The Laurentians, a Québec Region Worth Discovering in Snowmobile
Last winter, I treated myself to a little snowmobile getaway following an invitation I received from Tourism Laurentians. My exploration of this beautiful area was divided into two sectors: The Heart of the Laurentians and the Upper Laurentians.
For snowmobilers who are skeptical and who think that the Laurentians are only for skiers, don’t be fooled; take the time to read through this article and follow me through my discovery of this area; You will notice that the Laurentians have maintained an important place for the snowmobile. Here’s to a good discovery!
The Heart of the Laurentians
First, my trip to discover the Laurentians took place over a period of 4 days. For this trip, I was accompanied by my wife, and photographer, Joanne Tardif. Our discovery journey started at the Chalets Royal in Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré. Here, we can find several chalets located right at the edge of the snowmobile trail and can accommodate 2 to 18 people.
Upon our arrival, we settled into our quaint and cozy chalet where a Chinese fondue was awaiting us; it was a very enjoyable evening.
Activities for All Tastes
Before heading off on the snowmobile, I had a chat with the person in charge of Chalets Royal Laurentien, Bernard Mathieu, and the General Manager, Isabelle Ménard. They told me their clientele mainly comes from the province of Ontario and the Outaouais region. In situ, they have 23 chalets to accommodate all these beautiful people.
The holidaymakers who wish to have meals provided have at their disposal a chalet menu for all three meals. They can also combine several other activities to their stay such as dog sledding, skiing, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and, of course, snowmobiling which can be rented by the hour or the day. A guide service is also offered, but since the trail is in the vicinity of the tourist station, it is very easy to do some snowmobiling without getting lost and easily return to the starting point. For more information, I invite you to visit their website.
Setting Off on an Adventure
After my meeting with these wonderful people who are passionate about winter sports, we set off to our destination of the day: The Estérel Hotel Resort. In Nordic temperatures, but with splendid sunshine, we took The P’tit Train du Nord linear park trail to reach our destination. This trail is maintained by the legendary Laurentians Pioneer Snowmobile Club, the first snowmobile club to have ever been created in the world; what an honour to drive on their trails!
From the edge of the trail, it was possible for us to admire the magnificent grounds of the Chalets Royal Laurentien station covered in a beautiful white carpet of snow. The trail was in excellent condition, and the signage at intersections was very easy to understand leading us to our destination.
An Enveloping Forest
Halfway to our destination, the forest became very dense while on the trail, and it gave us the impression we were driving in a tunnel; what a beautiful feeling!
At the intersection of the Trans-Québec 43 and 33 trails, snowmobilers can either travel to Saint-Donat or the Black Mountain, which is worth visiting, or to the Municipality of Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson on the way to the Estérel Hotel.
We stopped briefly to stretch our legs and take some photos to immortalize this moment. We then continued our ride, and after some time, we crossed a lake located in the heart of the Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson village to arrive at our destination. We took the time to take a few photos of the hotel and the lake, and then settled in the dining room and enjoyed a good meal.
The Estérel Hotel Rejuvenated
To my great surprise, the hotel had received a facelift. The place is very modern and offers unmatched quality accommodation with its two all-new boutique hotels, Évolution and Émotion. You can now enjoy modern suites with fireplace, balcony and kitchenette. The dining room, with a view on the lake and warm decor, creates a most pleasant atmosphere for a meal in good company.
On site, Anick Pauzé, Client Relations Manager, joined us for dinner. She mentioned to me that she was new to this position and that the hotel is a destination for snowmobiles. The snowmobiler clientele who stays at the hotel can use the outdoor spa with four spacious hot tubs, a central fire, steam and dry saunas, as well as relaxation areas to let their tired muscles rest after a long ride. The modern suites and delicious food will also strongly enhance their stay at the hotel.
Time flies! After the good meal, it was time for us to head back to our starting point. The trails were covered with light snow that had fallen while we had dinner, but the driving lent itself well to the condition of the trail. There were several slopes that we had to go down but nothing that required an expert level of driving. When we arrived back where we had started that morning, we parked the snowmobiles in the trailer and left for Mont-Laurier, in the Upper Laurentians for the rest of our trip in this beautiful region of the Laurentians.
Stay tuned next week for the rest of my trip! This time, I will be exploring the north, in the Upper Laurentians starting from the beautiful City of Mont-Laurier; to be continued…