Parc regional de Val David family winter hike and snowshoeing, viewpoint Mont Condor

Parc regional de Val David winter hike with amazing viewpoints

Parc regional de Val David, located in the Laurentides offers a wonderful family winter hike (available also all year long). This round trail is about 3km. Trail letters are “D” and “C” starting from chalet d’accueil Anne-Piché in Secteur Dufresne Val-David. 

Why do we love this hike:

Beautiful scenery and viewpoints throughout the trail
Special large rocks on the trail
Informative signs along the way
Special tubing hill (part of the park)
Nearby Montreal – under 1h15 drive 
The park allows dogs! Check website for exact rules

Ski Val Saint Côme

Ski Val Saint Côme is a ski resort located in the Lanaudière region (under 2 hours drive from Montreal). It offers a 300 meters vertical drop, 37 trails, two snow parks and evening skiing. The resort has recovered well from the fire in September 2018 which destroyed the main buildings. New buildings have been built, completely functional (although the outside part is not yet completed). Trails types: beginner (25%), intermediate (36%), expert (28%), extremely difficult (11%). We enjoyed a sunny day, skiing, at the beginning of February at this nice resort. 

Ski le massif views of the St Lawrence river

Ski Le Massif de Charlevoix

Le Massif de Charlevoix offers the highest vertical drop in Eastern Canada and east of the Canadian Rockies, 52 trails, the longest is 5.1 km. The views of the St Lawrence river are outstanding and the feeling during skiing is that you’re on a cliff, just about to fall inside the water! Park your car, put the gear on and start your day by skiing downhill! The main entrance is located on the mountain summit. We enjoyed a chilly and windy day skiing at this resort earlier this year.

Jacques​ Cartier National Park Les Cascades

The nicest Sepaq park in terms of scenery (out of the 9 we have visited so far), located in the Laurentian Mountains, 50km north from Quebec City.  This post is about our 4km loop winter walk “Les Cascades”, a relatively simple walk for families (difference in altitude about 40m). The walk is beside a stream (mostly frozen in the winter) and inside a forest, reaching a viewpoint of the Sautauriski mountain. The first part of the walk is along the Jacques Cartier River, starting at the Sepaq discovery and visitor centre (at km 10).

Best winter activities in Île d’Orléans

Île-d’Orléans, on the St. Lawrence River nearby Quebec City, is devoted to agriculture & horticulture and is benefiting from agrotourism all year long. The island consists of 6 municipalities, it is about 34km long and 8km wide at its widest point. The island is accessible via the Île d’Orléans bridge from Beauport. I have listed a few ideas for a half day visit during winter time.

Chocolaterie de L’île d’Orléans
Promenade Horatio-Walker
Cidrerie Bilodeau
Ice Skating in Saint Laurent de l’île d’Orléans 

Domaine du Radar Austrian sledding​​

The place for some winter adrenaline rush! Riding on an Austrian sled down the slopes of Mont Sainte-Marguerite. Enjoy 4 consecutive descents of 2.3 km each ride. Choose between a Family or a Kamikaze trail. The place was once a military communications base (part of the Royal Canadian Air Force) during the Cold War from 1952 to 1964 as it has the highest peak in the region (summit at 698 meters). These days, the small mountain resort also offers hiking trails, bike trails, survival training, visits to the military bunker and more. We were happy to find this place as most activities with Austrian sledding in the area do not allow young kids to participate. Here you can ride with your kids from a very young age (taking the risk into consideration).

Ski Stoneham

An impressive ski resort, about 30 minutes from Quebec City. Stoneham is a large and well-organized ski station with 42 ski trails, a snow park and an ideal area for kids to learn to ski/snowboard with two magic carpets (one simple slope and one steeper slope). Kids under 7 go free!

Ski Belle Neige

A nice and small ski resort, 1 hour away from Montreal, located in the Laurentian mountains with 20 trails, a snow park (for skiers and snowboarders) and a new short special trail for kids, Sentier des toutous, featuring 2000 soft toys along the forest path. The mountain has direct sun most of the day so you can enjoy lots of great luminosity. 

Village du Père Noël Santa Claus Village

A colourful theme park for young kids (designed mainly for 2-8 years old) with lots of activities; tubing (three options), treehouses, inflatables, train ride, slides and houses with different stations. This park is open mainly during the summer and is open briefly during the winter (until Jan 6th, 2019!). Super friendly staff dressed as elves will keep you entertained in each station. 

Parc régional de la Chute à Bull

This all-year trail is a super fun walk, about 1.9km return, part of the Parcs Regionaux MRC Matawinie. It is not suitable for very small kids as the trail during wintertime can be very slippery. There are about 90 stairs to reach the small waterfall. During our visit, it was mostly frozen and impressive to watch from close proximity. The trail is well maintained and has clear indications. Interpretive signs along the trail will explain the wood logging history of this region.

Ski Saint Bruno

The closest ski resort to Montreal, Ski Saint-Bruno is offering 18 tracks with lots of ski activities for all ages and all levels at an altitude of 175 meters. The resort is ideal for beginners with 4 magic carpets and a dedicated ‘low-speed area’. Main attractions for all levels: Zone Park SBB, Mini Zone Park, La Forêt Enchantée and the new SNÖFUN area with inclined turns, valleys, jumps, uneven terrain and a mini half pipe. The enchanted forest is a beginner track inside the forest with fairy tale figures and stories. 

Marché de Noël de Terrebonne

We had a lovely afternoon visiting the Marché de Noël de Terrebonne. Open from November 29th until December 16th, 2018, the market is located in old Terrebonne. Main attractions are the exhibitors; decorated stalls with various offerings (food, wines, clothing, house decorations and more). There is a main stage with performing artists (check online program). The market is relatively small so you can continue walking along the decorated streets of Old Terrebonne to discover this charming area. Add to your walk a quick visit to Ile-des-Moulins just nearby the market. 

Saint Joseph's Oratory

Saint Joseph Oratory

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is a Roman Catholic basilica and a national shrine based on Mont Royal’s Westmount Summit. The construction of the chapel started in 1904, continued in 1924 with the basilica and completed in 1967. This is the largest shrine in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph who was credited with healing power. Many ill, handicapped and pilgrims pour into this Basilica. The basilica is built from Canadian granite and copper. This Montreal landmark is truly worth seeing. Take your visitors from out of town to visit this place and admire the architecture of this basilica and the wonderful views from its terrace. 

Cidrerie Michel Jodoin viewpoint

La Cidrerie Michel Jodoin Hike and cider tasting

Cider house Michel Jodoin is located at the base of Mont Rougemont which is known for its apple orchards. This fourth generation family-owned apple orchard (since 1901) offers a nice boutique for their cider products, a guided tour of the cider house with tasting and a 3.6km hiking trail up the mountain (private property of the orchard). The trail is an intermediate level (round trip) to reach an elevation of about 220 meters. The scenery at the viewpoint is super nice. The trail is not suitable for young kids. Our 10 years old friend, completed the hike without a problem. For my kids (6 and 4) it was not easy. The trail is open all-year-round with a small entry fee.

Musée pour Enfants Children Museum​

The Children Museum is the place for kids to learn about different professions in a super joyful way, with 22 professions to discover. The venue is designed for the ages of 2-8 years old. One rainy day (a statutory holiday) we visited this place and the kids had lots of fun. The kids enjoyed 3 hours in the museum, exploring each station and enjoyed two funny shows from the nice staff. Good for rainy/snowy days.

Maison Saint-Gabriel

Maison Saint-Gabriel is a national historic site located in Montreal (Pointe Saint-Charles). This museum will take you back in time to show you how the new settlers of New France lived in the mid 17th century. The place was founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys who bought the land in 1668 to support agricultural and educational activities of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame. We spent a few hours at this wonderful site. I highly recommend a visit, it is an ideal place for rainy/snowy days.

Ferme Cormier Pumpkin picking

Hurry up, only a few days left for pumpkin picking at this great farm (a family-owned business in L’ Assomption since 1790), 40 minutes north from Montreal. The activities for kids include a tractor ride, a playing area with lots of different bicycles, a huge pile of hay with bridges to climb on and a small farm with cows.

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