3 small ski mountains at a low price

We won't hide it, downhill skiing or snowboarding is expensive.

3 small ski mountains at a low price

We won't hide it, downhill skiing or snowboarding is expensive. As a family, it can quickly become out of budget. But why pay top dollar if there is another way to get away with it?

Here are three small mountains where skiers and snowboarders have fun for less. In each of these resorts, a snow school allows you to learn or improve your skills.

Blue Valley

You have probably noticed that when you get on the A15 near Val-David, the landscape changes radically with its snow-covered fir trees. In the same locality, the look continues on the slopes of the venerable Vallée Bleue resort, founded in 1963.

Despite a modest drop of 115 meters, the skiable mountain has 22 runs of all levels, including two very easy ones (16 followed by 14). On stormy days, the trails are only half groomed. A snow park is for the more adventurous.

Descents for four hours: $38 per adult aged 22 to 64, $22 for those aged 65 and over, $13 to $28 for children and students.

► www.valleebleue.com

Ski Montcalm

Located in Rawdon, less than an hour from Montreal, the 50-year-old ski resort was founded and developed by Tadek Barnowski, Polish ski champion. Sliding is practiced on 25 tracks spread over four slopes, which is rather surprising for a mountain of 150 meters in altitude.

There are not only easy level trails, but several intermediate level trails, including three in the undergrowth. This is without counting the four snow parks of different levels.

Four-hour block: $44 per adult 22-59, $34 for 60+, $15-$34 for children and students.

► www.skimontcalm.com

Ski Saint-Bruno

At a modest altitude of 175 meters, this Montérégie station, very close to Montreal, has the advantage of being easily accessible by the A20 and A30. The mountain has two snow parks and about twenty trails. Most are easy level, but there are a few for more experienced adepts.

The Enchanted Forest track gives children the opportunity to practice their turns in a fun atmosphere. Polka-dot mushrooms, pot of elves and creatures that look like something out of a fairy tale brighten up the illuminated course in the evening.

Price for three hours: $42.50 for ages 13 and up, from $31.25 to $37 per child.

► www.skisaintbruno.ca

The Cherry River Marsh

Embellished with footbridges on stilts, the Pionnier trail crosses woods and bogs, with a view of Mount Orford. Departing from the interpretation center, the one-hour trip goes near downtown Magog.

► www.maraisauxcerises.com

The regional park of Les Grèves

One park, two entrances. On the Sorel-Tracy side, the hike takes us to a 1.6 kilometer footbridge. It is one of the longest in Quebec. On the side of Contrecoeur, the sector enchants with its century-old pines.

► www.parcregionaldesgreves.com

Alain Demers is the author of the book Rediscovering Quebec: 101 destinations, published by Les éditions du Journal.