Mont Tremblant has an extended backcountry trail with heated huts for overnight skiers. Pack in your own supplies along with sleeping and cooking equipment. There is also a designated area for winter camping. The Laurentians also has two wildlife reserves, Papineau Labelle and Rouge-Matawin, where backcountry skiers can access vast streaches of true of wilderness, with huts and cabins which can be rented in the winter.

If you're looking for a lodge-to-lodge (B&B-to-B&B) outting you can take advantage of the Laurentains' two rail trails, the P'tit Train du Nord and the Aerobic Corridor. Along either corridor there are dozens of accommodations available. The linear parks along with the interconnecting trails allowing you to put together an trip which caters to any skill level and itinerary.

 
 

You'll also find an over night hut available along the Canadian/Fleur de Lye Trails between St. Adolphe du Howard and Ste. Agathe. The trail connects into the broad cross counry network of the Laurentians which boast over 1000km of trails..

South of Montreal Mont Megantic has a combination cross country and backcountry trail system with huts on route for a single or multiday excursion. Mont Megantic is almost always a good bet since it gets a massive snowpack over the winter months.

Mont Tremblant Provincial Park

The Long Randonee

94km, intermediate, linear. This is a beautiful tour particulary when done with a group of friends. There is no better way to see the park in winter. There are four backcountry huts available along the trail, which accommodate 16 to 20 people. The huts are spaced 10 to 20km apart and departures must be early enough to ensure you can reach the next hut before winter's early sundown. If you plan anything other than the loop in the Monroe area you'll need to arrange transportation. This area can experience temperatures of -40 and below. Temperatures can plummet quickly and unexpectedly, ensure that your equipment and skills are up to the challenge and never ski alone. Reservations are required and registration upon arrival is obligatory. For more information have a look at Out-There's Mont Tremblant Provincial Park.

Papineau Labelle Wildlife Reserve

While not as well know for winter recreation as Mont Tremblant, the reserve has an extensive trail system exceeding 300km. In addition there are 15 shared huts for backcountry skiers. There are two main areas with trails, Mont Bondi in the north and Lac du Sourd Sector in the more central region of the park. The Bondi sector is better suited to intermediates while the Sourd trails tend to be tougher and are better for more advanced skiers. The reserve is a back country area, make sure your skills and equipment are a match for your route and remember it can drop to -40°C in in this area. The reserve is located in the northern region of the Laurentians east of Mont Tremblant. For information, winter access and reservations check out the Sepaq site for La Reserve Faunique Papineau Labelle and make inquiries with the reserve regarding all the detials.

P'tit Train du Nord

90km, beginner (spurs beginner-expert). A rail trail in summer the pathway cuts through the very heart of the region. While it's is rarely far from a town or village it passes by lakes, stream, rivers field and forest. The trial hasn't much in the way of a grade, making it perfect for those new to the sport. If you want more of a challenge there are dozens of spurs which are more demanding and connect you into the regions vast trail system. If you're looking for an extented outing you can choose from a wide variety of accomodations from grande hotels, to a warm and comfortable auberge or a small intimate B&B. St. Jerome to Mont Tremblant (Winter). All the trails access points are located north of Montreal off highways 15 and 117. Have a look a Out-There's P'tit Train du Nord for details.

Aerobic Corridor

Beginner-intermediate (spurs beginner-expert). Another of the regions rail trails, it follows through a less developed part of the region. The trial is accessible to all skill levels, for the more advance skier there are many connections to the Laurentians broader network of trails. The trail is being extended to connect to the P'tit Train du Nord at St. Sauveur in the south and Mont Tremblant in the north. The northern section currently allows snow mobiles, check with the trail organization to find out the current status of this section. There are a number of access points to the trial with the main access in the south in Morin Heights. Take the 15 (or 13 to the 640 then the 15) north from Montreal to exit 60 at St. Sauveur. Head west along the 329 and turn light at the lights into Morin Heights. At the first stop sign turn right again to the parking lot. (450) 226-1220, Morin Heights to Lac-des-Seize-Iles (Winter). For more information have a look at Out-There's Aerobic Corridor.

Rouge-Matawin Wildlife Reserve

The reserve is a true wilderness area located along the northern borders of Mont Tremblant Provincial Park. There are numerous areas for backcountry sking which are currently being developed. The reserve has warming huts and you'll find cabins and prospectors tents for rent within its boundaries. The reserve is a back country area, make sure your skills and equipment are a match for your route and remember it can drop to -40°C in in this area. The reserve is located in the northern region of the Laurentians east of Mont Tremblant. For information, winter access and reservations check out the Sepaq site for La Reserve Faunique Rouge Matawin and make inquiries with the reserve regarding all the detials.

Out-There's Snowboarding and Free Skiing
Out-There's Nordic Skiing
Out-There's Dog Sledding
Out-There's Snowshoeing

 

 
   

Cross Country Skiing

Montreal has several areas on the island where you can get out on to some tracked trails. These include the nature parks, Mont Royal, Agrinon and the Olympic park. Of these Mont Royal provides the most varied terrain with more climbing and down hills than the nature parks. In addition you'll find skiing on on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens in the east end and at the Morgan Arboretum at the western tip of the island.

Some of North Americas best nordic skiing is to be had in the regions surrounding the city. The Eastern Townships and Laurentians have literally thousands of miles of skiing on interconnected networks. Of course you'll find many exceptional resorts and inns on route. Don't overlook the ski centers in Monteregie and Lanaudiere, which have some excellent trails are easily accessed and are often less crowded.

 
 

Montreal

Agrignon - This is a lovely area to ski through forest and field, yet surrounded by a completely urban environment. The park has 10km of easy trails for skiers in the winter. You can literally walk out of the Metro (subway) and into the park. Check our Urban Transit section for information on taking ski equipment on the Metro.

Boise-de-l'Ile-Bizard - The park has 20km of trails which are accesible to novices. The trails run through forest and field. Rentals are available.

Boise-de-Liesse - The park has 16km of trails available to novice cross country skiers. The trails run through forest and field. Rentals are available.

Cap St-Jacques - The parks trails are suitable for novices with over 30km to explore. The trails run through forest and field. Rentals are available.

Ile-de-la-Visitation - The park has 8km of cross country ski trails, all of which are open to novice skiers. Rentals are available.

Maisonneuve - A favorite for beginners, since there's little in the way of hills.

Mont Royal - The mountain has a number of cross country ski trails which radiate out from Beaver Lake. Rentals are available.

Parc du la Riviere des Mille Iles - The park is open to cross country skiers (6km of classic, plus 7km of multi-use trails) and snowshoers when the river freezes solid in the winter.

Saint-Michel Environmental Complex - This unique endevour continues to amaze, with cross country skiing now added to the mix of sports the park supports.

Point-aux-Prairies - The park has 23.5km of cross country ski trails suitable for novices. The trails run through forest and field. Rentals are available.

Montreal XC Skiing - Great Site - Cross-Country Skiing in and around Montreal has over 25 ski areas listed - Montreal, Quebec

For more Outdoor Gear Rentals follow the link

 

Surrounding Regions - Laurentains, Eastern Townships, Lanaudiere and Monteregie

Aerobic Corridor

Beginner-intermediate (spurs beginner-expert). Another of the regions rail trails, it follows through a less developed part of the region. The trial is accessible to all skill levels, for the more advance skier there are many connections to the Laurentians broader network of trails. The trail is being extended to connect to the P'tit Train du Nord at St. Sauveur in the south and Mont Tremblant in the north. The northern section currently allows snow mobiles, check with the trail organization to find out the current status of this section. There are a number of access points to the trial with the main access in the south in Morin Heights. Take the 15 (or 13 to the 640 then the 15) north from Montreal to exit 60 at St. Sauveur. Head west along the 329 and turn left at the lights into Morin Heights. At the first stop sign turn left to the parking lot. (450) 226-1220, Morin Heights to Lac-des-Seize-Iles (Winter). For more information have a look at Out-There's Aerobic Corridor.

Coaticook Gorge - The park has cross country skiing, snowshoeing as well as lift served tubing area for the kids - big and small. Getting to the park: From Montreal take Highway 10 (the Eastern Townships Autoroute) to exit 121, follow the 55 south to exit 21 where you'll pick up the 141 heading east. When you reach Coaticook watch for the signs for the park. Coaticook, Eastern Townships, Quebec

Ile de Boucherville - In the winter time part of the summer trail system is open to cross country skiers and snowshoers. Take note, the ski trails are not groomed, so you may have to break trail yourself. The park also has 5km of trails available for winter hikers. Snow shoes can be rented at the park. If you're driving from Montreal take the 40 (or Sherbrooke) east to the 25 then head south to the tunnel. When you see daylight again take the very first exit, which will bring you into the park, Monteregie (Montreal), Quebec

Mont Megantic - Although a bit of a drive, the park has perhaps the best snowshoeing in the surrounding regions of Montreal, particularly if you are an intermediate or expert in the sport. There are several designate trails and you can even climb to the top of one of the parks significant peaks (you better be in shape for this). In addition you'll find nearly 40km of groomed cross country ski trails as well as 10km of backcountry trials to explore. The scenery is excellent with the the trees usually heavily laden by the areas phenomenal snow fall. The park huts can be reached along the trail system and if you reserve, your group can book one for an overnight stay, but book early they are popular. From Montreal take highway 10 (the eastern townships autoroute) passed Sherbrooke where it turns into the 112. Just before East Angus turn onto the 253 going south. Follow the 253 until you reach the junction of the 212 and head east. Stay on the 212 to Notre Dame des Bois then follow the signs to the the park.Out-There's feature article - Hut-to-Hut at Mont Megantic Eastern Townships, Quebec

Mont Orford Park - This is a park that has just about everything in the winter, cross country skiing, winter hiking, snowboarding (with a 2000ft vertical) and snowshoeing. The park has 13 groomed trails for a total of nearly 50km for cross country skiers. The trail system is suitable for all levels of skiers. There are a number of trails for snowshoers with the real challenge in the form of the Mont Chauve trail, which takes you to the summit and back, a distance of 16km. From Montreal take highway 10 (the Eastern Townships Autoroute) to exit 118 (Magog-Orford) follow the 141 north into the park. Magog, Eastern Townships, Quebec

Mont-Tremblant Cross-Country Center - The Domaine St-Bernard is well known for its cross country skiing now has facilities for snowshoeing as well. The cross country trails encompass a network of 65km of varying difficulty. Located between the resort at Tremblant, Grey Rocks and St. Jovite it makes for an ideal days outing for families and enthusiasts visiting the area. Mont Tremblant, Laurentians, Quebec

Mont Tremblant Provincial Park

The park is particulary picturesque in the winter and well worth a visit particulary if you've never seen it with its heavy blanket of snow. There area over 86km of patrolled and groomed trails as well as the Long Randonee Trail which has backcountry huts for overnight skiers. Both the Pimbina section, above Saint-Donat (Lanaudiere Region) and La Daible (Monroe - Laurentians) section northeast of Ste. Joviet have groomed trails and facilities. There are a number of different routes to accomodate different fitness and skill levels. There are warming huts along several of the trails. The park has recently refurbished serveral cabins which can be rented, if your interested make sure you book early.

The Long Randonee, linear, 94km. This is a beautiful tour particulary when done with a group of friends. There is no better way to see the park in winter. There are four backcountry huts available which accomodate 16 to 20 people along the trail. The huts are spaced 10 to 20km apart and departures must be early enough to ensure you can reach the next hut before sundown. If you plan anything other than the loop in the Monroe area you'll need to arrange transportation. Ensure that your equipment and skills are up to the challenge and never ski alone. This area can experience temperatures of -40 and below. Temperatures can plummet quickly and unexpectedly, ensure that your equipment and skills are up to the challenge and never ski alone. Reservations are required and registration upon arrival is obligatory.

Morin Heights

30km classic, beginner-expert, waxing room, chalet, fee. The area has an extensive trail system including one of the main access points for the Aerobic Corridor and over 50km of ungroomed trails. Take the 15 (or 13 to the 640 then the 15) north from Montreal to exit 60 at St. Sauveur. Head west along the 329 and turn left at the lights into Morin Heights. At the first stop sign turn left to the parking lot.

Oka Park - Oka has over 50 km of cross-country skiing, both track set and skating. The trails include the Colline du Calvaire (part of which is the mountain biking trail in the summer) which is made up of some really steep climbs, along with excellent down hills; better left to the experts . Intermediate skiers are well served by the Colline de l'Est which takes advantage of the nature trails above the Grande Baie. For the novices, or those that just want to have a relaxing days ski, kick you way through the rolling trails above the beautiful beach. The trails wind their way throughout the beautiful oak forests and have endless side trails to explore. The park has recently opened a lighted trail to allow for extending your day into the twilight.You'll also fiind three easy snow shoeing trails which will take you through the parks beautiful oak forests. You can rent cross country skis as well as snow shoes in the park.The park is 55 km northwest of Montreal. Take highway 13 or 15 (the Laurentian Autoroute) north to the 640. Then head west towards St Eustache. The 640 takes you right into the park.

P'tit Train du Nord

90km, beginner (spurs beginner-expert). A rail trail in summer the pathway cuts through the very heart of the region. While it's is rarely far from a town or village it passes by lakes, stream, rivers field and forest. The trial hasn't much in the way of a grade, making it perfect for those new to the sport. If you want more of a challenge there are dozens of spurs which are more demanding and connect you into the regions vast trail system. If you're looking for an extented outing you can choose from a wide variety of accomodations from grande hotels, to a warm and comfortable auberge or a small intimate B&B. All the trails access points are located north of Montreal off highways 15 and 117. Have a look a Out-There's P'tit Train du Nord for details. St. Jerome to Mont Tremblant (Winter).

Val David/Far Hills (Val Morin)

130+km, beginner-expert, waxing room, rentals, chalet. Often referred to as eastern Canada's finest ski area these trails are very well designed, maintained and are fittingly very scenic. You'll find a lot of the Laurentinas earliest ski history revolves around this area with many trials having being used and built by the regions cross country pioneers like Tom Gillespie and Herman "Jack Rabbit" Johannsen. There are two centers with parking, one at Far Hills Inn and the other in the village just south of Route de l'Eglise. The trails intersect the P'tite Train du Nord at three different points allowing you to include them within your ski touring plans. The area has a number of well know resorts and lots of charming B&Bs. Far Hills (819) 322-2014. Val David (819) 322-7042

Voyageur Provincial Park - The park is open to snowshoers and cross country skiers in the winter. The cross country ski trails are groomed but their is no dedicated snowshoe trails so you have to make your own. The park is located about 1 hour from Montreal on the road to Ottawa. From the Metropolitan in Montreal follow the 40 west. In Vaudreuil-Dorion take the split to Ottawa. Once you enter Ontario you take the first exit (exit no. 5) then head east towards the Ottawa River. Chute a Blondeau, Ontario

 

Cross Country Ski Clubs

 

 

Resources

Montreal

 

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