Top 5 – Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski Trails in Gaspésie
Here are 5 sites offering a wide variety of snowshoe and cross-country ski trails to explore during your stay in Gaspésie.
Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs
Perched at an altitude of 615 metres in the Réserve faunique de Matane, Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs gives you access to an immense, nearly pristine natural environment. Here, you can go snowshoeing or Hok skiing (a hybrid of snowshoeing and skiing) on 12 trails of varying levels of difficulty, from easy (1 hour) to difficult (6 to 8 hours). This is a great place to explore magnificent landscapes covered in fresh and abundant snow! On the agenda: peaks with panoramic views, steep-sided valleys, animal tracks, and deep and powerful silence… All the equipment you will need is available on site.
Parc national de la Gaspésie
In the heart of the Chic-Chocs, in a dream landscape that receives over 3 metres of snow every year (in the Mont-Albert sector), Parc national de la Gaspésie offers several trails for snowshoeing enthusiasts. Nine begin at the Discovery and Visitors Centre and range in length from 1.7 km (45 minutes) to 18 km (7 to 8 hours). Two intermediate trails start from the Ruisseau-Isabelle parking lot; they are 9.8 km (4 hours) and 8.6 km (4 hours) long. Finally, in the Réserve faunique des Chic-Chocs, you will find an intermediate trail of 5.2 km (3 hours) and a difficult trail of 6.4 km (4 hours). As for cross-country skiing, the park offers three mechanically groomed loop trails: Les Fourches, an intermediate trail of 4.2 km (1.5 hours), as well as two difficult trails, L’Abri-du-Portage, which is 9.8 km (3 hours) long, and Lac-aux-Américains, which is 16.5 km (5 hours) long.
Forillon National Park
A team of local volunteers maintains the cross-country ski trails in Forillon National Park, even though the park is not officially open in the winter. The La Vallée intermediate trail, which begins 1 km from Route 132 at L’Anse-au-Griffon (north), is 9.2 km long. Sheltered from the wind, you will follow the Anse-au-Griffon River on relatively flat terrain, pass the Répi Nord shelter and eventually reach the Le Portage trail, which you can follow on your return trip. The Le Portage trail, which begins 0.5 km from Route 132 near Penouille (on the south end) or 1 km from Route 132 at L’Anse-au-Griffon (on the north end) is 20 km long. To the south, the trail passes through a wooded area and then opens onto fields further north. The La Grande Cavée trail, which is difficult, is 3.8 km long. It begins 4 km from the Le Portage parking lot (South sector) or 5.2 km from the La Vallée parking lot (North sector). This relatively steep trail in the heart of the park will take you through impressive spruce and oak forests. Be careful: some curves in the trail are sharp and steep!
All three trails mentioned above are also suitable for snowshoers, as is the easy La Taïga trail, which starts from Penouille and is 3.5 km long. Note that, since the park is closed during the winter, no visitor services are provided, nor is there any food available for sale; however, a few buildings are open for you to warm up. Note also that the trails to the Grande-Grave and Penouille service buildings are not groomed (although both buildings are open during the winter).
Percé UNESCO Global Geopark
Inland from Percé, the Percé UNESCO Global Geopark offers a network of snowshoe trails on Mount Sainte-Anne and Mount Blanc. As you snowshoe along the trails that criss-cross these two neighbouring peaks, you will enjoy magnificent views of the region, including one overlooking majestic Percé Rock! The trailheads are located in the middle of the village of Percé, behind the Geopark’s visitor centre and Camping Baie de Percé. Very accessible beginner trails range from 0.4 km to 1.7 km in length. You can also explore two intermediate trails, Chemin du Mont-Blanc (2 km) and Chemin du Mont-Sainte-Anne (2.5 km), which offer differences in elevation of 370 metres and 340 metres, respectively. Along Chemin du Mont-Blanc, you can admire the beauty of the Grande Crevasse, which is 60 metres deep. Access to the site is free, and snowshoes are available for rent.
Station touristique Pin Rouge
Recognized as the downhill ski resort with the highest vertical drop in Eastern Québec, the Station touristique Pin Rouge also offers about 10 km of cross-country ski trails on relatively flat terrain, ranging from easy to difficult. Five trails are available, and a hut is located at the midway point. Enjoy this opportunity to cross-country ski in the heart of the mountains of Gaspésie as well as along the Montagne du Pin Rouge River. Cross-country ski trails are accessible throughout the winter but are only groomed when the resort is open for downhill skiing. The resort also offers a network of 4 km of marked snowshoe trails along the Little Cascapédia River. You can rent snowshoes on site (but not cross-country ski gear).
Are you ready to explore a wide variety of snowshoe and cross-country ski trails during your getaway in Gaspésie? Be in the loop! Plan your trip at tourisme-gaspesie.com today. #gaspesiewinter
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