Thursday, January 21, 2010

Liguori Shelter - Sentier des Caps

The infamous Sentier des Caps trail is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (more details here) in the beautiful area of Charlevoix.

This trail 40-km (25-mile) was voted in 2001 as the "#1 snowshoeing destination in Quebec" and the "2nd prettiest winter destination in Quebec" according to the trail's web site. Click here to see a map of the entire trail.

We drove up to the Massif sector of the trail (click here for map of this sector only), near the stunningly beautiful Massif ski resort. It took a bit more than 1 hour from Quebec City to get there.

We chose to snowshoe on trail #A since it's 3kms (2 miles) long and leads to a nice shelter called Liguori that offers an incredible view. I'll show you the view now (click on picture to see full size) expecting that you'll be interested in knowing more about this trail afterward.

From the parking lot next to the visitor center, a combined trail soon splits into two trails, one for cross-country skiers and the other one (Trail A) is reserved for snowshoeing.

Signage is extensive on this trail and the height of some of the marker is a good indication of how much snow typically falls at Petite Riviere St-Francois and Saint-Tite des Caps area (337 cms or 133 inches per year). In general, this year's snow accumulation has been lower than usual, however Le Massif is reporting a surprising accumulation so far of 325 cms.

The trail wanders through gently rolling terrain and through tightly knit forest of young and not so young trees, including a surprisingly large sample of birch trees. Along the way to the shelter, there are a number of places where you can get a good view of the surrounding area.

There are two tables inside, each with a view by the windows and large enough to sit 12 comfortably next to a fire stove. The 2nd story is meant for overnight campers only.

Trail conditions were good and it took us about 3 hours to complete the return trip (not including time to rest and eat in the shelter).

While about twice as far from Quebec City than the Sentier des Moulins, this area offers greater snow accumulation and a more stunning views. I would recommend both destinations to anyone in this area.

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Blogger abduk said...

Hey Marc
how much was the cost to stay in those nice cabins?

1:10 AM  
Blogger Marc Charron said...

$24/night for the cabin + $6/day for trail access (+ taxes)

6:34 AM  

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