Ski de fond, Parc national de la Gaspésie, ©TQ/S. Deschênes

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

Blessed with lavish quantities of snow, Québec offers cross-country skiers and snowshoers a veritable gold mine of trails. 

These sports that stimulate all five senses attract both active and contemplative nature lovers. You can ski or snowshoe on trails close to Québec’s urban centres—and sometimes right in the city as well!

The Traversée de la Gaspésie is a yearly—and highly festive—weeklong excursion in the Chic-Chocs mountain range that’s enjoyed by hundreds of cross-country skiers. The TDLG (as it’s known) received rave reviews from the New York Times in 2013.

Classic or skate stride… There’s something for everyone!

Are you a cross-country skiing expert or still a greenhorn who’d like to know more about this sport?

Québec’s cross-country skiing trails enable enthusiasts to explore thousands of kilometres of forests, as well as discover natural landscapes and a wide array of wildlife.

The SÉPAQ network features trails in exceptional natural settings in the heart of Québec’s national parks and wildlife reserves. Most downhill ski centres feature cross-country skiing trails, and many regional parks also offer this activity. Some municipal parks near major urban hubs also provide city dwellers the opportunity to practise this sport. Moreover, the vast majority of cross-country skiing resorts offer equipment rentals on site.

Hardcore sports fans ready for adventure will be sure to plan a long journey, with nights spent sleeping in shelters or backcountry campsites. Some businesses offer luggage transport on specific trails, which lessens the load skiers carry and makes their journey much more pleasant. Moreover, some adventure and outdoor tourism operators also specialize in these types of long-distance circuits. Seasoned guides take care of all accommodations, equipment, meals, guidance and entertainment.

During winter, lots of major competitions and events take place across Québec.

Time to get moving! Strap on your skis and glide to new horizons!

© Tourisme Lanaudière/J. Vigneux
© TQ/F.Gagnon
© TQ/S.Deschênes

Make your own trails!

An ingenious way to get around, snowshoes were first used by Indigenous peoples, then woodsmen, and finally adapted to modern times. Snowshoeing now enables more adventurous trekkers who love to get off the beaten path to discover Québec’s vast and rich landscapes, as well as observe wildlife in its natural habitat.

SÉPAQ features over twenty snowshoeing locations. Marked trails dotted with lookouts reveal breathtaking, snow-covered vistas. Moreover, short- and long-distance trails are available for all skill levels. More adventurous trekkers can try their hand at long-distance circuits featuring accommodations in backcountry shelters, cottages or campsites.

Those looking for an even greater challenge can even climb some of Québec’s highest snowy peaks, discovering rocky cliffs, bluffs, snow-covered valleys, streams, rivers and ghost-like firs along the way.

Moreover, several places across Québec offer night owls the opportunity to experience a unique adventure by taking part in torchlit excursions. The forest’s nocturnal sounds and sights will be sure to give trekkers unforgettable memories, maybe even a few chills!

Many regional and municipal parks and cross-country ski resorts also feature snowshoeing trails. Moreover, equipment rental is also available at several of these resorts.

© Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
© TQ/M.Dupuis
© Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean/C-D.Robitaille