The Snowflea Telefest returns to The Bellevue Valley Lodge each February, bringing professional athletes, world-class telemark and snowshoe workshops, musical guests, great food, and an unforgettable community. If you find yourself in the Sault Ste. Marie area in late February, consider stopping by—this event is one for the books.
The Snowflea Telefest recently completed its 22nd year. For one weekend at the end of February, locals and visitors travel to the heart of the Lake Superior snow belt in search of fresh snow, unforgettable conditions, and world-class teleskiing. Depending on snow conditions and level of participant expertise, the fest follows a schedule of workshops in the mornings, then provides tours in the afternoon. The land used, private backcountry, has countless runs to explore within the hardwood mountains. Snowboarders are always welcome, but those thinking about boarding should bring snowshoes; you’ll need them to climb through the deep powder back to the top of the runs.
This weekend offers a unique opportunity for backcountry enthusiasts to explore the rugged Algoma Highlands, which are part of the oldest mountain range on earth. The geography is incredibly unique, causing lake-effect snow to bury the region in more than 13 feet of powder each year. More frequently, visitors from nearby Michigan have begun to participate in this unique opportunity, understanding that this area has world-class skiing. Sites and organizations, such as Michigan Ski Authority, continue to sustain interest in the sport on the Michigan side of the boarder; those who are privy to the Snowflea Telefest are avid supporters of both the sport and the event.
Fest organizers provide accommodations, food, and music. Registration is capped at around sixty participants, so register early if you’re planning an Ontario winter vacation. Participants are encouraged to bring their backcountry ski equipment, clothes for all possible conditions, and Friday lunch. Finally, if you’re curious, yes, the fest is named for an insect common in the area. The snow flea braves cold winter conditions to congregate around sunny snowdrifts. The fest considers this little bug to be their honorary mascot.