Beginning in December, the Plains of Abraham will be offering sports and recreational activities for winter fun in this great historic park. Everyone will have free access to cross-country ski trails, walking and snowshoeing trails, areas for sliding, and a skating rink. A breath of fresh air in the heart of the city! A warming station will be available in the Joan of Arc Garden, where lovers of beauty can enjoy a beautifully lit space for contemplation. For families, an interactive tour of winter sports will take little explorers on a quest to find a lost good-luck charm. Open year-round, the exhibitions Aeria, Battles 1759-1760, and Identities will continue to plunge visitors into the history of the Plains by means of life-size sculptures, an immersive panoramic projection, and artefacts.
As of December 1, there will be a new version of the activity Shoot, score!, which children may use to discover different winter sports that have been played on the Plains of Abraham since the 19th century. With a smartphone and a keen mind, parents and children will go from the challenges of one interactive station to those of the next. Perhaps they will join the long line of champions who got their start on the Plains! Families can also have fun in the areas for sliding behind the Plains of Abraham Museum, either by bringing their own equipment or by renting a snow carpet.
New this year! The cross-country ski trails are getting names in addition to the numbers they already have. Besides adding a special touch to the trail experience, the names will help visitors learn about the park’s history. Trail 51 will be called Des Braves, after the park at the site of the Battle of Sainte-Foy in 1760. Trail 52 will be called Gilmour, after the road that runs downhill from the Plains of Abraham to Boulevard Champlain. That name comes from John Gilmour (1812-1877), who opened a shipyard in the cove where the road comes down to the river. Trail 53 will be called Martello in honour of nearby Martello Tower 1. Like the other Martello towers of Quebec City, this one was built in the early 19th century to meet the threat of an American invasion. Trail 54 will be called Cap-Blanc after the staircase it goes by. Built in 1868, the staircase was used by workers to walk up to the Cove Fields munition factories. Finally, Trail 55, which partly follows the cliff edge of Cap Diamant, will be called Cap-aux-Diamants. That was a name given to the cape in the 17th century. The shorter version of “Cap Diamant” has prevailed since the 18th century.