Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean Official Blog

BlogueSaguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is brimming with a variety tourist attractions throughout its vast territory. To help when planning your next vacation, our team of bloggers will keep you informed of the latest news, featured destinations and about the people who will make your stay a complete success. You’ll also find out more about our tourism industry, the facilities and our best kept secret locations. We offer a wealth of information from an experienced team to bring you the best that our region has to offer.

Top 9 Winter Activities in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region

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.

Raquette, Parc national des Monts-Valin03 (c) Fabrice Tremblay

1. Snowshoeing

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!

2. Snowmobiling

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!

obervalBN2011-0044 07 février 2011 Bagotville, Qué Photo aériennes prises lors d'un survol du village sur glace de Roberval, QC Image prise par le Caporal Alex Roy, Atelier d'Imagerie,  3e escadron maintenance air,  3e Escadre Bagotville.

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.

chien de traineau (4)

9. Dogsledding

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.

 

The most incredible skating rinks that Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean has to offer.

Almost everyone has an old pair of skates somewhere in storage. And if not (given to a friend or family member) you can still probably get around on the ice. Skating is relatively easy, very accessible and creates magical moments with family and friends.

Dust off your skates, sharpen your blades and glide along the most incredible rinks that Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean has to offer.

The Village sur Glace B Shape Ice Ring

The Village sur Glace B Shape Ice Ring

Lac Saint-Jean – The big one

A 1041 square kilometer surface area for skating, large enough for a giant! Lac Saint-Jean’s frozen waters can be reached via several different locations, but skating between the houses of the Village sur Glace in Roberval is a truly spectacular experience.  Take a tour the village dappled with 200 cabins and meet the locals along the one kilometer long skating rink. Three skating rinks are also available for hockey fans on-site.

The Saint-Jacques skating ring – Chilled and Charming – People’s Choice

Ice Ring at the Centre de Villégiature Dam-en-Terre © Charles-David Robitaille

Ice Ring at the Centre de Villégiature Dam-en-Terre
© Charles-David Robitaille

Just behind the Saint-Jacob church in the borough of Jonquière hides a charming outdoor skating rink. You’ll lose all track of time while skating to the music around the rink. It’s located at 2100, rue Gilbert.

The Centre de Villégiature Dam-en-Terre – The frozen trails

The Dam-en-Terre skating trails are perfect if you prefer not to skate in a circle. During the winter, the campsite comes to life once again with the appearance of meandering icy streets. The ice is well maintained and the quality is excellent. No skates? No problem! Skate rentals are available for only $9.

 

The skating rink in Parc du 150e – Skate by night

During the weekend, visit Parc du 150e, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of La Baie, during the evening hours. After a few rounds on the frozen rink, trade in your skates for your boots and walk along to the Grand-Baie ice fishing site. Wander the streets scattered with small homes and smoking chimneys.

The region has many more incredible skating spots to offer. Let us know of your favorites and we’ll add them to the list!