All the FREE activities worth checking out at Parc Jean-Drapeau this winter

Feb 4 2021, 3:45 pm

If you like to beat the winter by spending time outdoors, Parc Jean Drapeau is offering a full slate of free activities for the upcoming season.

For the rest of the winter, the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SPJD) will offer a “one-of-a-kind playground” in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River.

Free activities include sliding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching, ice climbing, hiking, and fat biking.

One of the new features this year is the impressive “Skaters’ Trail,” a 500-metre long ice-covered refrigerated path that will light up at night, that winds through the park.

There is also a new sliding hill that offers families the chance to zoom down a steep incline while taking in breathtaking views of downtown Montreal from the other side of the river.


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All three of Parc Jean-Drapeau’s cross-country ski trails are “beautifully maintained,” and offer skiers a variety of different routes. The Île Sainte-Hélène hill has both 300 metres of skiable landscape (for beginners) and 800 metres of a more treacherous trek for the advanced class. A third 5.4-kilometre-long trail on Île Notre-Dame accommodates more experienced skiers who are “seeking to get away and go on a trail interspersed with public art displays, heritage buildings and abundant nature.”

Locker rooms and waxing tables are available on site.

Parc Jean-Drapeau also has a climbing wall, made completely out of ice, where climbers can tackle a seriously cool experience.

Snowshoeing offers paths that are full of wildlife and Montreal’s picturesque winter atmosphere, where visitors can take a “reflective and memorable walk,” says the SPJD.

Bird-feeders have been set up near wooded areas at the Biosphere and can attract nuthatches, chickadees, and woodpeckers for fans of winter bird-watching.

Parc Jean-Drapeau will be renting out equipment all winter (skates, skis, bikes, snowshoes) which will be free for Montreal residents under the age of 17. The park also has food concession stands, hot drinks, and outdoor heaters.


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The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau says the province’s COVID-19 vaccination passport will not be required to practice winter activities, because they are deemed to be of an “open-activity” nature.

Parc Jean-Drapeau’s free winter activity schedule is currently open every day until March 6, 2022.

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