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Skiing

Duchesnay Nature Getaway Package
Located 20 minutes from Québec City, Station touristique Duchesnay offers a great ski experience in a magnificant setting.

Mont-Sainte-Anne
Thirty minutes outside Québec City is versatile Mont-Sainte-Anne. Here you'll find Canada's highest vertical for night skiing, a fun park for skiers and snowboarders, and excellent cross-country trails. You can also try paragliding, snowmobiling, dogsledding, skating or snowshoeing. Visitors with children will appreciate the award-winning Children Center.

Near Québec City, you'll also find the charming and challenging resorts of Stoneham and Le Massif.

Stoneham
You can ski in an incredibly warm and welcoming ski environment located only 20 minutes from historical Québec City. Snuggled in the heart of a horseshoe shaped valley and protected from winds, Stoneham offers you the choice of 30 trails on 4 mountains with a variety of terrain for every category of snowgoers.

You can take advantage of our extreme skiing zone, which brings out the challenge of any extreme skier, or you can enjoy the serenity and calm of our relaxing family trails. When the sun goes down, we don't stop there! At night, Stoneham is transformed into an enchanting, dazzling night ski area with trails well lit.

Le Massif
Welcome to Le Massif de Petite-Rivière-St-François. Le Massif offers the highest vertical drop (770 m) and the most abundant snowfall (650 cm) east of the Canadian Rockies.

Eastern Townships
Quebecers are avid skiers and Townshippers are no exception. They strap skis onto their feet almost from the moment they can walk. Like the locals, visitors can enjoy the snow any number of ways - skiing in its several manifestations (alpine, snowboarding and cross country), on snowshoes, by dogsled, or by snowmobile along a network of scenic trails.

The three large ski centers (there are a number of smaller ones too) - Mont Orford, Owl's Head and Mont Sutton - are among the best equipped (all have snowmaking machines) and most sophisticated ski centers in Eastern Canada. Between them, they have 140 downhill trails.

Orford, which lies within a provincial park, is known for its fast, challenging runs. It has 230 acres of skiing terrain, spread across three mountain peaks. Owl's Head, cobwebbed by trails that trickle down to Lake Memphremagog, has spectacular views. Mont Sutton offers scenic "glade" skiing on trails that snake through the forest.

Snowmobiling in Québec
Canada's largest province is more than twice the size of Texas, with half of it covered by breathtaking forests and lakes. This was undoubtedly the reason Joseph-Armand Bombardier built the world's first snowmobile here in 1922, to better explore his province's rich natural beauty.

Today, Québec offers you a superb network of groomed trails, supported by hundreds of snowmobile centers, restaurants, inns and lodges. To round out your adventure here, you can also enjoy a host of other fun-filled winter activities, as well as Québec's unique French-Canadian charm.

Québec has about 275 snowmobile associations, all of which are supported by the provincial association FCMQ -- Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec. The FCMQ collects trail fees from users to maintain the trail system, which may be included in your snowmobile rental charge.

With a winter that lasts five months and an average ten-foot/3.05 metre snowfall, Québec is prime snowmobile territory. The province has 18,750 miles/30,000 km of groomed trails -- that's thirty thousand kilometers in the Canadian metric measurement.

Snowboarding
Québec has everything a snowboarder could imagine.
Exciting challenges await you at ski stations throughout the Laurentian and Appalachian Mountains. The season is long (from late November to late April, sometimes stretching into May), there's plenty of natural snow, the view leaves you breathless and the après-ski is not to be missed! You can snowboard on every slope at the ski stations, most of which are conveniently located near major cities in the Laurentides, Eastern Townships, Québec City and Charlevoix regions.

Enjoy one of the many parks designed especially for snowboarders. The numerous gigantic half-pipes, jumps and obstacles are perfect for practicing all your stylish moves! As Québec regularly hosts international snowboard competitions, some ski stations, such as Mont-Tremblant and Mont-Sainte-Anne, feature equipment the caliber of that used in the World Cup.

Want to try this sport or learn new moves? Take advantage of the lessons offered by many ski stations.

Golf
Welcome to paradise. You’re practicing your swing on a prestigious course, designed by an internationally acclaimed architect. The course is nestled against the foot of a mountain, with hills and forests as far as the eye can see. The leaves on the trees are an explosion of reds and oranges, a river flows alongside the course… an exquisite meal awaits you at the resort, that is, after you've enjoyed a relaxing soak in the hot tub… Oh, life is good!

Courses far and wide
Québec has nearly 400 courses for you to choose from, including many high-caliber courses located not far from the major cities. Hit the links in the Laurentides, that blissful region of lakes and mountains just north of Montréal, and enjoy the superb resorts, such as the world-renowned Tremblant. Be charmed by the enchanting courses in the Eastern Townships, an emerald gem with a New England flavor. Admire the splendid panoramas of courses located near historic Québec City, including those overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River in Charlevoix. Wherever you choose to practice your game, you'll find quality accommodation establishments nearby, such as those of the Québec Resorts & Country Inns network, which offer fine cuisine and a wide range of services, all in a delightful setting.

ATVs Adventure...
ATVing in Québec is an experience you won't forget! We have the largest network of trails in North America. You can ride in over 17 000 km of well maintained and varied trails-half of them are accessible in the wintertime and half in the summertime. In addition, 10 000 km of the trails are open all year round. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and adventure at every turn.

Nature Vacationing
Today, you can ATV through Québec's countryside all year round! It all began in the early 1980s, when 4-wheel all terrain vehicles (also known as ATVs or quads) hit the trails, and access to Québec forests was suddenly transformed. Originally designed as utilitarian vehicles for farmers and hunting and fishing enthusiasts, ATVs have made tremendous inroads as recreational vehicles. Now, networks of trails criss-cross Québec, providing an organized infrastructure for riding. It's no wonder ATVing has become one of the most popular and exhilarating tourist activities in Québec-the vehicles are easy to manoeuvre, practical and fun to ride. Many outfitters rent the vehicles and organize guided group expeditions. And don't forget that most trails have relays, restaurants and lodging along the way.

Hunting
Hunting, a game of chance, instinct, knowledge, patience and play; hunting is also a science of life that reaches into the innermost depths of our being. Québec is a hunter’s paradise, offering rich and diverse ecosystems. An expanse three times the size of France (1,600,000 km2), landscapes and game stretch from mixed wood and boreal forests in the south all the way up to the taiga and tundra of the north. Some 653 species of animals inhabit Québec’s majestic mountains, and the banks of its powerful rivers, including the St. Lawrence. This seamless stretch of wilderness and wealth of renewable resources is open to fewer than 500,000 hunters, in accordance with the principles of controlled management and sustained yield, which only allow hunters to harvest the surplus in order to safeguard Québec’s wildlife.

Your hunting experience in Québec will live with you forever: flying over the wild vastness of the territory in a float plane, a kind of “bush taxi” that will whisk you to the remotest corners of Québec; stepping boldly into boundless wilderness, all of your senses honed for the hunt in a bountiful and exhilarating environment.

Rafting excursions
Québec's rivers have energy to spare. As you travel down a raging river in a raft, you'll run the gamut of emotions that induce exhilaration, rapture, fear, laughter and fulfillment. What's more, wherever this activity is offered, you can be assured of astonishing natural surroundings.

Out the Rivière Rouge, whose famed rushing waters snake through the forests of the Laurentides and Outaouais regions. Test your mettle on the magnificent Rivière Jacques-Cartier, just outside of Québec City, amid breathtaking scenery. Enjoy the calmer rapids of the Hautes-Gorges segment of the Rivière Malbaie (Charlevoix), which winds through spectacular rock walls. Other rivers that may leave you hooked on rafting are the Outaouais, Matawin (Mauricie) and Batiscan (between Trois-Rivières and Québec City), and, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, the Métabetchouan, Mistassibi and Shipshaw (the latter's level is exceptionally stable, thanks to a dam). Even the St. Lawrence boasts impressive eddies with the Lachine rapids, which have downtown Montréal as a backdrop (excursions are also offered in motorized boats).

Dogsledding
Become one with winter… go on a dogsledding adventure! This activity will put you in touch with nature like no other. Let man's best friend take you off the beaten track, through snow-covered forests and plains, beyond roads. Be soothed by the peaceful silence punctuated only by the sound of the wind and the panting of the huskies and malamutes. Be on the lookout for fox, deer and moose tracks in the glistening snow…

A time-honored activity
Dogsleds are a traditional method of transportation in the Great North. The Inuit and Amerindians traveled by dogsled all the time, and colonists, fur traders, missionaries and gold prospectors used them to transport wood and other merchandise through the forests. Today, this activity helps us get in touch with nature and establish a bond with these captivating animals.

Wild Life Observation
In Québec, nature reigns supreme. Only a tiny portion of our immense territory-which is three times the size of France-is occupied by humans. The vast boreal forests, the tundra, a million lakes and rivers and the St. Lawrence are inhabited by an abundant selection of wildlife typical to Northern climates. Don't miss the opportunity to take in certain unforgettable sights, such as the water ballet performed by whales or the seasonal passage of tens of thousands of migratory birds as they fill the skies with a joyous uproar.

Tracking Québec's wildlife...

Catch a glimpse of countless birds
• Set out for the imposing cliffs of Île Bonaventure, in the Gaspésie: you'll be treated to a fascinating sight, for hundreds of thousands of Northern gannet make the island their home.
• Explore the islands of Lac Saint-Pierre, World Biosphere Reserve. Did you know that 167 species of bird nest in the area, including an impressive heron population? To protect this fragile environment, it's recommended that you rely on the expertise of a guide.
• Drift towards the seabirds" that live among the wilderness isles of the St. Lawrence River, such as the common eider, the Atlantic puffin, the razorbill, the cormorant and the murre.
• Immerse yourself in the ecological wonders of the Mont Saint-Hilaire nature conservation centre, in the Montérégie. This refuge, which boasts more than 185 bird species, has been designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

Shopping
The blend of European and North American influences in Québec's cities makes for interesting and exciting shopping. From elegant boutiques housed in charming old buildings to the most modern shopping malls, you'll find one-of-a kind products, designer creations and luxury items from the four corners of the world.

Urban and rural art galleries harbour a surprising collection of treasures, including wildlife paintings, folk art, contemporary works, and, of course, world-famous Inuit sculptures and prints. Antique hunters will appreciate the wide variety of dealers selling authentic furniture and artifacts.

Numerous shops also highlight a remarkable array of unique Québec crafts, from jewellery and glassware to ceramics and wood carvings. Traditional native crafts also make excellent gifts and souvenirs.
Looking for something really special? Why not pick up an outfit by a local couturier or try some specialty food products, such as maple syrup delights or berry-based liqueurs. They'll give your friends and relatives back home

Fishing
In Québec, fishing is more than simply a leisure activity or sport—it’s a way of life, a culture that has been passed on from generation to generation since time immemorial. It’s a way of reconnecting with nature and escaping the hectic pace of daily life. But on a territory as vast as Québec, how can one talk about fishing when there is such a wide variety of ways and places to do it? Imagine the peaceful solitude of fishing for brook trout at sunrise on any one of Québec’s tens of thousands of lakes, with a loon as your lone companion. You can also fish in the winter, in little cabins on the ice; in autumn, on the raging currents of any number of rivers emptying into the St. Lawrence; in the summer, on veritable interior oceans or magnificent little lakes; in the spring, as the ice begins to break.

Exhilarating challenge frames every fishing experience in Québec, set against a breathtaking array of landscapes, depending on whether you’re coveting arctic char, ouananiche (freshwater salmon), lake trout, sea trout, rainbow trout, pike perch (sauger), Northern pike, muskellunge, whitefish, Atlantic salmon or any one of dozens of other species that populate the lakes, rivers and marine environments



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Avril Betts
Avril Betts, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
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