Here in Quebec, we know that nothing beats spending the winter outdoors! Who says visiting parks and historic sites is only for hot summer days? Parks Canada recommends five activities to help you get the most out of the season and (re)discover our extraordinary sites in all their winter charm. Do you enjoy extreme sports alone or with friends? Are romantic strolls with a loved one or cultural activities for the whole family more up your alley? Whether it’s for a weekend or just an afternoon, our sites have something for everyone. In case you need more convincing, admission to all Parks Canada sites is free in 2018 for everyone under the age of 17. What a wonderful way to spend precious moments with your family, no matter the season!
- La Mauricie National Park
Halfway between Quebec City and Montreal, La Mauricie National Park offers its visitors many options to enjoy the winter season. Aside from traditional activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, you can also experience the winter in new ways. Why not try snow tagging, go ice climbing on one of the park’s cliff faces, or bring your Fat Bike to test the winter trails? You could even try winter camping and spend the night in one of the park’s comfortable oTENTik all-season tents, the only ones in Eastern Canada! If you’re looking for more traditional accommodations, Domaine Wabenaki-Andrew, an old hunting and fishing club, welcomes families and groups in two heritage buildings. Lastly, don’t miss out on a free introduction to cross-country skiing for kids aged 6–14 (with Club Skimau), Sunday January 28th and Saturday February 10.
Make sure you book your stay as early as possible. Campsites and accommodations can be booked as of January 17!
La Mauricie National Park
- Nordic walking in national historic sites
Even though national historic sites are mostly closed in winter, few visitors know that their surrounding areas remain accessible year-round and are excellent places for hikes or snowshoeing. You can experience the Manoir Papineau garden, the Forges du Saint-Maurice, the Fort Chambly park, or even the Enchanted Forest of Fort Témiscamingue in a new light. In the depths of winter, these sites, historic gateways to the past, maintain their magical and serene quality.
National Historic Sites in Quebec
- Skating on the Chambly Canal
In the winter, you’ll find skaters instead of boats on the Chambly Canal. Located in Chambly and in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, three sections are open to skaters of all ages. There are also spaces reserved for hockey. If you prefer to slip on your snowshoes and skis, trails along the canal are always accessible.
(Be advised that operation is subject to weather conditions. We strongly recommend checking that the site is open before travelling. There may be construction along the canal. Plan your trip by visiting parcscanada.gc.ca/canalchambly).
Opening hours and information:
Chambly canal rink in Chambly:
https://www.ville.chambly.qc.ca/index.php/2012/11/patinoire-sur-le-canal-de-chambly/ or with the Amis du canal de Chambly at 450-658-9167
Lock rink in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu :
Rink near the Pavillon Jeunesse Yvan-Viens at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu :
- Fortifications of Québec
Surrounding Old Québec, the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site is the backdrop to numerous winter activities in the city. Whether it’s exploring the Carnival, skating at Place D’Youville, or sledding on Dufferin Terrace, opportunities to enjoy the outdoors are by no means in short supply. When the city is quieter, you can always go for a walk along the fortifications, from Artillery Park to St. Louis and St. John Gates.
Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site
- Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site
The St. Lawrence is truly spectacular in the summer, but imagine the view from the lighthouse in the winter: the river with its drifting ice floes and waves sculpting frozen shapes on the beaches. This dynamic backdrop is constantly changing and the view from the lighthouse makes visiting this site a unique experience. What’s more, the Empress of Ireland Museum, which tells the story of one of the worst shipwrecks in history, has opened a new exhibit. To mark the occasion, the site will be open as of February 7 to welcome winter visitors. A must-see in Rimouski!
Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historical Site (Empress of Ireland Museum)
Wednesday to Sunday au dimanche de 10 am to 5 pm (from February 7th)
418 724-6214 / http://www.shmp.qc.ca/index-en.html
Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse National Historic Site