The demand for winter camping is very strong this year at the Parc régional de la Rivière Gentilly where a dozen sites are cleared of snow and frequented every weekend by outdoor enthusiasts who seek to break the monotony of confinement.
“The weekends are not bad all the time. During the week, things fill up here and there, ”emphasizes communications and marketing officer Sébastien Jubinville.
It is mainly the chalets that are rented, for more comfort, but the ten sites that are cleared of snow have nevertheless received a good number of camping enthusiasts who come to live the experience of winter camping in a tent or trailer. and in VR.
At the moment, ten lots are cleared of snow to meet demand and the administration could open more if necessary. Depending on the temperature, between four and eight sites are occupied by campers from one week to the next.
“There is a huge emergence this year with COVID. People stayed in Quebec and learned to camp again, says Sébastien Jubinville. Before, cabins were always available, campgrounds were also open, but it was much rarer. Normally, our chalets, in winter it was quieter. We rented some here and there, but this year, until mid-February, it’s full, even on weekdays. It’s very different from last year. ”
Since the campsite opened on June 1, after two months of closure due to confinement, the campsite, which is open year-round, has received campers every weekend, and even weekdays. Which was rarely the case in the past outside the summer season.
More and more outdoor enthusiasts
As people are looking for an activity to enjoy winter this year, the Parc de la Rivière Gentilly is also registering a huge enthusiasm for winter activities. This is particularly the case for the practice of fatbiking. To the point where rental has exploded this winter.
“It’s completely ridiculous, image Sébastien Jubinville. Last year we rented between 25 and 40 [fatbikes] per day and now we have reached a hundred. It’s really one after another. On weekends, it always plays between 80 to 120 rentals [of two hours] per day. ”
There is also ski hok, which is a hybrid between a ski and a snowshoe. Equipped with a gripping surface, they allow you to go up and down slopes. A product that has been available for a few years at Parc de la Rivière Gentilly, but that we started to lather a little more this year and which is also very popular.
About twenty other pairs for children and adults are also expected over the next few weeks.
Equipment that the Park was able to obtain thanks to a $ 5,000 grant from Loisir Sport Center-du-Québec.