A five-storey, 600,000 cubic feet industrial space is transformed for this walkthrough exhibit.
First stop: Auberge du Lac Taureau in the Lanaudière region, where many of the lodge’s 100 rustic-chic rooms and condominiums are pet-friendly. But no dog is no problem here, as all guests can enjoy dogsledding through forested trails at this “Relais du Silence” certified resort. The focus here is on nature, with on-site activities such as wildlife observations, ice fishing, fatbiking, snowshoeing and skating on the lodge pond. End your day with dinner at Le Grand Pic restaurant, then grab a “Quebec on the Snow” nightcap in Le Boreal bistro bar, where you can cuddle up with a hotel-fostered service dog in training. Novice and intermediate riders can stay on here and stretch their limits with a snowmobile lesson around Lac Taureau, a 95-square-kilometre reservoir, or cover 23 km of cross-country trails, while advanced riders can continue on to the next stop on the “snowmobile highway.” Rates from $199.
Roughly a three-and-a-half-hour ride southeast, the next stop is the family-run Pourvoirie de Lac Blanc featuring 12 plaid-filled cottages and 18 lodge rooms. The property shows its outfitting roots with ice-fishing lessons and fish fry-ups. Midday, you will spot more snowmobiles than cars in the parking lot. Join the fun and hop on an antique snow machine tour with a stop at a trapper’s tent for game stew. Or take a modern snowmobile to St. Alexis-des-Monts’ Nouvelle France Microbrasserie for a pint of gluten-free beer before heading to chef Charles Pellerin’s restaurant for smoked trout chowder. The lodge’s pool and hot tub will soothe your aching muscles after a day spent cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Don’t leave without chatting with founder Gaston Pellerin and his two sons about their family history and how winter became one of the best times to visit Quebec. Rates from $135.
Finally, less than two hours in the saddle north, unpack your winter spirit in one of Hôtel Sacacomie’s 102 pine-panelled rooms, then put your feet up hearthside or head outside and take winter for a test drive. Sample dogsledding, cross-county skiing, snowshoeing and skating, or ride a snowmobile into nearby forests (try a night trip). This rustic lodge, perched high above frozen Lake Sacacomie, features sunset views from most rooms, panoramic lake vistas from GEOS Spa’s two hot pools, and an underground sauna offering luminotherapy (light therapy). The on-site restaurant, meanwhile, features dishes such as lamb shank braised in hay, creamy polenta and seasonal vegetables. Visit the outdoor ice bar for a shot of maple-flavoured whisky served in a glass made of ice, then make a wish and seal it by tossing your glass over your shoulder and into the forest. Rates from $215.