In the Eastern Townships, the experience goes beyond the mountain. With a unique blend of charming New England character, authentic Québec flair and four world-class ski resorts just 50 kilometres apart, the opportunities for new experiences on and off the hill are endless, and the villages are constantly improving. The new chalet at Owl’s Head, a “Chondola” being installed at Bromont, and more powerful snowmaking at Mont-Orford and Sutton, are just a few of the upgrades to an already historic area to look forward to for new and returning visitors. Here are some of our favourite dining, skiing, and cultural opportunities in the area that make it a one of Canada’s supreme snow destinations.
Let’s kick things off with the highest mountain in the Eastern Townships, Mont-Orford. Not many resorts can claim to rival the mountains of the Eastern U.S., but with 4 slopes, 3 mountains, and a vertical drop of nearly 2,000 feet, Mont-Orford certainly matches up well. From beginners to experts, the mountain has something for everyone.
Located in the Mont-Orford National Park, the resort also has incredible views, and with a blanket of snow the area becomes a playground unlike any other. With excellent XC skiing and snowshoe trails littered throughout the park, if you need a rest day from the challenging terrain of Mont-Orford, just outside of the resort boundaries is the place to look.
Looking for an authentic culinary experience off the hill? Bistro 4 Saisons is serving up some of the best food in town, with a vegetarian friendly menu to boot. No better way to treat yourself after a long day on snow than a hot, delicious meal! That’s what a vacation is all about, right?
Ride the lift to the summit of Owl’s Head and tell us you aren’t impressed—at the end of each chairlift ride off the summit you will be rewarded with 360 degree views of the Eastern Townships and the amazing Lake Memphremagog.
While Owl’s Head flies somewhat under the radar compared to some of the surrounding mountains, this resort packs a punch and offers families a unique, safe and welcoming experience with an exceptional ski school. The intimate feel is not lost on many families who choose to return year after year for the authentic vibe, incredible views, and quality skiing. To top it off, the resort is getting a complete makeover with a newly revamped chalet, offering an excellent place to cozy up next to the fire in between runs.
Off the hill, the nearby lake region offers a getaway after a long day of skiing or boarding. With the smallest crowds and shortest lift lines to hammer out laps, Owl’s Head will leave you wanting nothing more than a few hours in the hot tub at the end of the day!
If you’re looking for some good old fashioned adventure skiing, look no further—Mont Sutton is your place. Many locals will describe it as “untamed”, and that is exactly how it was all planned out.
With reliable snowfall due to its unique microclimate, Mont Sutton offers the perfect terrain for the adventurous skier, with it’s famous glades. Beginners won’t be left aside with wide easy glades and trails, and even packages including ticket, rental and a lesson. On top of the amazing ski experience, skiers of all level appreciate the beautiful sceneries the glades offer across the mountain. If you aren’t convinced yet, take it from a fellow expert in snow sliding: Ski Canada magazine has declared Mont Sutton“Canada’s finest glades” year after year.
The authentic on-hill experience is matched only by the surrounding village, with plenty of accommodation options and some of the best après-ski in the area. Bar Le Tucker, located just a few steps away from the slopes, is a sure-fire good time with live music on Thursdays and Fridays, and a cozy fireplace ready for some company.
Founded in 1964 by the legendary Desourdy family, Bromont’s history is outdone only by it’s impressive status with 7 slope sides, 32 glades, 141 trails of which 101 are lit at night, making it the largest ski resort offering night skiing in North America.
In 2018, Bromont will kick-off the season with a brand-new hybrid chairlift; 6-place seats and 8-place gondolas. With its 1,300 snow guns, one of their biggest assets, Bromont can open quite early and a strong base results in great skiing conditions all winter long. For all fans of corduroy, Bromont is the largest resort in Eastern Canada that offers groomed trails. Not only is the grooming done throughout all 7 slope sides, it is also being done 3 times a day; morning, afternoon and night, creating outstanding conditions at all times.
Part of the experience in Bromont is the nightlife, which is presented in a variety of programs. The 8 ‘’Nuits Blanches’’ during the season include skiing until 2 am, entertainment, live shows, an area specifically built with obstacles giving skiers and riders varied challenges, and much more. Starting mid-January, every Thursday at 8 pm, all skiers are welcome to see live shows; including musicians, bands and comedians.
For more information on how to get to the Eastern Townships for a dream vacation, visit QuébecSki.