Experience this unique winter sport on the icy St. Lawrence River that alternates between rowing the waters of the St. Lawrence River and jogging/pushing along the canoe over the crackling ice beneath your shoes, that is fitted with bolts to keep their traction on the ice.
A bit of history: Before the advent of iron-hulled steamships capable of breaking through the icy St. Lawrence River, canoeing was the only way to get across the river for carrying goods and people between the islands in the St. Lawrence and the mainland. In 1894, it became part of Quebec Winter Carnival after ice canoeing, as a means of transportation, came to its end.
To Race or to Cheer:
Ice Canoeing is part of the winter sports scene in Quebec and ice canoers compete for the ultimate prize of all – the Cup of Mirrors, which has 7 races (Circuit Québécois raft Ice) that spans from January 21, 2017 (Marina de Portneuf, Rue Quai Portneuf , Quebec) to the Grand Challenge on March 4th, 2017 (Bassin Louise, Port of Quebec, 170 Rue Dalhousie Quebec). More than 50 teams compete in 3 different categories defying ice, water, cold and tides to win the ultimate trophy – the Cup of Mirrors.
Ice canoe race during Quebec Winter Carnival is part of the Cup of Mirrors and takes place on February 5th 2017.
To Cheer the athletes: Get tickets and follow athletes and support them from up close, close enough to hear them yell! Watch them brave the ice to reach the buoy hanging from the ferry you’re standing on yourself! Cost: $31.00 – $54.89
To Experience it Yourselves:
Quebec-based Canot à Glace Québec provides packages to experience this unique activity. Enjoy an unforgettable journey over the icy waters of the St. Lawrence River. No other place on our planet has a river of this size where the climate allows for solid ice slabs to cover the water surface and float with the ever-changing currents.
Canot à Glace guides will adapt to your fitness level. Each canoe will be equipped with 2 experienced guides and will accommodate 3 clients.
When: Starting in mid-December and ending at the beginning of March, weather dependent.
How long: ~ 3 hours with 1 hour excursion on the river. Rest for orientation.
Where: L’Anse Brown – 615 Boulevard Champlain, Québec.
How much: $175/person + taxes