Ski on a frozen lagoon in Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine

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Added by Do Gaudet

When Havre-aux-Basque bay freezes, get your skis out for an unconventional winter adventure on this beautiful frozen lagoon: it will feel like skiing in a frozen desert.

There are several groomed cross-country ski trails on Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, but with the wind and the mild winter temperatures, the trails are not always great. Les Îles however offers many other options if you are willing to go off track. 

The Havre-aux-Basque bay is a multifunctional year-round area to practice wind and water sports alike. While an International Kite-surfing destination during the summer, the bay turns into a winter iceboat haven as soon as the water freezes. You will also spot many snowmobiles and ATVs, crossing from an island to another, so be sure to keep off those tracks. 

A good place to reach the bay and start skiing practically right of your car is the Plage du Corfu. Instead of heading to the beach, from the parking lot, we suggest crossing the dunes by the four-wheelers trail in order to reach the inside bay of Havre-aux-Basques. Because the lagoon is not very deep, it should freeze in early winter, and you should be good to go. Keep an eye out for "not so frozen" blue spots as you go and only start an adventure on the ice if you feel confident about the ice conditions. 

Obviously, the bay is only good to ski when covered in snow. There are no tracks nor indications, and the weather network will not be letting you know when it's good to go. Keep in mind that if there is no snow on the bay, it might be a marvelous ice rink, so keep your skates close. 

For a nice afternoon run, we suggest to ski at least up to l'Île Arneaud, located about 1/3 of the way to the other side of the bay. Coordinates to the island are 47.322974, -61.953523 and you should have no problem finding it. The small hill on the island will give you a 360 degree view and makes a great rest stop to enjoy a nice cup of tea while looking for foxes and burrows. 

Enjoy the beautiful white desert.  

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