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Cross-country skiing in Canada

Old Jan 27th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Cross-country skiing in Canada

My wife and I are looking to take a relatively short (4-5 day) vacation to relax and do some cross-country skiing (as well as potentially a bit of downhill). Since there is no snow here in Massachusetts, we have decided to look north and west. In Canada, it seems as though the Banff area and Tremblant are the best places to consider, but I would love to hear other suggestions, as well as thoughts on these two. Banff seems more spectacular, but also a bit further to travel. Tremblant is closer and seems to have a more romantic atmosphere. Any thoughts/advice?
KamTravel is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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For cross country skiing, I would not go to Banff.
You may look into Gatineau
area near Ottawa - nice trails and near the city.
You can have a few hours skiing and spend evenings in some nice restaurant in Ottawa.
Old Jan 27th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Banff has great cross-country skiing at the Canmore Nordic Centre (where the cross-country and biathlon events at the 1988 Olympics were held) and the scenery is spectacular, but you might want more than 4-5 days for that trip.

In eastern Canada, several places come to mind. Gatineau Park which nbujic mentioned is just 15 north of downtown Ottawa and has a very extensive network of over 200km of trails.

You could easily stay in downtown Ottawa or in the town of Wakefield, just outside the park. The nicest place there is the Mill

In the Laurentians, where cross-country skiing in Canada began, there is a huge network of trails, including those at Mont Tremblant Park. My favourite place for cross-country is the Far Hills Inn at Val-Morin, a bit south of Tremblant.

Then there is Mont Ste Anne, just outside Québec City, which claims the largest cross-country network in the country. It's right at the downhill ski site (which I think is better than Tremblant). You could easily commute from Québec City or stay at the mountain. If you go in the next couple of weeks, you can catch the Carnaval, but you might have problems finding accommodation in the city at that time.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a week at Mont Ste Anne and Le Massif (downhill).

Good skiing!

laverendrye is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Quebec City would be great if you want to stay on the eastern side of the continent and get a nice combination of cross-country and downhill. The following Web site will give you an idea of the MANY cross-country ski centres around Quebec city:, our favorites being Duchesnay, Charlesbourg and Camp Mercier. For downhill skiing in the Quebec area the obvious choice is Mont Sainte-Anne (where the x-country skiing is great too, 100 kms of trails), and there are a few smaller ones (Stoneham, le Relais). All those are within 40 minutes drive of the city.

You might also want to consider the Eastern Townships, which would cut down your travel time if you drive from MA (downhill at Sutton, Owl's Head, Orford, x-country as well at Orford and Sutton). This would be more of a countryside holiday, but very charming area, with still many accommodations and dining options (

IMO Mont-Tremblant is good if you focus on downhill skiing and enjoy the big resort/skiing village feel. It's a big centre, everything is there on site. Great mountain, but personally not my first choice for a "romantic atmosphere".

Have fun choosing!
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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I'm happy Laverendrye pointed out interesting places for x-country skiing in the Laurentians, I was mostly familiar with the downhill. Also I made a typo about the x-country ski network in Mont Sainte-Anne - they actually have 200++ kms of trails!
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 03:23 PM
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Thanks a lot for the quick replies- there are lots of good options to research here.

Banff/Canmor was appealing at first because there seem to be lots of other activities there as well, e.g. snowshoeing, downhill, etc. but I imagine there will be lots to do anywhere there is snow...
KamTravel is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Based on everyone's replies, and some additional research, we're planning to head to Quebec City/Mont Sainte-Anne. I'll do some searching of the forum archives, but if anyone has recommendations on places to stay in either of these locations, I'd love to hear them. The real point of this trip is to relax, so something relatively cushy, with a spa if possible, would be nice!
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Before you commit, check out the conditions here.

Farther to travel, but usually cheaper to stay. 55kms of trails. European teams are going there to train for the next Olympics. Watch the prices rise then.
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