Charlevoix, Quebec: The Land of Unbelievable Snow

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By: John Arkwright

Unbelievable! How’s that for an opening line? We’re supposed to tell it like it is and that’s as close as this writer can get to an accurate description of the riding experience in Charlevoix.

Last winter many areas experienced mild temperatures and less than stellar snow conditions; not so in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. It was a record year for snow.

We flew into Quebec City and spent our first day riding in the hills north of Mont Saint-Anne with a couple of relaxing stops at the on-trail relais Quebec snowmobiling is famous for.

Next day we headed for Baie Saint-Paul riding back country in the mountains. What a day of snowmobiling! The mountainous terrain is really challenging and demands your utmost attention.

Many snowmobiling tourists think the only place you find good mountain riding is in the West. They’d be surprised to experience the scenery and mountainous geography of Charlevoix. With this much snow and the jagged, changing elevation, riding skill is tested to the max.

You’ll get stuck more than once and deeper than you could ever imagine. This type of riding will humble the best flatland riders and yet, at the end of the day, you’ll be telling your friends you had an absolute blast!

The rest of our visit was spent riding the groomed trails of the region and it is typical Quebec style snowmobiling with trails groomed 16 to 20 feet wide, as smooth as highways. Combine this with the majestic, panoramic views of the mountains and awe of the mighty St Lawrence River and you have it all.

For maps and information on Charlevoix call 800-667-2276 and visit

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