As Montreal would have it, the city tends to bewitch travelers, enticing them with its mix of old and new architecture, culinary delights, and a calendar littered with festivals. Leaving Montreal can seem almost impossible. However, just a couple of hours outside the city, or even a mere 20 minutes, you’ll find plenty of natural spaces that lend enough hardwood forests, waterfalls, and valleys to pull you out of town. Try out these cool hikes next time you need a break from the city!
Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno
You don’t have to travel far outside of Montreal to satisfy a need to get out in nature. Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno sits just 15 miles from the city. Featuring 5 lakes, a historic mill, an orchard, and about 200 bird species, the park is also home to a number of trails that circle its lakes. For an easy family-friendly hike, you can try Le Seigneurial. Covering roughly 7 miles, the trail loops around Lac Seigneurial and takes about an hour and a half.
La Mauricie National Park
Accented by more than 150 lakes, La Mauricie National Park features hardwood forests and conifers, along with waterfalls to take a dip. The protected area is home to dozens of trails, including Les Cascades trail. The one-hour hike covers just over a mile, making it relatively easy, albeit a bit steep at points. You’ll follow a babbling brook where you can even hop in for a swim to cool off in the summer months.
Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook
Home to over 12 miles of trails, Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook sits southwest of Montreal. One of the park’s main highlights is its Gorge “Canyon” Trail. The 2-mile hike takes roughly an hour and a half. It leads hikers over the longest suspended footbridge in North America, providing compelling forested gorge views. And while your stomach flip-flops at the height of the bridge, you can rest easy knowing the whole thing is supported by 653-foot cables. The trail is considered easy to moderate.
Parc National du Mont-Tremblant
Just under 2 hours from Montreal to the northwest, Mont-Tremblant National Park is one of the best spots outside of Montreal for hiking. Home to 6 rivers, some 40 mammal species, and 400 lakes and streams, hiking through this national park gives you plenty to see. Hiking trails fill the park, ranging from easy to difficult. However, if you want to experience one of the Mont-Tremblant’s most unusual hikes, Via Ferrata du Diable answers. Part hike, park rock climbing, the path follows the Vache Noire rock face, heading over footpaths and bridges. You can book varying degrees of difficulty of this guided excursion.
Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier
With its hardwood forests and deep valleys, Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier makes for a hiker’s paradise. While outside Quebec City, the national park is just 3 hours from Montreal. It boasts over 62 miles of hiking trails. Most of these paths are all about the views, from river edges to yellow birch forests. If you want a hike that is challenging and rewarding in the process, try the Scotora trail. Measuring almost 10 miles round trip, the trail takes you up the 2,654-foot mountain. This difficult hike takes about 5 hours to complete but the mountain and valley vistas are worth the extra sweat.
Do you have a favorite hike around Montreal? Share it with us in the comments below.