jack London!

Smart info

When? The best time to practice winter sports in the Quebec regions is from mid-December to mid-March. In 2021, the carnival will take place from February 5 to 14.

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