I live in Ontario, near the ski areas north of Toronto, and have been taking lessons and skiing at Snow Valley, Horseshoe Resort, etc. These are relatively short runs, and not what I remember of skiing as a child in Upstate New York - long runs through the forest.
I now want to plan a trip to a 'real mountain resort' for a family ski trip in March. So far I have found Mt. Sainte Marie about an hour north of Ottawa in Quebec. This is closest for me, but how does it compare to the Ontario ski areas? Would I be better going to Magog, south of Montreal? And what resorts would be the best for a family with varying skill levels?
If Mt. Sainte Marie is recommended, any other tourist info and suggestions would be appreciated...
Is Mt Sainte Marie in the Gatineau area? We skiied that area, it's near Ottawa so I presume it's the same area you're looking at, and it was great. Much nicer than what's available here in Ontario.
Our school ski trips also took us to Mount St. Anne in Quebec, it was a yearly trip and everyone loved it.
It's been a little while since I've been out there so can't offer any other advice but I'm sure others will.
I grew up in Montreal and skiied north of Montreal a gazillion times. I have not even tried skiing here (norht of Toronto), based on what I have heard (bad traffic, long line-ups, short runs). If you are considering something north of Ottawa, it would be about the same distance to drive to Montreal and then drive north an hour. There are many places to choose from and they all have a great variety of runs from easy to suicidal (for the east). The places I skiied and loved were Morin Heights and Mont St Saveur. Saveur is good because they have joined with Mont Avila, which means you pay one lift price and can ski on two hills. We would spend the day zig-zagging our way across from lift to lift and then zig zag back - it was great. I believe they are still both one resort.
If you want the true "ski resort" experience (and can pay for it) drive another 45 minutes north and go to Tremblant!!! More expensive, but a great little town. Easy to spend days and days skiing and hanging out, with no need for a car, if you stay in town or on one of the runs.
The ski hills in the Eastern Townships are all smaller. If you are going out that way, might as well go to the mountains just north of Montreal.
Thanks for the confirmation! I will let you know where we ended up and how it all went ;)
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Address: 1101 Horseshoe Valley Road West, Horseshoe Resort, Barrie, Ontario, L4M 4Y8, Canada