Winter Wonderland in Montreal’s Nature Parks

Fête des neiges de Montréal. Winter 2016. Parc Jean Drapeau. Photo Marlene Wilson. Dog Sled. Fête des neiges de Montréal. Winter 2016. Parc Jean Drapeau. Photo Marlene Wilson.

When huddling around the heater loses its charm, put on some layers and get out to one of Montreal’s many nature parks. Even though it is f-ing cold, winter has a beauty and an offering all its own. The parks also offer events and opportunities that are only available in the winter — like snowshoeing and cross country skiing, dogsledding and ice fishing. Be the Canadian the Americans imagine you to be!

Take a Shuttle

Shuttle service is available by appointment for a number of parks.Parc Nature Cap-Saint-Jacques has seven shuttles running from Dorchester Square with a ride out at 9 a.m. and a return shuttle at 3:45 p.m. Details and schedule HERE.

Dog Sledding and Ice Fishing

Sort of like whale watching, these are some of those you gotta try it at least once Canadian activities that Montrealers never seem to get round to doing. Well, your excuses for avoiding them are coming to an end because you can check it out. Dog sledding is  at Parc Nature Cap-Saint-Jacques on January 13 and February 1 0 or Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies on March 9. Learning to ice fish with demonstrations can be found at Parc-nature-Cap-Saint-Jacques every Sunday from February 3 to 24. 

Survival 101

For when you want to know that you have all it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse or a long winter (or just in case societal collapse), check this event out. Winter night survival tricks and tips are taught by naturalists from GUEPE at Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies on January 18, at Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse on January 26, and Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques on March 2.  And if you want to spend a night overnight in the forest and see if you don’t die, Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairie will let you stay from March 2 to March 3 in collaboration with Les Primitifs. Yes, reservations are required for these activities.

The Hygge Life

Scandinavians have this concept book about being all cuddly and happy through the winter season. Capitalizing on the trend, a few parks are going to teach you how to chill with friends and enjoy hot beverages Scandinavian style. Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse and Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies are offering these events. 

Bird Watching

There aren’t as many as there are in warmer seasons, but there are still birds out there. More than you realize, and especially owls. Yay owls. Do some bird watching at Parc nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies on January . 19, at Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse on February 16, and Parc-nature de l’île-de-la-Visitation on February 23. 

There’s lots more going on, including fat-bikes, ice skating, kiting, whatever else you can think of doing in the snow and cold and not doing in the cold and snow. 

The parks mentioned can all be found in and around Montreal. For info on Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse, HERE. Parc-Nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques, HERE.  L’Île-de-la-Visitation, HERE., Parc-Nature Bois-De-Liesse, HERE

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