Winter Escapade Idea: snowshoeing, the ultimate winter activity | Stories | Explore the Chaleur Region in New Brunswick | Chaleur Tourism

Winter Escapade Idea: snowshoeing, the ultimate winter activity

Looking for a gentle outdoor activity this winter? How about snowshoeing? Snowshoeing is the quintessential snow activity – all you need is a pair of snowshoes and deep snow. With world-class trails for all levels and abundant snow, the Chaleur Region is a snowshoer paradise. 

 Published Mar 07

With its beautiful trails and abundant snow, the Chaleur region has everything from snowshoeing paradise, for all levels. Classic hike, among elves, in the heart of nature or a snowshoe foraging workshop: the choice is yours!

Before you go

Snowshoes were born thousands of years ago. Observing how cold-region animals had larger feet to keep them on top of deep snow, the First Nations invented this time-proven tool to walk in snowy conditions.

One thing we love about snowshoeing is that you don’t need any fancy equipment. No, really! Just bring:

  • Your favorite snow boots;
  • Warm, waterproof layered clothes
  • A good snack or two and a hot drink in your backpack;
  • Snowshoes, obviously;
  • You can also bring poles – they’re great for added stability.

Technically, you don’t even need trails to go snowshoeing but just saying… you don’t want to pass the excellent trails in the Chaleur Region (the best in the world, in our humble opinion!).

We know you can’t wait to hit the trails but consider these common-sense safety precautions before you go:

  • Don’t go out if the weather is uncertain or instable. Instead, how about getting cozy in one of the great cafés of the Region?
  • If you hike a remote trail, go with a group and share your itinerary with others who stay home.
  • Bring plenty of food, drinks and warm clothes.
  • Don’t break an unknown-to-you trail, especially if the trail markers are not obvious: you could get lost.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, you’re good to go. Did you just hear that? The great outdoors are calling!

Snowshoe rentals in the Chaleur Region

No snowshoes? No problem! If you want to give snowshoeing a try before buying your own equipment, you’ll find snowshoes at these two locations in the Bathurst area:

Check on the elves on the Boisé trails in Bathurst

Snowshoeing is a fun activity for the whole family. To introduce your kids to snowshoeing, how about making it magic?

The Boisé trail network in Bathurst is a great place for an easy introduction. You’ll find several flat trails nestled between Youghall Drive and Peter River. Can you believe the entire network is on private land and maintained by the thoughtful owner? If you needed another proof that the Chaleur Region is an amazing place, this is it!

You’ll start by the Pâpital trail. A couple hundred meters into the trail, you’ll spot quirky bird feeders at the junction with the Mossy Trail. At this point, even the less enthusiastic kids should start forgetting they even have snowshoes on: are these elf clothes on a line between trees?

A short walk down the trail, you’ll see an “Elf Crossing” sign. Keep your eyes peeled, you might meet surprising creatures along the way (we’ll let you discover them for yourself!). The trail network has several short loops to easily go back to the parking lot. No risk of exhausting your little snowshoers here.

Access: 1135 Youghall Drive, Bathurst. In the weekends, a long line of cars parked along the road will point you to the trail head parking lot.

Break the trail in Daly Point Nature Reserve 

Daly Point Nature Reserve should be high on your list of the best snowshoeing spots. No elves here, but the friendly birds and gorgeous views across the bay more than make up for it! This park is so popular for snowshoeing you can even borrow snowshoes at the visitor center free of charge (donations are welcome though!).

[Daly Point Nature Reserve]

The reserve has such a varied terrain, every visit is different. Choose between the White Pine or the White Birch trails, the Warbler trail boardwalks or the bay views on the Salt Marsh trail: you can’t go wrong! 

Best of all? The Daly Point trails aren’t mechanically plowed. This means you’re very likely to be the first out on a trail if you come right after a snowfall!

It’s the perfect, safe, environment to enjoy this quintessential winter pleasure: breaking a snowy trail. That special crunch under your snowshoes? It’s even better when you’re the first person out in the snow!

If you’re familiar with Daly Point Nature Reserve, the Salt Marsh trail is where you’ll have the most fun, since it gets the most snow. Get ready for wading in deep snow and enjoying every minute of it!

Access: 2075 Carron Drive, Bathurst. The visitor center is open Thursday to Monday from 9 to 4.

Snowshoe foraging workshop in Madran

Do you know what chaga looks like in the wild? Have you ever tried cedar foliage tea? And did you know you can snowshoe for 1,5 hours without even getting tired if you’re on a fun outdoor workshop? This is only a fraction of what you’ll discover during this foraging snowshoe afternoon.

If you’re looking for a unique activity this winter, check out this wonderful workshop offered by Madia Botanica in Madran.

[Madia Botanica]

Madia Botanica is a company led by nature lover Madiane Michaud, who prepare soaps, salves and skin products for the body and the soul with native plants found in the area. She shares her knowledge during workshops to introduce us to what the wild has to offer year-round. During winter, strap on your snowshoes and follow her on her private trails.

𝐶𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒-𝑢𝑝 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑔𝑎, 𝑎 𝑚𝑢𝑠ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑎 𝑠𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑡 𝑡𝑒𝑎!

Last, but not least: after the hike, gather around a bonfire and warm up with delicacies prepared with plants discovered during the snowshoe trip. Taste cedar tea, sip a creamy chaga chai tea or indulge in a surprising cedar jelly topped with brie!

Access: 480 Madran Road, Madran. Book this activity here. From 40 $ to 60 $ per adult depending on the group size.

Experienced snowshoers: get ready for the Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail

The Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail is not for the faint of heart. With 140 km in total, most of its sections are not easily accessible in winter and better left to seasoned snowshoers anyway. If you have extensive winter camping experience, you can book the Gitpu and Muin teepees on the NB Parks online platform, snowshoe your way into the campsite and spent an unforgettable night under the stars.

[Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail]

If winter camping isn’t quite your thing, you can still get a taste of the mighty Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Trail by snowshoeing the E-F section. This part of the trail is popular, well marked and the trail will most probably be broken when you get there. Easy!

Follow the markers along the Nepisiguit river. Can you hear? As you snowshoe away from the road and into the wild, the silence is only broken by the sound of the river and the wind around you. After 2 km, you’ll find a rope bridge over a frozen brook. Cross it if you dare! You can turn around here for a healthy, 4-kilometer return hike.

For a more strenuous, longer hike, you can also keep on going on an extra 3.5-kilometer loop that will take you on the other side of the bridge. This trip is more of a workout with 7 kilometers total… you deserve that scrumptious hot chocolate in one of the cozy cafés of the Region! (you know what? You always deserve that scrumptious hot chocolate in one of our cozy cafés!)

Access: Middle Landing. There are not a lot of parking options in the winter, share a ride with your friends if possible! But don't forget, the Nepisiguit Mi'gmaq Trail is 140km long, so you might want to discover it through another access point. 

Give snowshoeing a go this winter! And if snow isn’t deep enough for snowshoeing, the Chaleur Region has plenty of other options to enjoy the great outdoors, from snowmobiling, to cross-country skiing to fat biking!

*This blog was written with the collaboration of Arpenter le chemin*  


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