Thrills and Spills at Valcartier Sliding Park, Quebec
I lay on the ground, my ankle crumpled beneath me, pain so sharp I pressed my face into the snow and tried hard not to throw up. No dazzling ski injury for me though. No heroic face-planting after some daredevil antics on the slopes, nope – typically, for a klutz like myself, I had fallen awkwardly and sprained my ankle trying to get up from an inflatable rubber ring at a ‘tubing’ park.
Injury aside, if you’ve never been tubing before, I cannot recommend it enough. We drove 20 minutes north of Quebec City to visit Valcartier and I loved everything about it; in the summer you splash around, having fun in water under the blazing sun. In the winter, when the temperatures plummet and the snow lies thick on the ground, they turn it into a sliding park so you can whizz down the slopes on huge rings, zoom around an ice track in mini-racers and enjoy treats like gravy-soaked poutine and fresh-made maple syrup lollies poured over snow to set.
They have 35 snow slides, an insane snow raft run where you hurtle down an icy slope at alarming speeds flying out of your seat as you sail over bumps and a crazy circular ‘tornado’ raft which spins you around as you power down the hill. For 50 years, this park has been making kids and adults screech with excitement and they recently welcomed their 13th million visitor. It’s old-fashioned, unashamedly low-tech fun with a family-friendly vibe and if you’re ever visiting Quebec, it’s an absolute must-do.
So, it’s two weeks later now and I am still limping after my bad sprain, but you know what? Worth it. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Next time I’ll just fall out of the ring, rather than trying to get up…
I travelled as a guest of Tourism Quebec. As always – my views are 100% my own.
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