Top 5 Cross Country Ski Experiences in Montreal

Cross-country ski trails around Montreal

| Opinion

Places in Quebec for Cross-country Skiing

With plenty of snowy weather still ahead of us, cross-country ski enthusiasts know that the ski season is still in full swing. With plenty of parks and trails to discover in and around Montreal, it’s the perfect way to make the most of the snow.

Mountain full of snow

Here Are The Top 5 Places for Cross-Country Skiing Close To Montreal:

Amazing cross-country skiing Spots for experts and beginners alike.

1. L’Escapade, Rigaud

Less than an hour drive from Montreal, you’ll find L’Escapade in the city of Rigaud. L’Escapade is what’s known as a linear park, meaning it is significantly longer than it is wider. This makes for 27 km of incredible trails that don’t just take you in circles.

There are clearly marked trails for all levels, with some serious climbs and descents for the adventurous skier, as well as stunning views and separate paths for snowshoers to keep the ski trails from getting chewed up.

Cost: free

Trees in the snow

2. Bois-de-Liesse, Pierrefonds

Bois-de-Liesse, at less than 30 minutes outside the city, is a nature lover’s delight. The heavily forested park with lush stream makes for a truly peaceful environment where even the air smells sweeter.

Enjoy 11.5 km of beautiful trails and cap the day off with a little apres ski at one of the two chalets with crackling fires.

The park also offers cross country ski courses for children and adults.

Cost: park access is free, but parking is $7 for 2 hours or $9 for the day

Bois-de-Liesse, Pierrefonds Ski

3. Mount Royal Park, Montreal

No list would be complete without Mount Royal park. Right in the heart of the city, you can access the park by car, public transportation or on foot.

Mount Royal’s ski trails are full of twists and turns, and ups and downs, so it’s ideal for the more seasoned cross country skier. If you aren’t that confident, or are new to the sport, the park offers ski lessons to help you develop your skills and conquer our beloved mountain.

Don’t have skis? You can rent equipment from the park rental center.

Cost: park access is free, but parking is… well, it’s city parking, so driver beware!

Trees and house in the snow

4. Botanical Gardens

Many people don’t know this, but the Botanical Gardens opens its trails to the public for cross country skiing every winter.

They only have about 3 km of trails on the grounds (which wind through the beautiful arboretum), but the trails connect with those of Maisonneuve park for about 10 total km of trails.

The trails are mostly flat, making it ideal for beginners and families, and it is truly a unique way to experience one of Montreal’s most stunning attractions.

Cost: park access is free, but parking is $12 for the day

trail in the snow between trees

5. Bois de l’Île Bizard

Though less than an hour drive outside the city, you should note that Bois de l’Île Bizard is simply not accessible by public transportation, so a car or cab is a must.

This densely wooded park is a bit of a hidden gem that has been described as truly breathtaking and also… creepy. Going from open wetland trails to dark, eerily quiet woods is quite an experience and, if you can make the trip, not one to be missed. Just make sure you don’t get caught there after dark 😉

Cost: park access is free, but parking is $6 for 2 hours or $9 for the day

Sky view of cross country skiers

Do you have a favourite cross country ski location in the city? Share it with the Montreal Tips community in the comments! As avid skiers, we’ll likely check out your suggestions ourselves 🙂

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