Where to go cross-country skiing in Montréal

Daniel Baylis

Daniel Baylis is a writer and adventurer. Born in British Columbia, Daniel came to Montréal with the kooky bohemian notion that he would write poetry, learn to speak French and fall in love. Having achieved various levels of success in said domains, he now focuses his energy on a new hobby: artisanal pickling.

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Winter in Montréal is a snowy playground—and no activity enables you to move through stunning frosty landscapes more efficiently than skiing. Whether you want a cardio-based workout or a leisurely glide, here are where locals go for cross-country skiing in Montréal.

Mount Royal Park

The city’s central park—known locally as “the mountain”—is the perfect place to ski. The cross-country ski trails are groomed daily. Skiers can depart from Maison Smith or Beaver Lake. Along the way, you’ll have access to both wooded and wide-open landscapes. Here’s a map of the routes.

Rentals: Yes
 

Parc La Fontaine

In this popular Plateau neighbourhood park, the magic of Montréal winter is palpable. Two cross-country ski trails crisscross the western side of the park and have a total length of 5.2 km. Here’s a map of the routes.

Rentals: Yes (at the Parc La Fontaine chalet)
 

Maisonneuve Park

The cross-country ski trails (12 km) of this much-loved 63-hectare park offer routes that are sometimes wooded, sometimes clear with very little difference in elevation. Also, a 2.7 km circuit is reserved for skating.

Rentals: No

 

Frédéric-Back Park

From limestone quarry to landfill to environmental gem, Parc Fréderic-Back is a sprawling urban oasis on a 192-sectare site. The multi-purpose perimeter track (5.5 km) is used by cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and fatbikers in winter. Other cross-country ski trails (3.5 km) span the Boisé Est and Plaine areas.

Rentals: Yes (at Tohu)
 

Parc Jean-Drapeau

Nearly eight kilometres of trails are available and mechanically maintained by park staff, who make it their duty to ensure the best possible snow conditions for skiers. The various trails of the park enable athletes—whether beginners or well-seasoned—to benefit from a tailor-made experience. Official website of Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Rentals: Yes
 

Jarry Park

The Jarry Park cross-country ski trail offers a handsome view of Mount Royal. Because it is short in length, and offers very little difference in height, it is ideal for beginners. When conditions allow, it is also possible to go snowshoeing.

Rentals: No
 

Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation

The cross-country ski trails (7.6 km) in the Île-de-la-Visitation nature park are short distances and offer breathtaking views of the frozen river without large elevation changes.

Rentals: No
 

Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse

Whatever your level, there is a cross-country ski trail (10 km) for you at the Bois-de-Liesse nature park. There is also a track dedicated to skating. Snowshoeing or hiking enthusiasts have access to more than 10 km of trails. Official website (with ski map).

Rentals: Yes
 

Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques

Spanning 330 hectares, this massive park is Montréal’s largest, welcoming outdoor enthusiasts to explore a variety of winter activities. The cross-country ski trails offer both short- and long-distance routes. Departures are from the reception chalet where it is possible to rent equipment. Here’s a map of the routes.

Rentals: Yes (reservation only)
 

For up-to-date winter conditions at various parks across the city, visit the Ville de Montréal’s website!

Daniel Baylis

Daniel Baylis is a writer and adventurer. Born in British Columbia, Daniel came to Montréal with the kooky bohemian notion that he would write poetry, learn to speak French and fall in love. Having achieved various levels of success in said domains, he now focuses his energy on a new hobby: artisanal pickling.

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