Is there anything better than getting outside on a sunny, brisk winter day and exploring some new surroundings? If you’re a sporty snow enthusiast, or a summer hiker who’s looking for a way to stay active throughout the winter, or even someone just looking for a new activity to enjoy, snowshoeing will be right up your alley. It’s a great pastime for all ages – as long as you can walk, you can snowshoe, making it perfect for a day (or even a few days!) away with the family or for a solo adventure.

One of the major perks of snowshoeing is the gear: compared to lots of other winter activities, snowshoeing equipment is a breeze to manage! Small enough to fit in your trunk and relatively lightweight, all of the gear is easy to transport and you don’t need to worry about renting or buying expensive car racks, or trailers to accommodate everything you’ll need for a few days away. If you aren’t quite ready to dive in headfirst and buy your own equipment, snowshoe and pole rentals (recommended, but not required) are very affordable, allowing you to test out your new hobby without breaking the bank. 

Snowshoeing Image 3

Snowshoes will strap on easily over top of almost any boot, but, for maximum enjoyment, you’ll want to be sure that those boots are warm and waterproof, with a strong sole. Depending on the weather, the distance of the trail, and how long you’re planning on being out in the elements, it’s a good idea to dress warmly, in layers, and pack a bag with some essentials, including snacks, water, a flash light, sun protection, and a GPS device. Always check weather conditions before heading out and stay on the marked trails, especially if you’re a beginner. 

So, now that you’re ready to hit the snow running, you might be wondering where the best snowshoeing trails are? Well, look no further than your own backyard: Québec is a winter lover’s paradise and there are more than a dozen places to go snowshoeing within driving distance of Québec City. Don’t forget to check park hours, snow and trail conditions, and equipment rental rates before heading out to make the most of your day. 

Snowshoeing Image 2

Those who are brand new to snowshoeing will love testing things out at Battlefields Park at the Plains of Abraham, a National Historic Park of Canada in the heart of Québec City. Entry is free, and an easy 3.8 kilometre groomed trail is open to snowshoers in the winter. Another great spot for beginner snowshoers is Marais du Nord Marsh – just thirty minutes from Quebec City, this gorgeous natural environment has a number of short, relatively flat trails, and is punctuated by beautiful lookout points. The wildlife here is abundant and the area is known for birdwatching, so even during a short visit, you’re sure to make a feathered friend or two.

Snowshoeing Image 4

During the winter, mist from the Montmorency Falls at the Parc National de la Chute-Montmorency freeze and form what is known as a Sugarloaf formation at the base of the falls, and it’s truly an amazing sight to behold. There are several snowshoeing trails at the top of the falls that are open in the winter and overlook parts of the park. Across the suspension bridge, you’ll discover a local treasure, Résurgences Trail, where you can snowshoe along the river for some breathtaking views.

Once you’re feeling a little more sure-footed, you can incorporate some exquisite sightseeing into your snowshoeing adventure at Sentier des Caps de Charlevoix, which boasts views of both the Laurentian Mountains and the St. Lawrence River. Longer trails are available here, with an opportunity for day-long excursions for both new and seasoned snowshoers. Less than an hour’s drive from Quebec City, a day of snowshoeing can be perfectly topped off with a cozy, warm dinner from one of the city’s many incredible restaurants.

Quebec’s picturesque winter landscape is an ideal locale for a mini winter getaway. With numerous snowshoeing options in the area, you can stretch your legs on some new terrain each day, with some fancy new footwear.

Choice Hotels in Quebec City