Who says you can’t have it all? Montreal may be known for its delicious food and vibrant cultural scene, but woodsy trails and panoramic views can be found just a short drive from the concrete jungle. Here are ten of our top picks for hiking trails near Montreal that prove you can be a city dweller and an outdoors lover, too.

 

1. Parc du Mount-Royal

photoAlison Karlene Hodgins

Length: 6 km (total)
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 120 m 

Why it's awesome: A stunning summit with views of the city, right in the city

Loops of walking, cycling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails intertwine in Mont Royal Park. Walk to the chalet for a panoramic city view and continue on to the 30-m-tall cross, which lights up at night.

How do I get to the trailhead? There are many jumping-on points, but generally head west from downtown and then start climbing up.

Read more: lemontroyal.qc.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 0 km

 

2. Dieppe Trail

Mont Ste. Hilaire

photoMICHEL AUBRY Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Distance: 3.8 km (one-way)
Time: 3 hours round-trip
Elevation Gain: 370 metres

Why it’s awesome: A relatively short hike with sweeping views for a reward

The Dieppe Trail is one of several trails that explore the high points of Mont Ste. Hilaire in the Gault Nature Reserve. As you hike through this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, look out for some of the 800 species of butterflies that call the area home, or the peregrine falcons that nest here. At the summit, enjoy an impressive view that includes nearby hills, the Richelieu valley and river, and the city of Montreal.

How do I get to the trailhead? The Dieppe Trail forks off from the Sugarloaf (Pain de Sucre) trail, whose trailhead is located at the Gault Nature Reserve’s Nature Centre.

Read More: gault.mcgill.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 40 km

 

3. Le Haut-Lieu Trail

L’Escapade

 

Distance: 13.5 km loop
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 60 m

Why it’s awesome: A trail for all seasons

L’Escapade on Mount Rigaud has several trails that welcome cross-country skiers in winter and hikers in summer. Trail maps and picnic tables offer respite on this long trek. Plus, hikers will be treated to multiple viewpoints, including one that reaches to the St. Lawrence and beyond.

How do I get to the trailhead? There are multiple parking lots and trailheads along the trail. Add another 3 km along the Cle des Bois Trail if you want to park at the main lodge.

Read More: ville.rigaud.qc.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 70 km

 

4. The Gorge Canyon Trail

Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

photoBenoit Nadeau Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 3.5 km
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: Minimal

Why it’s awesome: The “longest suspended footbridge” in North America called — it wants you to visit.

The most popular hike in the Parc de la Gorge, this trail’s obvious pièce de résistance is its 169-metre-long, 50-metre-high suspension bridge. Cross the bridge and visit the observation tower to take in the impressive view of the Gorge — a 750-metre-long canyon that began its formation during the last ice age.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trailhead can be found at the reception building, with parking off Michaud road.

Read More: gorgedecoaticook.qc.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 165 km

 

5. Grand Prix des couleurs

Mont Tremblant

photoMatthieu Guyonnet-Duluc Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 2.7 km one-way
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 645 metres

Why it’s awesome: The quickest way to the top of Tremblant (without a lift, that is).

Although Mont Tremblant is best known as a ski hill, in summertime it transforms into a network of rewarding hiking trails. The Grand Prix des couleurs is the most direct route from base to summit, so you can hit your steps surrounded by mother nature, then reward yourself the best view in the Laurentians.

How do I get to the trailhead? Trail entrance is near the base of the gondola.

Read More: tremblant.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 130 km

 

6. Mont Brassard Trail

Sept Chutes Regional Park

 

Distance: 6.7 km loop
Time: 3 hours

Why it’s awesome: Seven different lookouts make for a visual smorgasbord.

This summit trail has something for everyone: from the 60-meter-high Voile de la Mariée waterfall to rocky outcrops and 7 viewpoints from which to take in stunning panoramas of the Black River Valley, Lake Rémi and Saint-Zénon.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trail begins at the welcome centre with the 2-km Voile de la Mariée trail and continues after Lac Guy.

Read More: parcsregionaux.org 

Distance from Montreal: 135 km

 

7. Les Lacs

Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park

photoJonathan Tellier Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 8.8 km loop
Time: 2 hours

Why it’s awesome: Take a tour of all five lakes in the Mont St.-Bruno National Park.

A quick drive from Montreal, the Mont St.-Bruno National Park offers nearly 30 kilometers of easy and intermediate trails. The Sentier des Lacs (or Trail of the Lakes) meanders past all five lakes.

How do I get to the trailhead? Trailhead is located at the Mont St. Bruno Discovery and Visitor’s Centre.

Read more: sepaq.com 

Distance from Montreal: 25 km

 

8. Lachine Canal

Island of Montreal

photoAlison Karlene Hodgins

Distance: 14.5 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Elevation Gain: Flat

Why it’s awesome: Stop at Atwater Market and pick up fresh fruit to fuel your adventure

More of a stroll then a hike, the Lachine Canal is populated with roller-bladers, bicyclers and runners on sunny summer days. Canoes and kayaks drift down the man-made canal. Rent a pedal boat for the afternoon or bring a picnic to enjoy on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis. 

How do I get to the trailhead? Although there are many jumping-on points, the trail starts at the Old Port of Montreal and runs through Lachine, Lasalle and the Sud-Ouest.

Read More: quebecoriginal.com 

Distance from Montreal: 0 km

 

9. Moose Back Loop

Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton

 

Distance: 7.3 km loop
Time: 3 hours
Elevation: 380 m

Why it’s awesome: Climb the spine of the moose’s back for a panoramic—and crowd-free—view.

Not as well known as the Round Top trail, the Moose Back Loop (Le dos de l’orignal) offers equally stunning views of the surrounding hills, without the crowds of nature lovers contending for the best selfie location. This less-visited trail is also less well-maintained, so prepare for a more rugged wilderness experience.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trailhead is located at the Sutton Park Welcome Centre.

Read More: suttontourism.ca 

Distance from Montreal: 116 km

 

10. Le Grand Tour Trail

Yamaska National Park

photoEmmanuel Milou Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Distance: 19 km loop
Time: 5.5 hours
Elevation Gain: Minimal

Why it’s awesome: Take it slow or do it as a trail run; the world is your (woodsy) oyster.

This lengthy but otherwise straightforward hike traces the the circumference of the Choinière Reservoir, offering multiple spots to stop and enjoy the lake view along the way. Make sure to wave at the great blue herons.

How do I get to the trailhead? The trailhead is located at the Discovery and Visitor’s Centre.

Read More: sepaq.com 

Distance from Montreal: 91 km

 

 

Have you trekked in Montreal?

Which trail was your favourite?

Comment below!

 

 

P.S. Did you enjoy these 10 hiking trails?

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