Cross-country Skiing: 6 Remarkable Venues

Updated on Nov 24, 2021

Whether you’re looking for an intense challenge or to simply enjoy a fun time (not too cardio!) with our family, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for in our suggestions. With more than 1,000 km of cross-country ski trails, the Eastern Townships offer a wide range of possibilities. The proof? It’s this way!

Please note: For most of the places we’re presenting here, you’ll need to purchase your access tickets before you leave home. Also, if you need to rent equipment, you’ll have to reserve as well before heading out.

76 Km at the Parc National du Mont-Orford

Mentioned as an example for family outings according to the Guide Ulysse Raquette et ski de fond au Québec, the Parc National du Mont-Orford proposes some 76 km (50 classic, 26 for skating) different cross-country ski trails, all traced, marked and groomed. Furthermore, although families and novice skiers are very happy with the offer here, you’ll also discover a few very challenging ones as well. Because the park combines several different winter activities, that it has two lakes surrounded by two impressive mountains—Mont-Orford and Mont-Chauve—this venue is truly somewhat … magical. Hot chocolate to take out? Only 10 minutes from the park, on Magog’s rue Principale, Chocolaterie Vanden Eynden’s Bar à Chocolat is where you’ll find nothing less than true comfort!
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The Magnificent Sutton Mountains Range at Plein air Sutton

Inside the hundred-year-old forest of the massif of the Sutton mountains, and linking it to the town of Sutton, is where you’ll be able to take advantage of about twenty absolutely magnificent cross-country ski trails! Although classified from easy to difficult, the intermediate level trails best represent this network. The trails are all rather short, the longest one covering 3.7 km. Hot chocolate to take out? In Sutton, the Pleasant Hotel & Café's hot chocolate will keep you warm for quite a while!
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Ruiter Valley’s Natural Appeal

Cross-country skiing enthusiasts who love quiet, pristine settings, you’ll find 30 kilometres of marked, but ungroomed trails by visiting Ruiter Valley Land Trust. Located in the Potton Township, the network is designed in loops to make it easier to explore the trails. Mostly easy and intermediate routes, the difficulty level depends more on the snow cover of the moment. After a good snowfall, Ruiter Valley becomes the ideal venue for those who adore making “fresh tracks!” And what can we say about the landscapes? Simply magnificent!
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The “Autoroutes” of the Club de Golf Les Cèdres

“Because we’re on a golf course, there aren’t any steep slopes, but rather wide-open trails, offering a more aerobic approach to our cross-country ski outing,” is what Simon Diotte, editor-in-chief of Géo Plein air, wrote on his blog. If this is your style of skiing, you’ll love the 17 km of classic skiing trails or the 14 km reserved for skate skiing. One of the strong suits of this destination: the trails are impeccably well groomed. Plus, if you’d like a change of pace when your visit, fatbike, snow kick sled, snowshoeing and skijoring activities are also possible here. Hot chocolate to take out? Ten minutes from the centre, in downtown Granby, Chocolats Favoris proposes their excellent old fashion hot chocolate. Call to order, then simply go pick your treat up!
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The Parc National du Mont-Mégantic’s 600 cm of Snow

This sector of the region is among those with the biggest snow cover in Quebec! At an altitude of 1000 m (Mount Mégantic is at 1102 m.), on average, the park receives between 600 and 635 cm of snow annually, according to a Université de Sherbrooke study. In short, a truly exceptional territory—often adorned with typical snow ghosts—where you put on your cross-country skis and head out on the Cassiopée or the Pléiades loop, a 13 km intermediate outing (starts at the Discovery and Visitors Centre of the Observatoire sector). Also, please note that if you’re a Nordic ski trail enthusiast, the Parc National du Mont-Mégantic offers 46 km of these trails, among them the 18 km Boucle d’Andromède. Hot chocolate to take out? Lac-Mégantic, located at about 40 km from the park, is also worth the detour for the town’s café-bistro La Brûlerie!
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Multi-pleasures at the Base plein air André Nadeau

Located in Sherbrooke, these 110 acres of pure family fun combine a panoply of activities, including cross-country skiing. You can therefore take advantage of their 11 km of trails, classified as easy and intermediate, surrounded by a fir and spruce-scented environment. With no very steep hills, the cross-country trails are especially inviting for tiny legs, and your kids will also enjoy the skating rink and tube glides here. Hot chocolate to take out? Fifteen minutes from the outdoor sports centre, the Café Aragon serves only delicious treats, including their hot chocolate drinks.
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