Best Places for Snowmobiling Near Québec City
Whether you’re riding along the St. Lawrence River or up in the mountains among frozen lakes and rivers, the snow cover in the Québec City area is simply exceptional. You can ride your sled through snow-covered forests for hundreds of kilometres, then come back to your plush hotel, enjoy a fantastic meal, and soak in the charm of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll find the city is especially magical during the Québec Winter Carnival.
Whether you’re looking to go on a leisurely cruise or a multi-day expedition, the Québec City area gives you access to hundreds of kilometres of trails and serves as a gateway to other, equally spectacular regions. Read on for tips on the best places to go snowmobiling and the companies that help make it happen.
Portneuf region, Sophie Gagnon Bergeron , Canopée Médias
Sophie Gagnon Bergeron
Sophie Gagnon Bergeron
Located just west of Québec City, the Portneuf area is right in the middle of a massive network of trails that get great snow. As soon as there’s enough of it on the ground, you’ll start to see snowmobiles parked in the streets and outside stores, restaurants, and pubs, like Roquemont craft brewery in Saint-Raymond.
Every year, Portneuf’s Neige en fête festival lines up an impressive collection of antique snowmobiles and snowcats. To plan your ride, there’s even an app, Ondago, that maps out seven different loops, ranging from 85 to 300 km, that start and end in Saint-Raymond at what locals call KM Zero. It all makes for a very snowmobile-friendly region!
Au Chalet en Bois Rond
Whether you take the half-day guided tour or just rent a snowmobile, this charming resort village is a great place to try snowmobiling and other outdoor winter activities. The trails leave directly from the village and there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
Nord Expé inc.
Réserve faunique des Laurentides
To the north of the city, there’s a sector that’s known as “Québec’s biggest playground.” And with good reason! With the mountainous terrain in the Jacques-Cartier area comes higher altitude, which means more snow and a longer season.
Of all the fantastic spots to go snowmobiling there, Réserve faunique des Laurentides has to be at the top of the list. It’s a wildlife reserve with some 500 km of trails that run through pristine wilderness, with huge evergreen forests, snowy mountain ranges, and valleys with frozen rivers.
The Jacques-Cartier area is also home to the only ice hotel in North America. You’ll definitely want to stop by to see it or spend the night. And to cap off your day on the trails, you can relax at one of two Nordic spas in the area: Nordique Spa Stoneham and Sibéria Spa.
Located right along the trails, Nord Expé is known for its reliable rentals and respected guides. Hundreds of local riders park and store their snowmobiles at the Nord Expé snow marina, making it something of a hot spot. Nord Expé has a wide range of packages and rides on offer, including for people with limited mobility and to explore other regions, such as Monts-Valin, Charlevoix, and even Québec’s Far North. Leave the planning to the experts and enjoy your expedition as you follow a professional guide trained in snowmobile rescue operations.
Aventure Inukshuk operates out of Station touristique Duchesnay and does guided outings. There are also packages for people who want to go snowmobiling and dogsledding.
Voyage Motoneige Québec
You’ll find this snowmobile rental shop and tour operator right beside the DoubleTree by Hilton Québec Resort, just 15 minutes from Québec’s city centre. A marked trail takes you from there straight to the Jacques-Cartier and Portneuf areas. Guided tours available.
Ïle d'Orléans, Francis Gagnon
Île d'Orléans, Michel Julien
The snowmobile trails on this island paradise just 15 minutes from Québec City take you through fields and past historic homes, with the St. Lawrence River as a backdrop. Trail #300 circumnavigates the whole island, which makes it easy to find your way around. Although some shops close for the winter, you can still get a taste of the island at places like Cassis Monna & Filles and Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans.
Auberge du P’tit Bonheur
Auberge du P’tit Bonheur is the perfect place to go snowmobiling with the family (children must be 9 years or older), with short guided tours and trails that are much less busy than in other regions.
What to Wear and Equipment Required
Being properly dressed is key if you want to enjoy the experience. Most companies include full snowmobiling outfits (snowsuit, boots, mittens, and helmet) with their rentals. As for your choice of snowmobile, ask for advice and be sure to get the right machine. If you’re going on a multi-day expedition, for example, it’s always best to rent a recent model.