A Winter Visit to the Mont Tremblant Area of Quebec

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A few weeks ago I was fortunate to have a few days in the Mont Tremblant area of Quebec. Despite growing up just two hours away, I had never visited this part of the province.

It was love at first sight.

But it started well before I reached Mont Tremblant.

As you head north from Montreal on Highway 15 you pass through the towns of St. Jérome, Ste-Adèle, Val David and Ste-Agathe-des-Monts. Each one seems prettier than the next. Church steeples seem to be everywhere. So are ski hills as each town seems to have one they call their own. The drive itself is glorious as it takes you through the beautiful Laurentian Mountains. I felt like I’d been dropped into New England. It wasn’t the Canada I was used to seeing.

"Getting around in Mont Tremblant"

Getting around by gondola in Mont Tremblant

"Skating on a small pond in Mt Tremblant"

Skating in the Village of Mt Tremblant

"Mt Tremblant"

Mt Tremblant

Unfortunately on this trip John and I just didn’t have the time to explore the way we like to. There were no fine meals in the village of Mont Tremblant and nor did we poke our noses into the shops in the pedestrian friendly village. Skating was left for another time. We had really come for the cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiing at Ski de Fond Mont Tremblant

Superlative cross-country skiing awaits anyone who visits the Laurentians. The number of opportunities for skiing is mind boggling. You can choose to backcountry ski in Mont Tremblant National Park. Or you can ski the old railbed known as Le P’tit Train du Nord. For more ideas you can check out the Bonjour Quebec website.

We ended up skiing a delightful 25 kilometer loop at Ski de Fond Mont Tremblant. What impressed me was the cross section of ages that were out on skis – from 2 year olds to 80 year olds. Families were everywhere.

The skiing was excellent. Trails were well groomed, signage was very good except on one of the backcountry trails we explored, but the biggest takeaway from skiing here was how pretty it was. Rolling hills, big vistas, beautiful mixed forests and a certain joie de vivre combined to provide an outstanding experience. If I lived nearby I would be a frequent visitor here.

Here’s a look at what’s in store should you make it to Mont Tremblant.

"The ski hills at Saint-Bernard near Mont Tremblant"

Trails with a view

"Skiing through the trees  at Saint-Bernard"

Skiing through the trees

"One of the warming shelters that gets very crowded on a weekend"

One of the warming shelters that gets very crowded on a weekend

"Feeding the black-capped chickadees"

Trying to feed the black-capped chickadees

"These chickadees probably look forward to the weekend crowds"

I suspect these chickadees look forward to the weekend crowds

"Beautiful skiing on unbelievably good snow"

Beautiful skiing on unbelievably good snow

"Delightful sections of tree skiing"

Enchanting sections of tree skiing

"One of the open air warming shelters with a wood burning stove"

One of the open air warming shelters with a wood burning stove

"Truly delightful skiing at Saint Bernard"

Truly delightful skiing at Ski de Fond Mont Tremblant

"This was a first! Ring the bell to warn other skiers that you're descending the steep hill"

This was a first! Ring the bell to warn other skiers that you’re descending the steep hill

"Good signage at intersections"

Good signage at intersections – in French

We stayed at Le Grand Lodge Mont Tremblant, a large complex on the shores of Lake Ouimet. Views are terrific and its location, about 10 minutes away from the Village of Mont-Tremblant is ideal if you are there to cross country ski. The trails are quite literally within spitting distance.

And at the end of the day you don’t have to leave the hotel. Enjoy a meal in a timbered great room that’s full of old skiing memorabilia. The food is very good too.

"Wonderful Laurentian Mountain views from our room - just wish the hydro lines could have been buried"

Wonderful Laurentian Mountain views from our room – just wish the hydro lines could have been buried

Have you ever been to the Mont Tremblant area of Quebec?

Disclosure: Tourism Laurentian assisted me with my stay. All thoughts as always are my own.

Leigh McAdam

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