While we look forward to more relaxed social distancing measures, we're coming up with a list of creative ways we'll be keeping busy and active, once we're able to get back out into the world.
Luckily, our beautiful province is never short of winter activities to usher us outside and enjoy some fresh air and stunning views — right in our own backyard.
Of course, you could always go the more traditional route of hitting the ski slopes. But if you're looking for something a little more slow-paced that still gives you a solid workout, try arguably one of the most Canadian activities ever invented: snowshoeing.
And what better way to do so than by exploring a unique winter wonderland at the same time?
Located less than three hours away from Québec City, snowshoeing through la Vallée des Fantômes in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean's Parc national des Monts-Valin should be on your 2021 winter bucket list.
Get bundled up in your warmest gear, pack up the car, and treat yourself and your household bubble to a day spent trekking through one of the most breathtaking frozen landscapes.
From the snow-capped evergreen trees that look like something straight out of The Grinch's Whoville to the sounds of silence broken up only by the wind whistling through the trees, you'll have an unforgettable three-kilometre trail to discover during your snowshoeing expedition.
You could even go so far as to say that Dr. Seuss could've conjured this scenery up himself — it truly is that magical.
The real beauty of snowshoeing is that you can go at your own pace, making this ideal for snow bunnies of all ages and all activity levels.
It's a great chance to enjoy nature with the family and make memories that'll last a lifetime.
Don't have your own pair of snowshoes? You can reserve your snowshoes for the day by phone (1-800-665-6527) through Monts-Valin's Discovery and Visitors Centre. Phone reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance.
It costs $18.25 per adult for the day (kids 17 and under can rent theirs for free).
In order to enter Parc national des Monts-Valin, it costs $8.90 per adult for the day (kids 17 and under get in for free) and you need to book online prior to visiting.
To get to the base of the Vallée des Fantômes, you have the option to hop aboard the Fantôme-Express, a Snowcat shuttle that has a couple of daily scheduled departures from the national park's Discovery and Visitors Centre. Again, you need to book your spot in advance by calling 1-800-665-6527.
Depending on the day, a roundtrip costs either $52.50 or $61.50 for adults and $46.50 for kids or free if they're with other family members.
The rides on the caterpillar-track minibuses take approximately 45 minutes and there are COVID-19 preventative measures in place for your safety.
No matter how quickly you make your way through the trails, you and the fam will definitely work up a sweat and an appetite, so pack a few delicious Nature Valley granola bars to help cure any potential hunger pangs.
Snowshoeing at la Vallée des Fantômes
Price: $18.25 for adult snowshoe rentals + $8.90 national park entrance fee (rentals and entrance fees are free for kids 17 and under); $52.50 or $61.50 per adult and $46.50 or free per child for roundtrip rides on the Fantôme Express shuttle.
When: Mid-December to the beginning of April but the Fantôme Express only operates until March 29, 2021.
Address: 360 Rang Saint-Louis, Saint-Fulgence, Québec G0V 1S0
Why You Need To Go: Enjoy the great outdoors and snowshoe through an enchanting winter wonderland for an experience unlike any other.
To learn more about the importance of getting outside and exploring the #JoyofNature, follow Nature Valley on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
If you're considering travelling, please be sure to do so if lockdown restrictions permit and by respecting all public health and safety regulations.