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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snowshoeing IN Montreal


With winter just around the corner (yes, I know but…), let’s look at a snow related activity – snowshoeing - not in the surrounding areas of Montreal, but IN Montreal itself. For those of you who have never tried it before, and with the convenience of testing it out in Montreal, why not give it a go?

The beauty of snowshoeing is that just about anyone can do it, it’s fantastic exercise that will keep you warm even in the coldest of weather, and if you eventually try it out in the countryside, you can explore areas with very high snow levels where you could otherwise not venture!

I particularly love snowshoeing up mountain trails that I have hiked during the summer. Mont Sutton is one of my favorites! Bear in mind that snowshoeing in the city will only take you so far, but it will give you a general feel for the sport, and whether it is worth a trek to the country for further adventure!

Here are some local options;

Snowshoeing trails and equipment rentals:
Mont-Royal 514-868-4144
Bois de Liesse Nature Park 514-280-6678
Cap-St-Jacques Nature Park 514-280-6871
Jean-Drapeau Park 514-872-4537
Pointe-aux-Prairies Nature Park 514-280-6688


Snowshoeing trails; (no equipment rentals available)
Lafontaine Park 514-872-2644
Maisonneuve Park 514-872-6555
Morgan Arboretum 514-398-7811
Angrignion Park 514-872-3816


There is also a singles snowshoeing adventure scheduled for Saturday January 17th, 2009. The event takes place at Beaker Lake on Mont Royal, but limited space is available, so don’t wait too long to register! The details of this event can be seen at the following link: http://www.meetmarketadventures.com/events/2166/Montreal-Singles-Snowshoeing-Adventure.html

Another exciting snowshoeing option is a guided night-time discovery of Ile St-Helene with a lantern. This is a 2 hour tour followed by an option to hang around a campfire. Check out the details at: http://www.smartertravel.com/trip-du-jour/light-the-way-to-discounts-in-montreal.html?id=2480290

I’ve been snowshoeing for more than 5 years and absolutely love it! I personally love the modern aluminum snowshoes, but the traditional wooden snowshoes with a hardwood frame and rawhide laces may feel more authentic. It really depends on the experience you’re going for.
Wooden snowshoes allow for more flotation on deep snow, they don’t freeze, and they are very quiet. The modern snowshoes however are lighter, more durable, and are a great way to extend hiking and running into the winter months.
What you need;
You can use your own footwear, but I prefer hiking boots. You can use poles for balance but they’re not essential. If you plan to go out for a long trek, a backpack is convenient for carrying snacks, water, and clothing. Speaking of which, it is best to dress in layers. If you don’t want to work too hard, you will want to have enough clothing to stay warm. On the other hand, it can be a tremendous workout, and you may want the option of removing some layers as you get warmer.
So get out there this winter, and enjoy the beautiful parks and trails! I hope to see you out there!!

4 comments:

Gillian said...

Graet post. I shall definitely get me some snow shoes this winter and go snow shoeing. Any news on the level of snow that's expected this year ??

Rebecca Klein said...

Hi Gillian,
I've heard that we can expect a repeat of last year - lots of snow, and some relatively mild weather! However, I just came across an article predicting a drier than average season. Check it out at: www.almanac.com/weatherforecast/ca/2
Let's hope for the best!
Rebecca

Kari said...

Hello there. I stumbled across your blog today and have enjoyed your post on snowshoeing. I am thinking about taking it up this winter. I have a child that has low muscle tone and believe that snowshoeing may be great strength training for him. He is only 4 so a little too small for weight lifting. Either he will love or hate it but sure worth a try.

Rebecca said...

Hi Kari,
Thanks for the comment. I'm glad to know it may have provided you with further insight into the sport and I encourage you to give it a try with your son! Check out the following sites for snowshoeing with children - there are some useful tips that may help you teach him to love it:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2304071_take-kids-snowshoeing.html

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/activity/skiing/sno_kids.htm

http://familyfun.go.com/family-travel/road-trips/feature/snowshoeing-kids/snowshoeing-kids3.html

I hope this helps!