Here’s the best news snowmobilers have had in a long time! Everyone knows it’s been tough for snowmobilers to travel to their favorite destinations the past two winters. Most riders have been restricted to riding loop routes close to their cottages or cabins instead of planning big-mileage trail rides taking them to completely fresh destinations. This winter, Québec is ready to welcome thousands of snowmobile adventurers!
Québec in the winter is unlike any other place in North America! Incredible, scenic vistas and meticulously groomed trails are all part of the landscape. You can expect trees covered with mounds of the white stuff, fences covered to the top of the posts and snowmobile trails measuring in meter-depths.
There are more than 20,500 miles (33,000 km) of groomed trails in the province – incredibly, all are safely routed and well-marked with clear trail signage. There are hundreds of quaint, cozy places to stay and even more great places to dine, all accessible by snowmobile.
Take a good look at this list of must-see regions and winter tourist sites in the province. These places need to be top-of-mind with every snowmobiler.
Visit Mastigouche and Rouge Matawin Provincial Wildlife Reserves
Both the Mauricie and Lanaudière regions – Authentic Québec – are easily accessible from the major population centers of Montréal and Québec City and offer fantastic amenities for snowmobilers. This includes rides through two beautiful provincial wildlife reserves (Mastigouche and Rouge-Matawin). Great eating, great overnight stays and scenic lookouts along the way to snowmobile-friendly places like Saint-Donat (Trail 33) and a long list of other cozy, comfortable destinations catering specifically to winter visitors.
Easily Accessible from Ontario by Snowmobile
Cross by snowmobile from Ontario to Abitibi-Témiscamingue via the Outaouais region using either of two bridges in the Pontiac region.
You can self-guide your ride on groomed trails through the Laurentians for hundreds of miles or book a guided tour to discover some of the many unique, hidden sights of the region. You’ll climb to the top of the famous Devil’s Mountain or “Montagne du Diable” (Trail 13). It is one of Québec snowmobiling’s most visited landmarks and a well-known meeting place for snowmobilers passing through the Upper Laurentians. After a thrilling ride to the top, the view from the summit is breathtaking.
One of Outaouais region’s best snowmobile dream experiences is riding the Pontiac Pacific Railroad along FCMQ Trail 43. This abandoned railway, groomed laser-smooth for 92 km (57 miles), takes you onto the new bridge crossing from Ontario to the western part of the region. You’ll also see the longest covered bridge in Québec (The Marchand Covered bridge ), one of the largest deer yards in the province (Pourvoirie Club des Douze) and the beautiful Chutes Coulonge when you ride Trail 43.
There’s a huge variety of wide, frequently-groomed trails in this part of the province: Valleys, hills, woodlands, wildlife reserves – plus welcoming accommodation for snowmobilers.
Consistent Snow Means Incredible Trails!
Both these districts are easily accessed from Ontario. The trail grooming is always flawless in the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region but there are other great reasons to visit here: Awe-inspiring scenery, a magnificent network of groomed trails and a long menu of inns, motels and dining stops to make your tour memorable. The Festival Folifrets Baie-James is a unique snowmobile competition held for over 50 years in Chibougamau, in the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region.
There’s a long list of friendly inns, open all winter in Abitibi-Témiscamingue region offering great cuisine guaranteed to give you relaxing comfort after a day of riding the region’s impeccable trail system and taking in its majestic boreal landscapes! Snowmobiling is a cultural experience in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and this is where you’ll find handcrafted accessories designed specifically for riders. Also, the Rouyn- Noranda’s winter festival takes place every January (Trail 93). You’ll always feel welcome in this region and easy snowmobile accessibility to many amenities makes this a super-convenient place to tour.
Experience the View from Mont Saint-Magloire
In Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches you can easily ride loop trails without leaving the area or, if you want a longer trip, you can venture across Chaudière-Appalaches to connect with other Québec regions. Located just across the border, you’ll find affordable accommodations adapted specifically to snowmobilers.
There’s a diversity of trails here and the trails offer spacious, open views without a lot of traffic. Drink in the forest, mountain and river scenery.
The view from Mont Saint-Magloire (Trail 549) at the top of the observation tower at 3,000 foot in Massif du Sud regional park is nothing short of spectacular! On a clear day, you can even see the mountains all the way to Maine, including Mount Katahdin. Trails are meticulously maintained and all routes and signage are clearly designated everywhere in these regions.
Ride Along the St. Lawrence River
You’ll experience some of the most beautiful winter landscapes in North America when you visit Charlevoix! You can start your adventure at the famous, 5-star Le Fairmont Manoir Richelieu hotel or any of the many great bed & breakfasts, inns and hotels in Charlevoix region. There are some really good snowmobile touring companies located here, too, and you can contact them before your trip and make arrangements. There are exceptional panoramas to be experienced along the St. Lawrence River.
Québec City offers lush accommodation, renowned gastronomy and vibrant big-city life – still close to snowmobile trails!
Discover the Summits of Monts-Valin circuit trails running through the Monts-Valin mountains (Trails 93 & 328). You’ll be riding among four different peaks at an altitude of more than 770m (2,526 feet), offering an incredible view of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, and the breathtaking Saguenay fjord in particular.
Snowmobilers flock here with the first snow, often in November, and don’t leave until late spring. The trail network is exceptional, maintenance is constant, services and accommodations are plentiful!
Unforgettable Vistas Unlike Any Other in North America!
If you’re looking for dramatic sea views, quaint, comfortable inns and fine dining, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and Côte-Nord – Québec by the Sea – are places you’ll want to go this winter! The region is famous for rugged elevations, perfectly groomed trails and the scenery bordering the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Start in Rivière-du-Loup and follow Trans-Québec trail #5 (TQ5). It will take you through the mountains where you’ll experience magnificent views along the St. Lawrence River all the way to the Gaspé Peninsula. Enroute, you’ll see the legendary Percé Rock (Trail 5) and the dynamic Chic-Choc Mountains. With its snowy forest trails and frequent sighting of wildlife, this tour is what snowmobilers dream about!
Yes, there’s no shortage of great snowmobiling places to discover in Québec. Make this winter your year to visit!
PLAN YOUR TRIP
Chart your route when you’re planning at home, using bonjourquebec.com. Here, you’ll find information about each of the regions in Québec, the top trails to visit, all information you need to know before going and way more!
Download the iMotoneige App onto your smartphone and then go to the interactive map available online on the fcmq.qc.ca website. This detailed map includes snowmobile routes and hundreds of on-trail services like lodging, restaurants, parking, repair services and attractions you can take advantage of.
Before you leave home, don’t forget to buy your Québec Trail Permit! Every permit is sold online, so you can already have it displayed on your snowmobile before you leave home. Buy your permit at: fcmq.qc.ca. You can also check the above FCMQ website to learn about any COVID restrictions that may apply this winter.
Québec’s provincial snowmobile federation, the FCMQ, has an official Certificate of Secure Hotels (look for the “Secured Hotel” icon on the iMotoneige App and the online interactive map). Those qualifying hotels must have security features for snowmobiles such as: A locked garage, locked enclosures, free snowmobile security chains, video surveillance systems or security guard service.