Winter in the Big Land
Winter in Labrador offers up endless outdoor activities from back-country snowmobiling adventures, to world-class cross country skiing or the leisure, yet exciting pursuit of dog sledding. Winter in the Big Land promises large Labrador skies, northern lights and great events that celebrate a variety of recreational pursuits both for the adrenaline seeker and the soft-adventure lovers.
Cross Country Skiing
Throughout Labrador, the cross-country ski clubs and their facilities provide daily groomed trail systems and numerous events for both the competitive and leisure traveller starting as early as November and running into late April. Expect spacious modern base lodges complete with canteen, meeting rooms, chalet and remote hut rentals, waxing facilities, showers, indoor barbecue pit, licensed bar, ski lockers and a complement of rental skis and equipment.
At Menihek Nordik Ski Club in Western Labrador, a proud club membership boasts of the lengthy ski season and world class trails that are home to special pre-season training camps and events like the Great Labrador Loppet followed by the Canadian Masters National Championship.
Birch Brook Nordic Ski Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay offers similar facilities and comforts. Club members welcome visitors to ski, hike and snowshoe in friendly and non-competitive timed events like their moonlit snowshoe hikes to remote ski huts. The kettle, they say, is always on! In Forteau, the warmth and hospitality extends at the Mount Nascopi Ski Club where numerous fun events are highlighted by kitchen parties, campfires, sing alongs and even a mummers visit.
The four snowmobile clubs, in addition to the trail network connecting the remote North coast communities in Labrador, provide well over a thousand kilometers of groomed trial riding not to mention the endless backcountry adventure for the leisure and competitive riders and racers. At White Wolf Snowmobile Club in Labrador City over 500kms of groomed trail is linked to a further 300 kms of groomed trails in the nearby Quebec town of Fermont. The club boasts modern facilities for group events with rave reviews from local and out of province snowmobilers, snowmobile groups and publications. Hard core snowmobilers are frequent visitors here for the start and finish of the Cain's Quest Snowmobile Race, the longest and toughest snowmobile race in the world.
At the Grand River Snowmobile Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, club members are linked to the North coast winter 'highway', a network of groomed trails that link the communities of Upper Lake Melville to the Nunatsiavut communities of Rigolet, Makkovik and Postville. Here in central Labrador, the hundreds of kilometers of groomed trail surrounding Lake Mellville and the nearby Mealy Mountains provide a complete package of experiences for all types of snowmobilers.
In the Labrador Coastal Drive communities on Labrador's South coast, the Basque Whalers and Eagle River Snowmobile Club trail systems through numerous coastal communities promise pristine Labrador wilderness adventure.
A popular twist on a traditional means of transportation, dog sledding is your opportunity to reconnect with nature and the quieter winter pursuits. Take a cultural trip back in time with Northern Lights Dog Sledding and learn to harness, drive, and care for the team. You will marvel in the beauty of the big land from the runners of the sled. Visit the annual Heritage Dog Team Race held in various Nunatsiavut communities on Labrador's North coast or consider the same at the Labrador Winter Games where dog teams from throughout Labrador compete for top honours in what many refer to as the "Olympics of the North", or the "Friendship Games".
Winter comes early in the Big Land and lasts well into late spring offering a full suite of winter recreational activity that promises to deliver unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Add some of these suggested activities and events to your bucket list but keep in mind this adventure and sense of freedom doesn't come easy, you'll have to fight for it. So surrender to the stillness and plan your winter escape in Labrador.