We’ve all seen the photos. The ones on social media of amazing destinations that have you wishing on stars and birthday candles to one day see them for yourself. As we started our adventure at Skating Through the Forest Quebec, with the sun bright in the clear blue sky, casting shadows over the ice as it shone through the trees, I realized that this is one of those places.
The light bounced off the snow and ice, blinding and beautiful, but there was no warmth to take the chill out of the air. It may have been 25 degrees below zero as we laced up our skates but amidst our awe and excitement, we barely noticed the cold. Because there, just ahead of us, bordered by snow, was the most magical frozen trail into and around the forest… and we were about to go check it out.
Our son took off first, zooming up and down the ice like he was on a breakaway, about to score the winning goal. Our daughter took the more scenic route—holding on tight to her dad’s arm as they set out at a much more leisurely pace. Watching all three of them I took my first glide onto the ice. The blades slid through it like butter and I knew, without a doubt, this adventure was going to be special
Skating Through the Forest — Patinage en Forêt
In the heart of Lac des Loups, one of nine villages that make up the municipality of La Pêche, Quebec, you will find the enchanting winter experience, Skating Through the Forest or Patinage en Forêt. In the community-minded towns of La Pêche, it seems entirely fitting that this is a family-owned and operated business. What’s hard to believe is that this very Canadian experience was only established in 2016. Even then, in its first season, Skating Through the Forest brought 20,000 visitors to La Pêche—that’s a lot of people for a region with a population of 7,800.
It was Dave Mayer, his wife Monique Robert and her sister Micheline who had an idea to share their piece of the forest with the public. By creating a labyrinth of skateways, 3km long, through the natural world, they have provided a special experience for all ages to discover the serenity and beauty of the forest.
Around every bend and behind every tree held a surprise for us to discover. Sometimes that surprise was a peak at the resident wildlife. If the kids got a little tired—lost some of their zest to make it around the 3km loop—there was the incentive of seeing another alpaca or an emu to keep them going strong. We were given a bag of feed and had a chance to share some with many animals including Canadian geese, sheep and even deer.
There is no doubt you will find your Instagram worthy moment while winding your way through the icy trails. The forest provides the perfect backdrops for your group photos and you’ll want to be prepared for any animal encounters. Loupie, their resident—and very friendly—wolf mascot, often straps on his skates and he is always camera-ready.
Mom tip: Keep those devices warm! The last thing you want to see when you pull out your phone or camera is a black screen. We all know the cold temperatures kill our batteries so make sure you keep your devices and batteries tucked inside and close to your body. A handwarmer next to my phone helped save my battery.
Mom tip: Film the scene, snap the memory and then put the device away. I gave myself 15 minutes to digitally capture our adventure and spent the rest of the time experiencing it with my family.
Know Before You Go
Before you pack-up your skates,punch Lac des Loups into your GPS and head off to skate through the trees, here are some housekeeping details.
Washrooms – Outhouses are located in two spots along the skateway—at the beginning and half-way through.
Skate rentals – Skate Rentals are available on-site for $10.
Hours – Opening hours are 10AM to sunset. On select evenings the trail is illuminated by torches and open to the public. Reservations are required for night-time skating. Check the website for available dates and details.
Note: If the outside temperature is above zero degrees, Skating Through the Forest may be closed. Check the website to confirm before you go.
Rates and Parking – Free on-site parking is available. Tickets must be purchased on-site and please note that they only accept cash. Be sure to check the website for current daily and seasonal rates.
Nearly half of Quebec’s landscape is covered by forest—more than any other province in Canada. There would be something amiss if we visited the province without exploring at least a section of this vast natural wonder.
Yes, exploring it was necessary. But while the forest is beautiful in itself, immersing ourselves in it through the twists and turns of the ice made it feel like we were skating through a fairytale.
As with most destinations you dream of going to, Skating Through the Forest is better in person than on social media. Idyllic and peaceful, it is an absolutely enchanting way to get up close and personal with Quebec’s Hardwood forest.
Want to see more? Check out the blogs below for more activities in Quebec!
Is this a sponsored post?: Yes while our skating through the forest Quebec adventure is sponsored, all views and opinions are our own.