A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to discover the Chaudière-Appalaches region of Quebec with my friend and photographer extraordinaire Jeff (who took all the photos for this article) and Mary Lynn and Emilie from La Fabrique Crépue. Located across Quebec City, the Chaudière-Appalaches region stretches along the St. Lawrence River and includes many members of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec Association. It’s a large region that stretches from the St. Lawrence river near Quebec City in the north to the US border in the south. One of North America’s oldest regions, it has a rich maritime history and offers visitors many attractions, from exploring the outdoors to relaxing in one of the many spas to a rich culinary tradition highlighting the many regional products. A short drive from Quebec City, it’s a beautiful region to explore any time of the year. I never thought I would enjoy a winter visit this much since I really don’t enjoy being outdoors when it’s cold. However, I will always remember Chaudière-Appalaches as the place where I finally went dog sledding, after having lived in Quebec for 25 years!
We visited Chenil La Poursuite on a mild day and got to know some of the 250, well taken care of and extremely well behaved dogs! The Siberian Huskies, Alaskans and Malamutes were all so beautiful that I would’ve taken any (or all!) of them home! We even got to pet some tiny, blue-eyed puppies! The sleds are made for two people and are pulled by several dogs. Several sleds follow each other along some gorgeous trails cut right through the forest or across some fields. A few guides always accompany the sleds and make sure everything runs smoothly. At La Poursuite, you are given precise instructions on how to “drive” the sled before you actually get on one and start leading. To say the ride was exhilarating would be an under statement! It is literally breathtaking, in the sense that there were moments where I had to remind myself to breathe. My friend Jeff was the one driving our sled and doing most of the work while I say and enjoyed the ride. We went through dense forests, over trickling, frozen streams, across frozen tundras. We dodged trees, ducked under branches, hopped over crevasses, bounced over bumps and swerved to avoid bushed all the while the dogs kept running. It has snowed the day before so everything was dusted in a thick white blanket, which made the views even more gorgeous. I must admit that I was a bit nervous at first since I didn’t know what to expect. Some parts were a bit bumpier than expected but I loved the experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat! If you live in Quebec or if you’re visiting, I highly recommend this activity.
While in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, I stayed at La Cache à Maxime, a lovely boutique, modern luxury hotel in the middle of a vineyard. It has a fantastic spa and a good restaurant on site. I was also a guest of L’Auberge des Glacis, an inn located inside an old mill that was built in the 1840s.