Quebec claims rightful ownership of snowmobiling: local boy Joseph Armand-Bombardier practically invented it. This is why the province boasts a staggering 33,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails. Let’s press the throttle in the region of Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean, home to nine stunning snowmobile circuits, deep powder, dense forest and passionate riders. Just one of the reasons they call this Snowmobiler’s Paradise. Equinox Adventures offers rentals and itineraries for Bucket Listers in search of the whole package.
Length of Trip : 1 to 7 days
Cost : Pricing depends on what package you choose, from $230 for a one day trip upwards. Pricing is customized depending on what snowmobiles you need and type of accommodation needed. Click for more information.
Best time to go : January to March, when the snow is especially plentiful.
Wheelchair friendly : Call Equinox Adventures to discuss
Family friendly : Ages 14 and up. Call ahead to confirm.
Where to eat : Meals are available at auberges and restaurants along the routes. These can be incorporated into your itinerary. In most cases you'll be able to park your snowmobile directly outside. Need help planning your own route? Tourism Lac-Saint-Jean's snowmobiling website has tons of information and options.
Where to Stay : If you choose to go with an outfitter like Equinox Adventures, they will include accommodation at auberges along your route. Alternatively you can plan your own trip with resources available at www.snowmobilersparadise.com. Auberges are extremely accommodating to snowmobilers, many of which have restaurants attached or nearby.
Getting There : Saguenay-Bagotville Airport, home to a military base, is open to the public with direct flights by Air Canada from Montreal. The region is 210 kilometres from Quebec City, 460 kilometres from Montreal, or a 10 hour drive from Toronto. Private air charters would of course, always be an option to access the region.
Note from Robin : The region has one of the longest sledding seasons anywhere. Snowmobilers show up in late November and stick around until as late as April. Snowmobile rentals include luggage bags, winter suits and boots, and a GPS system and cell phone for mapping and emergencies. Quebec’s Federation of Snowmobile Clubs charges a trail permit to use their extensive network, primarily to cover the costs of grooming and marking the trails.
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.