Our Tips on How to Enjoy Winter Hiking

When we think of the Espace 4 Saisons hotel, we tend to see it mainly as the jumping-off point for going skiing. That said, its location at the foot of Mont-Orford also makes it the ideal base from which to enjoy winter hiking!

Here are some tips on how best to enjoy the region’s snow-covered trails…

Check the Weather and the Trail Conditions

It goes without saying that in Quebec, no matter what the time of year, temperatures can change quite suddenly. A beautiful, sunny morning can, without warning, be transformed into a howling snowstorm—one of the main reasons why it’s a good idea to check the weather before setting off. Usually, if bad weather is on its way, the TV channels, social media, websites, etc., will announce it in advance.

If in doubt, don’t second guess the conditions on the trails—cancel your outing! You can tackle the mountain another time. It’s not going anywhere!

If, after checking it out, the weather seems fine, then go ahead and plan your outing. Click here for information about hiking trails in the Eastern Townships.

…and here specifically for the Mont-Orford trails.

©Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est

Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment

When hiking on snow-covered slopes, it’s really important to make sure you have the right equipment. Are you aware, for example, that after 4 p.m. you must wear a headlamp on Mont-Orford’s alpine trails?

The headlamp requirement is a safety measure, and depending on which trails you plan to hike, wearing crampons and taking along trekking poles, a compass and maybe even snowshoes, is a good idea.

Not sure exactly what to take? This is where the pros come in! You’ll find them at SkiVélo, which has a boutique at the base of the mountain and another in downtown Magog.

Load Up on “Fuel”

In order to have enough energy to enjoy the hike, it’s wise to “fuel up” before leaving. Bistro 4 Saisons, within the Espace 4 Saisons hotel, serves a hearty breakfast from Tuesday to Sunday. Choose a dish high in protein and carbs, such as Eggs Benedict with ham, a brioche sandwich, or eggs (any way you like!)

As you’re walking, remember to stay hydrated! Perhaps because it’s cold, we tend to feel less thirsty than on a hot summer’s day but when we expend energy, we lose just as much fluid. If a sip of cold water doesn’t seem too appealing, then instead bring along a herbal tea, a decaf coffee or a hot chocolate in an insulated food container. A hot drink will warm you up and quench your thirst at the same time.

At the end of the day, after all that physical exercise, reward yourself with a local beer and/or a good meal. At Burger Pub, you can tuck into hearty fare such as burgers, soup, nachos and of course… poutine!

©Burger Pub

And Now It’s Time to Relax!

As you wend your way back to your room, you will more than likely fall into a deep sleep, dreaming of the wonderful landscapes you’ve experienced during the day. If you wake up in the morning with aching muscles, there’s a sure-fire antidote! Within the hotel is the Dôme de Morphée aesthetic spa, where you can book a massage or a body treatment. The hotel complex also includes an indoor/outdoor pool and a whirlpool bath

©Dôme de Morphée

Armed with our advice, you are now well equipped to enjoy some of the region’s most scenic winter hiking trails! We look forward to welcoming you at Espace 4 Saisons. Our modern facilities and excellent service will make you feel quite at home.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us for recommendations about outdoor activities around the region. We’re happy to share our favourites!

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