15 Best Montreal Hiking Trails for Hikes Near QC

September 22, 2023

Looking for the best Montreal hiking trails to road trip to this fall? You’ve landed on the right page!

In this article, I’m covering some of the best hiking trails and huge national parks that showcase some of Canada’s great outdoors. 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide a small commission to me at no cost to you if you decide to make a purchase. You can read more in my disclaimer here

Nestled in the picturesque province of Quebec, just a short drive from the vibrant city of Montreal lies a treasure trove of natural beauty waiting to be explored. Quebec is renowned for its stunning landscapes, and the Montreal region is no exception. 

So whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking to escape the urban hustle and bustle, I’ve got you. 

With a plethora of hiking trails offering a perfect blend of adventure and serenity, rest assured, a great time awaits. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack a backpack, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable outdoor adventure!

Le Grand Tour Trail – Yamaska National Park

This trail offers you a chance to immerse yourself in the lush natural beauty of the Yamaska National Park. With serene lakeshores and dense natural forests, you can expect breathtaking views throughout your hike.

The trail is a moderate 19-kilometer loop (11.8 miles) that encircles the pristine Lake Yamaska, providing picturesque views at every turn. This nice hike can be done in about 5.5 hours. 

The trail is not particularly difficult, but some parts are rocky and windy. 

Depending on the season, if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll be able to spot some of the park’s natural wildlife. Animals include bobcats, moose, coyotes, black bears, white-tailed deer, Canadian beavers, marmots, and North American porcupines.

Perfect for nature enthusiasts. 

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or a day of adventure, the Le Grand Tour Trail delivers a perfect blend of tranquility and exploration in the heart of Montreal’s natural wonderland.

Trailhead: Located at the Discovery Center Ferme Rioux
Difficulty: Fairly easy trails
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 1 hr, 16 min (92 km)

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Moose Back Loop Trail – Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton

Hiking the Moose Back Loop in Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton is an exhilarating adventure in the heart of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It’s also one of the least crowded trails as they are more challenging with steep climbs and unkept trails.

The trail is approximately a 7.3 km loop (4.5 miles) and can be done within 3 hours. Not a longer hike but nonetheless, it’s a great hike if you like a challenge. 

This challenging trail offers hikers a taste of pristine wilderness with its rugged terrain and stunning vistas. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. 

Additionally, the trail winds through enchanting forests and open meadows, making it a perfect place to connect with nature. This trek can be done in approximately 3 hours if you’re an experienced hiker. 

If you’re looking to explore the beauty of Quebec’s countryside, the Moose Back Loop is an excellent choice.

Trailhead: Located at the Sutton Park Welcome Centre
Difficulty: Difficult and challenging 
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 1 hr 28 min (114.1 km)

Lachine Canal Trail – Island of Montreal

The Lachine Canal Trail on the Island of Montreal is more of an urban-style kind of ‘hike’ and bike path.  

This historic waterway, once a bustling industrial corridor, has been transformed into a picturesque recreational trail. The flat and well-paved path meanders alongside the scenic canal, offering a leisurely walk or bike ride for all ages. 

Whether you prefer to stroll, rollerblade, bike ride, or run, it’s a great place to stay active. You can also rent a canoe or kayak to paddle the canal. 

Just be sure to stop at the Atwater Market to gather some delicious fresh fruit to keep you hydrated along the way! Maybe even enjoy a ‘hiking’ picnic lunch during or after.

Along this route, you’ll also encounter charming bridges, beautiful green spaces, and intriguing historical sites. The Lachine Canal Trail provides a peaceful respite within the city, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It’s quite a unique place and a blend of natural beauty as well as urban charm. 

This trail is about 14.5 km (9 miles). Because it is flat, you can loop around the full 9 miles in approximately 1-2 hours or more. Depending on how many stops you make. 

Trailhead: The trail typically starts at the Old Port of Montreal and runs to Lake Saint-Louis but you can pick it up at any of the opening points. The trail runs through Lachine, Lasalle, and Sud-Ouest so there are plenty of opportunities to hop on.
Difficulty: Easy 
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 14 min (7.1 km) from downtown Montreal

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Morgan Arboretum

The Morgan Arboretum is a part of McGill University’s Macdonald Campus open to the public all year long. 

Hiking (or walking) at the Morgan Arboretum is a delightful experience for nature lovers. This serene arboretum boasts a network of trails that wind through lush forests, meadows, and scenic ponds. 

With trails suitable for hikers of all levels, it offers the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike.

Morgan Arboretum is not only a haven for hiking but also an educational hub. Among which features a diverse landscape of tree collections and plantations that have been around for years. 

Additionally, it’s home to 45 species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and over 170 migratory and overwintering birds.  

Morgan Arboretum is a peaceful escape from the city, where you can connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of Quebec’s natural landscapes.

Trailhead: The entrance to the arboretum is located on Chemin des Pins, west of The Ecomuseum. There is a fee to enter.
Difficulty: Easy
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 38 min (36.7 km)

Mont-Mégantic National Park

Mont-Mégantic National Park in Quebec has 20 km of well-maintained hiking trails. All leading to the misty mountaintop summits of Mont Mégantic and Mont Saint-Joseph. 

The park is located near Notre-Dame-de-Bois in the Estrie region and is also home to ASTROLab observatory and astronomy museum. Additionally, it is part of the province’s first International Dark Sky Reserve.

This beautiful park offers a wide range of hiking trails catering to different skill levels. The summit trails lead to breathtaking vistas where you can admire panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. You may even be able to catch a glimpse of the night sky’s celestial wonders. 

With its diverse ecosystems, lush forests, and pristine wilderness, Mont-Mégantic promises an awe-inspiring hiking experience. A perfect location that connects you with the natural beauty of the region.

Plan a day trip and stay until the sun sets or turn it into a backpacking camping adventure at one of the park’s camping sites. Pick the perfect spot and enjoy a wilderness camping experience you’ll never forget!

Trailhead: Located in the Observatoire Sector at the southeast end of the park
Difficulty: Intermediate to difficult but can start out fairly easy
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 2 hr 42 min (232.6 km) 

Oka National Park

Oka National Park is located in the Montérégie region of Quebec, west of Montreal. The park is well known for its 7-kilometer beach which becomes a popular spot during warmer months. 

Furthermore, the park is bisected by the Rivière des Mille Îles (Thousand Islands River). It also includes a 12-kilometer (7.5 mi) stretch of Lac des Deux Montagnes aka Lake of the Two Mountains. Another popular spot among park visitors. 

This park offers various well-marked hiking trails that wind through dense forests, marshes, and tranquil lakeshores. Leading up to beautiful scenic viewpoints. 

Additionally, Oka National Park is known for its natural heritage and rich biodiversity. Making it a fantastic spot for birdwatching and wildlife enthusiasts. Keep your eyes open for deer, moose, beavers, and several different species of birds. 

One of the park’s most popular features is the stunning Calvaire d’Oka. A series of forested hills that provide sweeping panoramic views of Lac des Deux Montagnes.  

Trailhead: Located at the park entrance off of Route 344
Difficulty: Easy to Challenging
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 48 min (59.2 km)

La Mauricie National Park

La Mauricie National Park is a large protected area in the province of Quebec, between Montreal and Quebec City. 

The park boasts a network of trails that lead you through a diverse range of landscapes. Including lush forests, pristine lakeshores, and rugged mountains. Plus, beautiful scenery from the famed “Le Passage Lookout.”

There are over 150 kilometres of trails to choose from that cater to various skill levels. You can choose from family-friendly fun hikes to more challenging backcountry adventures. 

The two most popular hikes to do with the kiddos are Les Cascades and Le Mékinac. If you do Le Mékinac, just go up until Le Rozois and then back to the parking lot. You don’t have to do the full trek.

La Mauricie is also home to a variety of wildlife adding to the park’s natural experience. Some of the animals you can expect to encounter are moose, deer, bears, beavers, and wolves. Makes for a nice wilderness hiking experience. 

Bring binoculars! 

Trailhead: Trails begin at the Rivière-à-la-Pêche trailhead
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult 
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 2 hr 21 min (197.3 km)

Mont Saint Bruno National Park 

Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park is a provincial park located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. The park is a popular outdoor destination for both locals and tourists and offers a range of outdoor recreational activities. 

The park is a popular destination for hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Plus, there are over 20 km of trails for hiking (about 12 miles) and outdoor adventures

Some of the more popular trails include the Mont Saint Bruno summit trail and the Lac des Bouleaux trail, which circles a beautiful lake. A nice trail Expect to hike through hardwood forests and wetlands along the way with varying levels of difficulty. 

For a more challenging experience, jump on the Sentier des Lacs aka Trail of the Lakes.

This 5.5-mile loop of gravel trail passes through a maple forest and meanders along five beautiful lakes. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete. 

Depending on how much you stop along the way. 

At Mont St.-Bruno National Park you will also have plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. Animals you may spot include moose, deer, foxes, a variety of bird species, and more. It’s nature at its finest!

Trailhead: Located at the Discovery and Visitor’s Centre 
Difficulty: Easy & Intermediate (Trails are wide)
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 28 min (30.2 km)

Dieppe Trail – Mont Saint-Hilaire

The Dieppe Trail is one of the hiking trails located within Mont Saint Hilaire in the Gault Nature Reserve. Mont Saint-Hilaire is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, including lush forests and rugged terrain. 

It’s also part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, making the Dieppe Trail one of the best hikes near QC. 

The trail is about 5 miles (3.8 km) round trip and can take about 2-1/2 to 3 hours to complete. 

The hike starts with a small incline that takes you to Lake Hertel. At kilometer 3.5, you’ll encounter a steep incline of 160m for the next kilometer. After that, you’ll climb to the summit of Mont Saint-Hilaire where you’ll get panoramic views of the Richelieu Valley and river, and Montreal. 

A great view you won’t want to miss!

Trailhead: Accessible from the Sugarloaf Trail located at the Gault Nature Reserve’s Nature Centre
Difficulty: Moderately challenging due to its rocky terrain and elevation changes
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 47 min (41.5 km)

Mont-Saint-Grégoire Loop – Mont Saint Gregoire

Named after Pope Gregory Iᵉ, the Mont-Saint-Grégoire Loop is located at Mont Saint Gregoire in Montérégie.
While this is a short trail, you’ll still get some steepness and amazing views. Some of these include views of the St. Lawrence River and the breathtaking Monteregian Hills.

Additionally, you’ll pass through a variety of forest habitats, including maple, beech, and oak forests.

The trail is 2.4 km (1.5 miles) long and takes about 35-40 minutes to reach the summit for the average hiker. A bit longer if you have kids. 

The hike to Mont-Saint-Grégoire is suitable for all skill levels and is hikable all year long. However, it can be very icy in winter’s colder months so plan ahead. On the flip side, the fall colors are a must-see in autumn! 

Trailhead: Located at the base of the Mont Saint-Hilaire mountain near the parking lot of “le centre de plien aire”

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging – The trail is steep with stairs and rocky terrain 
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 40 min (47.5 km) 

Grand Prix des couleurs – Mont-Tremblant National Park

The Grand Prix des Couleurs trail at Mont Tremblant National Park is well-known for skiing. However, locals know there’s a lot more to the mountain than its ski slopesThe area is also popular for hiking, kayaking, and canoeing. 

The challenging but rewarding Grand Prix des Couleurs hike is the fastest way to the Mont Tremblant summit. It’s also the highest peak in the Laurentians mountains. Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and valleys. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Montreal. 

If you don’t want to hike the trail, you can take the lift to the summit. But trust me, if you like to hike, you’ll enjoy the hike up.  

The trail is 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) roundtrip and has an elevation gain of 645 meters. It is considered to be a difficult trail, but it is well-maintained and there are several rest stops along the way. It takes about 1-2 hours to complete.

The Grand Prix des Couleurs trail is a popular spot for hikers of all levels. It’s especially popular in the fall when the leaves are changing color. With 360-degree views of vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows, it’s a sight you won’t want to miss!

Trailhead: Located on the south end of Mont Tremblant near the base of the gondola. You can walk through the pedestrian village to get to the trailhead. 
Difficulty: Difficult and Challenging
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 1 hr 45 min (141.5 km)

Parc du Mount-Royal

The Mount Royal Trail in Montreal is a 5.3-mile loop that offers stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. However, it does have some elevation gain, so be prepared for a bit of a workout.

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the summit and about 2 hours to complete. You can start your ascent up the mountain at the base near Peel Metro Station. Just follow the signs and the designated paths from there. 

Once at the top, you’ll reach the Mount Royal Lookout – A hot spot at Mount Royal Park. Here you’ll get unobstructed views of the surrounding areas including the Montreal skyline and Saint Lawrence River.

Nearby is the Chalet du Mont-Royal which was built in 1932 and is of beautiful rustic architecture. The chalet has a cafeteria serving snacks and drinks as well as a souvenir shop and restrooms.  

Other viewpoints at Mont-Royal Park include: 

  • The Camilien-Houde lookout 
  • The Kondiaronk Belvedere

Both lookouts also offer beautiful panoramic views. 

Trailhead: While there are several entry points, you can find the most popular starting point at the south end of the parking area
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging and Strenuous
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 10 min (2.6 km)

The Gorge Canyon Trail – Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

The Gorge Canyon Trail at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is located in the town of Coaticook – the Eastern Townships region of Quebec.

This popular nature and recreation area is home to the longest suspended footbridge in North America spanning the Coaticook Gorge

It’s the park’s greatest attraction. The Gorge Canyon Trail leads you right to it. 

As you walk over the bridge to the observation tower, have your camera ready for some panoramic shots with even more photo ops on the other side. 

It’s definitely a hot spot for taking pictures and scenic views.

And if you stick around until night, you can experience the magical interactive illumination when the park transforms into Foresta Lumina.” It’s quite the site to see!

It’s a relatively easy hike that takes you through a beautiful forested area along the edge of the Coaticook River Gorge. The trail provides opportunities for hikers to enjoy the natural surroundings and offers some breathtaking viewpoints. 

Some of these include:

  • a dam
  • a hydroelectric power station
  • a cave

The Gorge Canyon Trail is a great destination for nature lovers and hikers alike. While it’s not in Montreal itself, it’s within reasonable driving distance, making it a popular day trip for residents and area visitors.

Trailhead: Located at the park entrance 
Difficulty: Easy
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 1 hr 52 min (166.5 km)

Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park

Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park is a beautiful natural area located in the northern part of Montreal. The park offers a peaceful escape from the urban environment and allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. 

Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse is known for its scenic beauty, with lush forests, meandering streams, wetlands, and diverse wildlife. It provides a peaceful and serene environment where visitors can connect with nature.

Perfect for nature lovers, the park features a network of hiking trails that wind through its wooded areas along the Rivière des Prairies. The trails are well-maintained and vary in length and difficulty. Making it suitable for both casual strollers and avid hikers. 

And if you enjoy birdwatching, you’ll have plenty to observe along the way as the park is home to a variety of bird species. 

Birdwatching enthusiasts can spot migratory birds and other wildlife along the trails and wetland areas. So, be sure to have your binoculars handy!  

Trailhead: There are many different starting points for varying trails. I would recommend starting at the Visitor’s Center to gather information and decide where you would like to start. 
Difficulty: Easy
Distance from Montreal: Approximately 23 min (22.3 km)

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Sandra Campillo

Sandra Campillo is an eco, vegan lifestyle and travel blogger and entrepreneur. Join Sandra and her community of readers on SandraCampillo.com to learn how to live a healthier, more sustainable, and compassionate way of life.

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