Each Winter Carnaval, teams of strappingly fit competitors hoist, haul, push, pull, and paddle heavy wooden canoes across ice sheets and water channels in the St Lawrence River. Ice Canoe Races took place in the city’s first Carnaval back in 1894, and today remains a highlight of the world’s largest winter festival. A company now offers visitors and locals the opportunity to experience an ice canoe for themselves, and it’s just the sort of one-of-a-kind adventure that belongs on our national bucket list.
Length of Trip : Depending on conditions, you’ll spend about an hour on the water, with training, gear-ups and rest breaks taking another two.
$175/person + taxes (15%) for one excursion
Best time to go : Usually starts in mid-December and ends at the beginning of March. Time your visit with Winter Carnaval in February to see the pros in action.
Wheelchair friendly : No
Family friendly : Best suited for older kids.
Official Site :
Quebec Ice Canoeing
Where to Stay : We recommend staying with our trusted partner, Holiday Inn Express in Quebec City.
Getting There :
The departure and arrival location is at Anse Brown basin (bassin de l’Anse Brown). There is a heated area to gear up, have your briefing, and use bathrooms.
Note from Robin : Nothing to ice canoeing if we were on an ice rink, but it's painfully obvious from the get-go that the St Lawrence River has never seen a Zamboni. Ice sheets are erratic and sharp, about as unpredictable as a jackal juggling sushi knives. Our canoe tilted and dropped with no warning. Legs sink into dead-cold waters.You wade forward until reaching the next patch of ice where you'll have to haul the canoe up, only to quickly receive instructions to get back into rowing position. Definitely strenuous, but much of that depends on the abilities of your group.
PRESENTED BY FORD OF CANADA
FOR THIS EXPERIENCE, WE RECOMMEND
Durand Polar WP (Available for Men and Women)
The weather outside is frightful? No worries! Lace up your Durand Polar winter boots and get on out there. Cold? The 400 gram KEEN.WARM insulation, woolly Thermal Heat Shield footbed and faux fur collar keep things toasty. Snowy icy slush puddles? This boot’s KEEN.DRY membrane is waterproof and breathable, and the dual compound snow and ice grip rubber sole keeps you on your feet. American built with material from around the world.
From tapping maple trees to strolling city sidewalks, the Elsa Boot has you covered. The water resistant PU leather and textile upper combines with a warm Sherpa fleece collar and heat reflecting underfoot barrier to keep you warm.
Snow bunny meets snow Betty in KEEN’s Betty Boot II. The essential winter boot features a technical outsole for advanced traction in slick, wintery weather.
Koven Polar (Available for Men and Women)
Dashing through the snow? The Koven Polar winter hiking shoe is the perfect partner for snowshoeing, winter hikes and trips up and down the sled hill. A fleece lining, thermal heat shield footbed and KEEN.WARM insulation beat the cold. Add our KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry and you have a boot designed to wrangle ice and snow.
Revel III (Available for Men and Women)
Revel III winter hiking boots mean neither rain nor snow will keep you from your appointed anything. The whatever-the-weather nubuck leather is all-terrain durable and lined with the KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane. Two types of insulation– KEEN.WARM up top and the tri-layer Heat TRAPOLATOR system underfoot – cut the chill, and the dual compound snow and ice grip outsole holds its ground.