When the first snowflakes of the season float by – some years in November, other times as early as October – it’s important to find joy in the colder months. Here in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, we know how to celebrate our northern identity to the fullest. Whether it’s through winter sports, snowmobiling, or seasonal traditions and events, there’s something for everyone. So, get your calendar out and jot down our six suggestions that will delight even the most hardened winter skeptics.
1- A cross-country paradise
In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, there are many ways to roam through the heart of nature: on snowshoes, fur boots, a snowmobile, or… cross-country skis! Many of our clubs offer access to groomed trails at little or no cost. And there’s no shortage of choices! Discover Skinoramik in Sainte-Germaine-Boulé, the Évain, Granada, and Kiwanis cross-country clubs around Rouyn-Noranda, or Témiskaming Nordic Ski Club. Some clubs also offer equipment rentals for those who are just passing through or who wish to give it a try before it becomes their new favourite sport.
Club de ski de fond d’Évain
450, de l’Église AVENUE, Rouyn-Noranda
Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Club de ski de fond de Granada : 5061, chemin Lavigne, Rouyn-Noranda
Club de ski de fond Skinoramik : 2000, rang 2 and 3, Ste-Germaine-Boulé
Club de ski de fond de Témiscaming : On the new bike path between Lafort Street and Le Petit-Canada
2- La Fête d’hiver de Rouyn-Noranda
La Fête d’hiver de Rouyn-Noranda offers a wide variety of frosty thrills. Festival goers are invited to participate in a rich and exciting array of activities from January 21 to 23. The event, sure to please the young and young at heart, is held in a unique winter setting. On the menu: snow sculptures, boot hockey, a foot race, tubing, shows, an igloo cinema, and so much more. La Fête d’hiver de Rouyn-Noranda is the perfect anti-hibernation solution!
3- Tobogganing in Ville-Marie
For an affordable activity the whole family with love, be sure to check out the tobogganing hills of Ville-Marie! Two hills are available in winter: La Familiale is accessible by the cemetery entrance via Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes Street. This run is specifically designed for all ages as well as school groups. The Intrépide hill, located in Du Centenaire Park, is designed for outdoor enthusiasts ages 10 and up. We guarantee that after a few runs, even the adults will feel young at heart!
4- Refuge Pageau, no hibernating here
The renowned shelter that takes in and cares for injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife is open year-round! Come roam the snowy (but well groomed) trails to observe the animals in a totally different environment. Sleds are also available to give your tired kiddos a rest! For those who love to go all out, the immersive experience offers a four-season cabin rental to spend the night on site, and one of two special park visits. Tempting, isn’t it? Take the opportunity to discover the new immersive Anisipi experience, brought to life by Moment Factory. Dive into a universe enchanted by sounds and images showcasing water, the source of life, and contemplate your place in the ecosystem. A must for all ages!
4241, Chemin Croteau
Amos, Québec J9T 3A1
5- PG Expédition Abitibi dog sledding race
From February 17 to 19, mushers from across the province will gather in Abitibi-Ouest to participate in one of two dog sledding races during the PG Expédition Abitibi. Spectators of all ages will delight at the sight of the dogs and northern adventurers in action. A total of forty teams will go head-to-head in the 161 km or 65 km race. Departures and arrivals will take place in La Sarre, to the festive sound of the cheering crowds. A lunch break is scheduled in La Reine during the 161 km race so that mushers, handlers, and dogs can rest and refuel. Come participate as a competitor, spectator, or even a volunteer!
PG Expédition Abitibi dog sledding race
490, 5e rang Ouest
La Sarre, Québec J9Z 2X1
6- Recess in the forest!
Skating in an arena is fun. But skating on a 2 km frozen skateway through the Val d’Or forest is so much better! That’s exactly what https://abitibi-temiscamingue.org/activite-attrait/foret-recreative/670/Forêt récréative de Val-d’Or offers its visitors. No skates? No problem. Their boutique offers on-site rentals, including fat bikes and cross-country skis. Not to mention snowshoes! With 25 km of marked trails for all levels through a rich boreal forest, you’re sure to find the outdoor thrill that’s right for you. Several shelters are located along the trails so you can rest, have a bite, and warm up in the heart of the magical forest of mature grey pines.
FORÊT RÉCRÉATIVE DE VAL-D’OR
179, chemin de la Forêt-Récréative
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, we tackle winter head-on with our warm mittens and cozy boots. As they say, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”! We know how to celebrate our northern identity, even if sometimes – rarely – we do whine when we have to shovel (hey, we’re still human!). Whatever the activity that lights your fire, this season, no one will be left behind!