We decided to try a 2km walk (one way, total 4km) with snowshoes for the first time in beautiful Charlevoix. We took the easiest path in the area, called Sentier des Lacs. During wintertime, the walk is inside the forest, along a frozen lake, truly a majestic walk. The 2km walk is basically parallel to a closed road which leads to parking P2 (accessible by car in the summer), you can stop, eat and start a fire at the refuge and return back to the original starting point or to continue for many other trails with panoramic views of the St Lawrence river.
Address for the information centre & tickets: 2, rue Leclerc, Saint-Tite-des-Caps, G0A 4J0
Car: Drive about 3h10 from Montreal, 45 minutes from Quebec City
Entrance fee: adult 9$ includes parking, kids free
Address for Parking P1: from the information centre turn right towards Quebec City, take first left on Chemin du Cure for 1.4km, at the junction, turn left to reach P1 parking, there is a gate at the junction, you might need a token from the information centre to open the gate. To exit, press the button next to the gate.
Tip: For young kids, it helped us carrying our alpine sledge with us, so that our kids could sit on it when they were tired of walking.
Park your car in parking P1 and go back on the same road which you arrived from to reach the starting point of the trail, at the junction with the signs.
For your ease, you can walk on the closed road itself which was groomed during our hike, or walk in the forest, just parallel to the road and enjoy the deep snow condition. The walk has blue/white signs on the trees along the way and after about 1.5km it merges back with the road as it is bypassing a private property in the area.
Continue to walk on the road until you will reach the refuge signs.
Turn right at the signs to reach the refuge house which is situated on the left, close to the lake. Wood is provided to heat up the house from the inside, and you can have a break and warm up. Don’t forget to bring matches or a light like we did!
We decided to head back to the car and walk the total 2km back along the road as our kids were very cold. Gear up well for this walk, if you do it during wintertime. Although estimated time on the brochure is mentioning 1-1.30h for the trail, for us it took 3 hours in total, and it was freezing.