When many Americans think of Canada, the first thing they often think of is the cold weather. (After that, maybe hockey, Justin Trudeau, maple syrup and friendly people, in no particular order. Oh, and Meghan and Harry.)
Turns out that brisk Canadian winter can have its perks — especially for those who love outdoor sports. Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, a rural town in Quebec, for example, thrives when the temperatures drop, as a nine-mile long — or 15-kilometer long, if you hail from Canada — ice trail is created each year for visitors’ and locals’ skating pleasure.
The trail is called the Domaine de la Forêt Perdue, which roughly translates to “field of the lost forest.” It’s named for the way it winds through a pine tree-filled farm in the small town, which is located between Montreal and Quebec City.
The farm owners, Jean-Pierre Binette and Madeleine Courchesne, originally began flooding their property so their three kids could play and skate, but opened Forêt Perdue to the public as a secondary business in 1997. They sell the wares from their primary business, beekeeping, to those who come to enjoy the fun.
Admission costs $18 for adults and $16 for kids, and skate rentals cost an additional $10. Once inside, visitors can glide for hours amongst the trees, finding unique surprises at several points along the way, such as warming huts, animal pens (including alpacas!), maple candy cabins and more.
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Not interested in skating? There are plenty of other activities to partake in that make Forêt Perdue a true winter wonderland.
Tel que promis le labyrinthe suspendu à ouvert ses portes à la St-Jean Baptiste. pic.twitter.com/E4dB6mVTwy— domaineforetperdue (@laforetperdue) July 9, 2014
Depending on the season, guests can go on a train ride, learn about beekeeping, pet and feed the farm animals, participate in a ropes course, snowshoe, hike and more.
Reservations are only required for large groups, and group discounts are available. Find out more at domaineenchanteur.com.