Top 9 Winter Activities in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean regionby Maryse Lamontagne
Because winter is in our blood! In Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, a little cold and snow doesn’t slow us down one bit. Here, the Nordic way of life is part of our genetic code. This explains our fun-loving lifestyle where we celebrate all things winter. From dogsledding to snowmobiling, Nordic skiing to ice fishing—from leisurely to extreme—all good reasons to head for the great outdoors.
Snowshoes and head lamps at the ready, it’s time for the coolest of hikes! Every winter, Parc national des Monts‑Valin organizes a series of torchlight hikes through the powder at Vallée des Fantômes (Ghost Valley). This magical, ghostly hike really is out of this world!
Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is nirvana for snowmobilers, with over 3,300 km of marked trails and the prospect of safely snowmobiling your way across a winter blanket of whiter than white. The Circuit des sommets trail is a must, a dazzling foray across the Monts-Valin mountain range, featuring no fewer than five mountains and no end of picture-perfect scenery.
3. Cross-country skiing
A snowball’s throw from the far north, Parc national des Monts-Valin boasts over 5.5 metres of snowfall year in, year out. No wonder fans of the great outdoors head here in droves, snowshoes and skis at the ready. But a compass always comes in handy too in this ghostly valley where conditions can change in the blink of an eye.
4. Bundling up
Stay warm thanks to the nimble fingers of local artisans like Alpaha Bersi who make boots and mittens out of fur. Or opt for knitted fibres and all-natural tuques, cozy woolen garments and other delights. It’s a shopping spree that will warm more than just your heart!
5. Ici fishing
Thousands of anglers descend on Lac Saint-Jean every year in search of a catch that will set the end of their lines aquiver. Winter is time to head for a cabin out on the ice or to snowmobile your way across the frozen lake with a guide in search of the best spot. From lake to larder… how about that for a cool concept.
6. Ice skating
Every winter, Roberval makes itself right at home on the frozen lake just in front of it. Between the icefishing cabins of its village on ice, people come to stretch their legs on a giant rink, their jumps and twirls adding to the magical atmosphere.
7. Sliding sports
Downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, telemarking… we know a thing or two about winter sports. But ever heard of Hok skis? A cross between cross country skis and snowshoes, you can give them a try at Parc national des Monts-Valin. The new sport is a whole new way to have fun off piste!
8. Snow bathing
Alternating between hot and cold is said to eliminate toxins, leaving skin firmer and more
elastic. A visit to one of our Nordic spas is sure to send temperatures rising, with hammams, steam baths, massages, body treatments and some well-earned R&R in yurts… all right in the heartof nature.
Dogsledding is a big part of winter fun here. Play with the animals, hook up the sled and marvel at the lead dogs as they strike out towards the forest for unforgettable, snow-filled memories.