Photo: Jérémie Perreault
There are more than 75 ski areas in Quebec, and many remain a well-kept secret. Passionate moms and pops created these family gems years ago. Today, younger generations, co-ops and visionaries have given them a polish. Tailored for beginners, families on budgets, and energetic ski tourers, these areas offer family-friendly, all-day experiences for less than a round of burgers and beer at a destination ski resort. Bonus: no traffic. We collected five award-winning, low-altitude ski jewels in Quebec you may not yet have noticed.
Photos: MONT ADSTOCK
First opened in 1947, Mont Castor in Matane hosted early ski races in the Gaspésie region. Families remain the focus, with three lifts and 19 trails—four are open for night skiing. Passes cost less than $35. Kids can try the tube slides, snowshoeing and snowpark, too. Skin up for an extra challenge. Afterwards, indulge in Matane’s coastal après-ski scene.
This family hill near Thetford has a surprisingly steep pitch and varied downhill terrain. Lodging options include nearby hotels, Coolbox rentals and hookups for RVs. The mountain offers cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing, tube slides and more. Alpine touring is a hit with locals, and powder hounds (the canine kind) are permitted in certain areas.
Situated in the Eastern Townships, Mont-Bellevue won the 2023 enviro award for its conservation tactics. It is the perfect little hill to learn to ski, with ground lifts and low rates. The area offers 10 ski runs, a quad chairlift and novice learning zones, but also a designated ascent path, and trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat-biking.
Under new ownership, Vorlage is jazzing up year-round activities, including fat-biking and special events. Located near Wakefield, families love this area north of Ottawa for its amphitheatre shape—all trails lead back to the main lodge. In addition to 18 runs, three double lifts and a magic carpet, Vorlage now also features alpine touring. The Grimpe des Collines challenge was created last January to introduce the joys of uphill to newbies.
The quaint country charm of Mont Gleason near Victoriaville shines through. There’s a log cabin at the top of the mountain where you can eat a hearty meal and take in a panoramic view, and there are more than 20 runs, 10 glades, two quad chairs, one double and a magic carpet. With more than $1.5 million in investments this coming season, Gleason will add a grooming machine, RFID technology, alpine touring and a new snowpark for beginners.