Snowshoeing in the footsteps of the last Ice Age

Secteur de la Diable - sepaq-©Mathieu-Dupuis

We never tire of them: the Laurentians provide magnificent vistas. But imagine donning your snowshoes in the mountains a few million years ago when they were as high as the Himalayas.

These remnants, now rounded, can be observed when you climb to the top of the Vache Noire mountain, which attains about 750 metres of altitude. You reach it via the Centenaire trail, a 14.2 km loop (level: difficult) wild in character, which crosses a large stretch of rocks and deciduous trees. The succession of viewpoints is spectacular.

The first stops provide views of the Diable River. Next up, it’s a series of magnificent summits over a 180-degree panorama. Lastly, there’s the view of the Mont Tremblant massif and the rounded landscapes of the valley. It’s truly stunning.

The serenity that comes with snowshoe hikes gives you the impression that the forest is resting and catching its breath.

On the occasion of the park’s 125th birthday, the Lac-aux Atocas trail is, for the first time, accessible in winter. (As an aside, “atocas”” are cranberries.) This little gem – which traverses a mature forest of white birch and spruce, a few wetlands and a soon-to-be peat bog – is very photogenic with its floating walkway.

What distinguishes it is the diversity of ecosystems in a barely two-kilometre hike. The lake is a vestige right out of the Ice Age. It was formed by a block of ice that melted slowly – it’s a kettle lake – creating a lake which is not fed by streams.

This trail is simply perfect for initiating families into a love of nature and snowshoeing.

The Mont-Tremblant National Park offers more than 50 kilometres of snowshoeing trails, rated easy to difficult, in the two sectors (Diable and Pimbina).

Information: 819 688-2281

 

More from this author by clicking on her photo below.

Marie-Ève Boivenu

 

Marie-Ève Boisvenu16 Posts

Gestionnaire au Parc national du Mont-Tremblant. Community relations officer.

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