Top Ten North American Cross-Country Skiing Centers

Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
By Sproule Love

Mont-Sainte-Anne is the civilized skiing alternative. Charming, Old World Quebec City is just minutes away, and yet the skiing is on a New World scale—223 kilometers of classic skiing trails, 125 of which are groomed wide for skating, plus seven warming huts dotting the premises to relieve the Quebec chill.

Mont-Sainte-Anne's vast array of trails can overwhelm the first-time visitor. As a general rule the trails immediately adjacent and to the north of the St. Julien Lodge (the main cross-country center) are flatter and easier. Those to the south and west are rated advanced or most difficult. Bear in mind that length, not terrain, earns some of these harder trails their rating. Once you're committed to these long loops, you'll find no short cuts back to the lodge.

A recommended jaunt is the trail that connects the downhill area to the cross-country ski trails, Sentier du Versant Nord. At 13 kilometers it's on the long side, but finishing lends a sense of accomplishment for both skaters and classic skiers. Mont-Sainte-Anne also offers several kilometers of backcountry (ungroomed and often unpatrolled) trails that skirt the outer edges of the ski area.

If You Go: Mont-Sainte-Anne

Trails: 125 kilometers for skating, 223 for classic (29% beginner, 40% more difficult, 31% very difficult)

Trail fee (in Canadian dollars): Adult $15 full day / $11 half day; Young adult (14-22) $10/ $8; Child (7-13) $5/ $4.

Rentals: Yes

Lessons: Private and ski school

Where: Mont-Saint-Anne is on Route 360 near Beaupre.

For more information: ; (418) 827-4561; Lodging/Reservations, call (800) 463-1568



Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »