Deep-winter hiking on Mont Laurier

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Deep-winter hiking on Mont Laurier
Text by Filles du Nord

Lac Matagami's recreational zone is truly a gem for lovers of the great outdoors. If you're visiting the region, be sure to lace up your hiking boots or snowshoes and venture out onto this vast playground.

Exploring Mont Laurier 

For a long time, the only Mont-Laurier we knew was the city we would drive past as we travelled back and forth between Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Montréal. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that Mont Laurier was also the name of a mountain in Matagami!

Once we got our snowshoes on, we were thrilled to have local people show us their favourite mountain. On the day before, we'd had a big snowfall, so it was up to us to make the first tracks in the morning. Fortunately, Tonic, the Husky Malamute that came along with us, was happy to lead the way in that glorious powdery snow.

The Loop

The most popular trail is undoubtedly “Boucle du Mont-Laurier,” a short looping hike that can easily turn into an stimulating challenge in certain kinds of weather. The trail starts at Kilometre 10 on the Billy-Diamond Highway - and access to it is free of charge.

If, like us, you're head over heels with the sunrise, this is the place to be. Why? Because the climb is quite short, and the 360-degree vista at the top is a stunning sight. What's more, since the sun rises quite late in winter, people don't have to be early risers to enjoy the break of dawn.

The region's riches and the boreal forest

All along the way, you can admire a variety of landscapes, including dense coniferous woodland, unspoiled tundra, and a vast hinterland dotted with lakes. Along the trail, we even managed to spot some Labrador tea plants that weren't yet fully covered up by the snow.

Lots of long trails await

In Matagami, trails - adding up to more than 65 kilometres in total length - have been developed for nature-lovers' enjoyment. Some footpaths are even located in an urban setting, including Parc de la Rivière-Bell, which leads to an observation tower.

Enjoy the great hiking this region has to offer!