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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Embrace Winter in Cantons-de-l’Est


3. What to Do

Head to the largest observatory in eastern Canada, located on Mont Mégantic.  

Grab a torch and snowshoe under the moon to the Mont Mégantic Observatory, which houses the country’s most powerful telescope, where you can spot la Grande Ourse (the Big Dipper) and Cassiopée in the night sky. The observatory offers six-hour guided treks ($41.75, including dinner) starting at 5 p.m. every Saturday through March 26.

Enjoy the silence at Sutton en Haut Park, where you can cross-country ski ($11.50) on twenty miles of trails and gentle slopes flanked by snow-flecked pine trees. Mont Sutton ($60 lift ticket), the adjacent downhill ski resort, celebrated its 50th anniversary in December 2010 and offers deals throughout the season. The Divas on Skis promotion includes $25 lift tickets for women and discounts during happy hour (cinq à sept in the local parlance) at Bar Le Tucker (through February 24).

Join the locals who are choosing Nordic spas over cocktail lounges for après-ski this season. Spa Le Montagnais, which opened in summer 2010 on Mont Mégantic, features outdoor hot and cold baths ($25/day), deep-tissue massages (from $69/hour), and screensaver-worthy views of snowy valleys and swaying pine trees.

Take in the snowy terrain from a dog-pulled sled on Nordik Adventures’ two-hour ride ($75). Climb in as the pack of huskies is harnessed, and then coast around Mount Orford with the wind in your ears.

Published on Jan 20, 2011 as a web exclusive.

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