Apple picking adventures with the whole family, snowy winter hikes in the Laurentian Mountains, watching the migratory birds at Oka’s Grande Baie trail – these are just some of the experiences you can have on a hike near Montreal. Whether you want to stay close to the city or explore more of the Quebec countryside, there are so many beautiful destinations waiting for you only a short drive away. From the best fall hikes near Montreal to easy day treks in the city, here are some hiking trails to inspire your next outdoor adventure.
The best hiking near Montreal
- Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park
- Mont Rigaud
- Mont-Orford National Park
- Mont Saint-Gregoire
- Oka National Park
- Mount Royal
- Parc d’environnement naturel du Sutton
With trees over 400 years old and 600 species of higher plants, the Gault Nature Reserve in Mont-Saint-Hilaire is a recognized nature reserve and the location of the first Canadian reserve in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Network. Just over half an hour drive east from Montreal, it is owned by McGill University and protects over 1,000 hectares of natural forest in this Monteregie region of Quebec.
Being a base for scientific research and study of the unique flora and fauna of the area, the Gault Nature Reserve is also known as Mcgill University’s third campus. Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to know that the western part of the mountain is open to hikers during the warmer months and skiiers in the winter. Day passes, as well as annual passes are available for a small fee. Hikers can enjoy the reserve’s eight trails and five peaks, with the highest being Sugar Loaf summit at 414 m, offering views of the surrounding Lake Hertel.
Distance from Montreal: 40 km
Where to stay: La Belle aux Berges, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Further reading: Check out these fun things to do in Montreal for any type of traveller.
Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park
Need an easy outdoor adventure close to the city? Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails near Montreal, and is particularly stunning during the fall months. The park is complete with five lakes, an orchard, and a 27-km network of hiking trails that circle the lakes. Also a part of Quebec’s Monteregie region, explorers can find around 200 bird species and 40 mammal species here in Mont-Saint-Bruno, including hundreds of species of flowers and trees.
There are six hiking trails on the mountain, ranging from easy to intermediate. The hardest loop is the Seigneurial River Trail, which is 8.8 km and should take about two hours to complete. With little elevation, Mont-Saint-Bruno makes for a very family-friendly place for an easy hike near Montreal. They even have two trails that can accommodate strollers with big wheels.
Distance from Montreal: 25 km
Where to stay: William Gray, Montreal
Mont Rigaud, Quebec, offers 27 kilometres of hiking trails and is a solid day trip and staycation for all you Montrealers out there. The trails are all well-marked and always free to access. This nature area is less than an hour’s drive from Montreal, and will take you through untouched natural land where you can watch for birds and other wildlife. There’s even a mysterious rock field, also known as the ‘field of potatoes’ or ‘champs de patates’, which is worth checking out.
Looking for some easy trails for the winter months near Montreal? Mont Rigaud is also nicknamed Quebec’s ‘kindergarten mountain’, and beginner skiers can strap on a pair of skis and practice on the bunny hills. Before you know it, you’ll be conquering the summit of Mont-Sainte-Anne on an unforgettable night ski.
Distance from Montreal: 70 km
Where to stay: Auberge des Gallant, Rigaud
Mont-Orford National Park
Out in the Eastern Townships in southern Quebec, Mont-Orford is a hiking experience with breathtaking views and eight trails suitable for all levels. If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll be pleased to know that Orford offers a number of advanced trails. One of the difficult trails, called Les Cretes, takes you around an 18.7-km loop for a full day of exercise. It involves near-constant climbing on mismatched rock stairs with few places to take a break, so make sure to bring the right gear. The easiest of the hiking trails is 3.5 km, taking just over 1 hour and ending with a fantastic panorama of the Townships.
Orford is one of the best fall hikes near Montreal to witness the leaves changing colour for the season, making for an ideal long weekend getaway in October. Because Orford is a bit of a longer drive from Montreal than the others, try making the most of this road trip and stop at some of the small towns and villages along the way. Just off the highway to Orford, you can find a slew of picturesque Quebecois towns fit for any type of traveller. Stop in the town of Granby and take the kids to the Granby Zoo, one of the largest zoos in this part of North America. There’s also the town of Brome which is home to the beloved local Brome Fair, the largest town agricultural fair in the province of Quebec.
Distance from Montreal: 125 km
Where to stay: Au Saut Du Lit, Magog
Mont Saint-Grégoire is a tough mountain to miss because it’s the only one in the area! About an hour’s drive from the city, this is easily one of the best hikes near Montreal. Plus, it’s surrounded by thousands of acres of farmland and apple orchards, making for a perfect day trip during the fall months. The hike on Mont Saint-Grégoire is a short 2.5 km loop that will take you about 40 minutes, offering beautiful views of the surrounding Saint-Lawrence river valley.
Note that the trail here is steep, so while it’s a small mountain, you’re bound to work up a sweat. It is so steep that some sections have required the installation of a chain to aid people in the climb.
Like a lot of southern Quebec this area is full of apple orchards and maple trees, so travellers can make the most of this agriculturally rich region any time of the year. Plan a trip in September-October to go apple picking, and be sure to check out Vergers et Cidrerie Denis Charbonneau to enjoy a post-hike cider and indulge in Quebec’s culinary delights. At nearby Arbraska Park you can find zip lines and climbing nests, making this a great spot for outdoor adventures for the whole family.
Distance from Montreal: 50 km
Where to stay: Auberge du Vieux Port, Montreal
Set in the Laurentian Mountains, Morin-Heights is a popular weekend getaway spot from Montreal year-round. Visitors head to the mountains for skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and are spoiled with choices for cabins stays and hotels perfect for a fun winter vacation.
In the warmer months, this region includes three different hiking trail areas: the Morin-Heights mountain area, the Bellevue mountain area, and the Rue des Bouleaux area. Together, they cover more than 30 km of hiking trails, which are awe-inspiring for a fall or summer time trek. The Morin-Heights area is the most impressive section of trails because the peak is taller than the surrounding mountains, which provides a great motivation to get to the top!
This hiking spot is also connected to Quebec’s popular Route Verte, one of Canada’s best bike trails.
Distance from Montreal: 85 km
Where to stay: Auberge Sous L’Edredon B&B, Saint-Sauveur
Oka National Park
Oka, Quebec, is famous among Montrealers for being one of the closest beaches to the city. But the Oka National Park has more than just sand! The park also has five hiking trails that range from easy to difficult, making it one of the best areas to go hiking around Montreal.
The longest trail in Oka National Park is 11.8 km round trip, and walks you through part of a silver maple forest. On the Calvaire d’Oka trail (easy, 4.4 km), you arrive at a panoramic viewpoint of three chapels that have been there since 1742. La Grande Baie trail (easy, 4 km) has been deemed in the “headquarters for migrating birds.”
Distance from Montreal: 60 km
Where to stay: Auberge de l’Abbaye d’Oka, Oka
Mount Royal, Montreal
You don’t need to get out of the city to get a breath of fresh air: the hike up Mount Royal is a must-do for anyone visiting Montreal. Mount Royal is the mountain (and modern namesake) in the centre of Montreal, acting as a green oasis for everyone to enjoy. It’s the best place for hiking close to Montreal, with four different walking trails that get you to the main attractions of the mountain, including one trail that has a huge set of stairs to work those glutes.
The main reason to walk to the top is the view from the lookout at the Chalet of Montreal’s city skyline. You can also check out the giant cross, or head to Beaver Lake for more activities or just to hang out. The longest trail is 4.6 km, but you can easily spend a whole afternoon walking around the mountain. Easy hikes near Montreal? It can’t get any closer.
Distance from Montreal: 0 km, it’s right in the centre.
Where to stay: LHotel Montreal, Montreal
Mont-Tremblant is the highest peak in the Laurentian Mountains, complete with over ten hiking trails to enjoy with your favourite hiking buddies. On a trip to Tremblant, you can chase waterfalls in the summer and conquer the hills on your skis in the winter. If you really want to discover the area, head to the hiking trails in nearby Domaine Saint-Bernard. Who knows, you might even spot some deer on your trek!
Mont-Tremblant is a popular year-round destination for Montrealers and tourists alike, due to its famous ski resorts and stunning surrounding countryside. Plan a long weekend getaway to Tremblant any time of the year and we guarantee there won’t be a shortage of things to do and explore.
Distance from Montreal: 130 km
Where to stay: Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Tremblant
Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton
Drive an hour and a half south of Montreal and you’ll find yourself in the Eastern Townships, one of the most beloved destinations in southern Quebec. For some hiking and a nature escape bound to inspire, head to Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton any time of year. The hiking trails here include four peaks and two mountain lakes and ponds. There are eight main hikes in the park, with the most difficult one stretching 13.8 km and bringing you to an elevation of 540 metres. When hiking in Sutton, be sure to wear the right gear for all levels because there are quite a bit of irregular walking surfaces.
At Sutton you can choose from a variety of hikes for all levels, each offering different experiences. Kids love the Val-Sutton Loop trail, a one-hour hike which ends with a great view of a waterfall. There’s also the popular Spruce Lake and Round-top trail, where hikers can observe the diverse natural landscape while breaking a sweat and getting some much-needed vitamin D along the way. Don’t worry, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Green Mountain valley once you reach the top.
Distance from Montreal: 115 km
Where to stay: Auberge Le Lupin B&B, Sutton
All of these hikes near Montreal make for perfect day trip or even long weekend getaway where you can explore a totally new area of Quebec. If you end up heading out with your hiking boots, make sure to tag us on Instagram with your best snaps!
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