The 12 Best Hikes In Montreal

Published by: BouncePosted

Montreal has many opportunities for you to get exercise in the open air. A beautiful city, there are fabulous places to see both downtown and nearby. Mount Royal is a locals' favorite right in the heart of the metropolis and Mont Orford National Park in the Eastern Townships is just a short drive away. Calvaire d'Oka Trail in Oka National Park combines history and exercise. Head west to Sainte Anne de Bellevue or Mont Rigaud for a walk or trek outside the city as well.

Whether you are an avid hiker, a fan of the outdoors, or just looking for a way to start getting in shape, you can find some of the best hikes in Montreal. From easy strolls along well-manicured paths to strenuous hikes over rough terrain, you can pick which ones will best suit your skill level. Grab your hiking boots and water bottle and hit the trail.

Before you start your walking adventure, find a luggage locker in Montreal to stow your belongings for safekeeping. Don't carry extra bags while you hike or leave them unsecured in your vehicle.

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Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Montreal

Mount Royal

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 5.2 miles

Location: Parc du Mont-Royal

Found in downtown Montreal, it will take you about an hour to hike the Mount Royal trail, it is an easy trail to take on and offers fantastic views of the park and lets you feel like you are truly a part of nature. Grab some friends or go solo as you stroll along breathing in the crisp, clean air. There are several loop trails throughout the park great for walking but the Mount Royal is one of the easiest and most picturesque. Beaver Lake is here and is a peaceful spot to take a break in the park.

Walk along to the chalet in Mont Royal Park for great views of the beautiful city of Montreal. In the winter, you can do a bit of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The trailhead is located just west of downtown but there are several places along the loop you can hop on and off as you need. There are an estimated four million visitors each year, so this trail does get rather crowded on a beautiful day.

Ile Ste Helene

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 7.6 miles

Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau

This loop trail is located just outside downtown in Parc Jean-Drapeau. Meander along the river that runs along part of the trail, look out for local wildlife and listen to the quietness of the area. A lot of the trail is paved and easily accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.

There are parts that are unpaved and more difficult, some areas are also very windy. Enjoy the scenery along the Saint Lawrence River. It is a fantastic place for a little bird watching with storks, geese, and red robins being abundant.

Dieppe Trails Range

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 2.4 miles one way

Location: Mont Saint Hilaire

Plan to spend about three hours when you are on the Dieppe Trail. While the trail itself is relatively short, you will want to spend time checking out Mont Saint Hilaire located in the Gault Nature Reserve. It does take moderate skill to hike this trail as you will experience an elevation gain of 1,214 feet.

The best part about this hike is searching for some of the over 800 species of butterflies that call this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve home. You may even get to see a peregrine falcon or two as they build their nests and hunt for food. This trail is about 25 miles from Montreal.

Le Haut-Lieu Trail network

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 8.4-mile loop

Location: Mont Rigaud in Sentiers de l’Escapade

There are several trails in Sentiers de l’Escapade, including the le Haut-Lieu Trail on Mont Rigaud. You will want to plan on spending at least three hours hiking along this trail as you explore and take in the breathtaking views as you climb 197 feet up the trail. The trail is for moderate skill levels and there are even picnic tables along the way for you to take a break.

There are several trailheads to choose from, but if you park at the main lodge, you want to take the Cle des Bios Trail and hike the two miles to the trailhead for the Le Haut-Lieu Trail. This trail is about 43 miles from Montreal but well worth the trip.

Gorge Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length: 2 miles

Location: Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Plan to spend about an hour-and-a-half along the Gorge Canyon Trail and hike over North America’s longest suspended footbridge that is 164 feet high and 554 feet long. This is the most popular hiking trail in Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. Once you cross the bridge, stop at the observation tower for splendid views of the Gorge.

The Gorge was formed during the Earth’s last ice age and is a canyon that is 2,460 feet long. You can find the trailhead near the reception building. The Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is about 99 miles away from Montreal but the drive is well worth it just to walk across the suspension bridge.

Grand Prix des Couleurs

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Length: 1.7 miles one way

Location: Mont Tremblant National Park

The Grand Prix des Couleurs is the quickest way to get to the top of Mont Tremblant without using the lift. During the winter, Mont Tremblant is one of the best ski hills in the area but in the summer it is an amazing place for hiking trails. You will have a 2,116-foot elevation rise as you climb the trail.

If you are an experienced hiker, it will take you about an hour-and-a-half to tackle the Grand Prix des Couleurs. Once you reach the summit of Mont Tremblant you will have some of the most memorable views in the Laurentians. Mont Tremblant National Park is about 81 miles from Montreal. Plan a day of hiking and head back to the city for a night on the town.

Mont Brassard Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 4 mile loop

Location: Sept Chutes Regional Park

There are seven different lookouts along the Mont Brassard Trail so plan to spend about three hours hiking and looking out over the Sept Chutes Regional Park and the Black River Valley. As you hike to the summit of Mont Brassard you will enjoy picturesque views of Saint-Zénon and Lake Rémi as well as the Voile de la Mariée, a 197-foot cascading waterfall.

The trailhead is located just off the Voile de la Marilée Trail which is just over a mile long. Start your hike at the Welcome Center of the Sept Chutes Regional Park and let nature surround you as you make your way up this terrific summit trail. The park is about 84 miles from Montreal.

Lac des Bouleaux

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length: 5.5-mile loop

Location: Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park

While you are visiting the Mont Saint-Bruno National Park, plan to tour the five lakes by hiking the Sentier des Lacs or Trail of the Lakes which takes you past all five lakes. Check out several other easy to moderate hiking trails including the Lac des Bouleaux which will take about two hours to hike the entire loop.

Head to the Mont Saint-Bruno Discovery and Visitors Center and start your hiking adventure along the Lac des Bouleaux which is one of the most popular trails in the park. This trail will take you along two breathtaking mountain lakes and through a birch tree forest. There are so many great opportunities to see wildlife along the trail. The park is 15 miles from Montreal.

Lachine Canal

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length: 9 miles

Location: Westmount on the Island of Montreal

Grab an early brunch and get ready for a nice trek. The Lachine Canal is more of a leisurely stroll along a well-manicured path that is mostly filled with cyclists, roller-bladers, runners, and hikers, especially on sunny, warm days. Plan to spend an hour or two exploring the Lachine Canal and then drop by the Atwater Market for some fresh fruit or a protein-packed sandwich.

Once you have enjoyed your stroll along the trail, rent a pedal boat and head out on the man-made canal. You can bring your own kayak or canoe and drift lazily down the canal and look out over the shores of Lake Saint-Louis. The trailhead is at the Old Port of Montreal and does meander through Lachine, Sud-Ouest, and Lasalle.

Moose Back Loop

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Length: 4.5-mile loop

Location: Parc d’Environnement Naturel de Sutton

This trail is absolutely spectacular with its panoramic views as you climb the spine of the moose’s back and the best part is that because it is a more difficult trail, it is not overly crowded. You have time to enjoy and reflect as you hike. Plan to spend about three hours as you climb 1,247 feet.

Moose Back Loop is also called the Round Top Trail or the Le Dos de l’Orignal and is a wonderful place to spend time communing with nature. You may even cross paths with some wildlife. Plan to do some bird watching along the way. Head to the trailhead located at the Welcome Center in Parc d’Environnement Naturel de Sutton, only 72 miles from Montreal.

Le Grand Tour Trail

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Length: 11.8-mile loop

Location: Yamaska National Park

The trails in Yamaska National Park are not as well-known as other trails in and near Montreal, but the easy hike along these rather long trails, especially the Le Grand Tour Trail will take you on an adventure along the perimeter of the Choiniere Reservoir. Plan to spend about five-and-a-half hours hiking along the Le Grand Tour Trail. The park is only about 56 miles from Montreal.

There are plenty of opportunities to see different wildlife as you stroll along the water, through wooded areas, and along rocky inclines. Take breaks along the way and enjoy a picnic or a snack and then keep going as you breathe the fresh air and look out over Mother Nature’s finest. The trailhead is right outside the Discover and Visitors Center at Yamaska National Park.

Grand Brule to Pic White

Difficulty: Difficult

Length: 7.3 miles

Location: Mont Tremblant National Park

During the summer months, there are several marvelous hiking trails in the Mont Tremblant National Park and one of the best trails for experienced hikers is the Grand Brule to Pic White trail. This summit hike will lead you through rocky areas and forests as you climb to the top of Mont Tremblant.

While the hike is difficult, it is truly worth the effort as you will have great views of waterfalls, lush meadows, and lakes. Once you reach the summit you can zipline back down or take the ski lift if you are not able to make the trek down on foot. It is a popular trail with local hikers so plan to get there early. It does cost to park near the trailhead but you can park further away for free.

Easy Hikes in Montreal

Those not used to tackling hiking trails in Montreal or just looking for a relaxing stroll through nature will find plenty of trails in and around the city to tackle. Lace up your hiking boots and fill your water bottle before striking out and hiking along some of these easy hikes.

  • Mount Royal Trail located in Parc du Mont-Royal
  • Lac des Bouleaux located in Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park
  • Gorge Canyon Trail located in Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Intermediate Hikes in Montreal

There are also several outdoor adventures in and near Montreal that are perfect for those who have some experience hiking but are not quite to the expert level. Beginners should never attempt these long walks and hikes until they are comfortable in their abilities to hike longer distances and over rougher terrain.

  • La Grand Tour Trail located in Yamaska National Park
  • Lachine Canal located in Westmount on the Island of Montreal
  • Mont Brassard located in Sept Chutes Regional Park

Difficult Hikes in Montreal

Experienced hikers will be delighted to learn they can take a jaw dropping hike categorized as difficult. Beginners and unsure intermediate hikers should not attempt these trails until they are comfortable with their skill level.

  • Grand Brule to Pic White located in Mont Tremblant National Park
  • Moose Back Loop located in Parc d’Environnement Naturel de Sutton Grand
  • Prix des Couleurs located in Mont Tremblant

Hiking Trails near Montreal

From National Parks to walking trails along a canal, there are many beautiful hiking trails in and near Montreal that will give you wonderful views of both the city and surrounding mountains.

For hikes near Montreal, don't forget to check out the serene Morgan Arboretum in Sainte Anne de Bellevue. Part of McGill University's Macdonald Campus, it's the ideal place for a walk in the forest. For more challenges, try Mont Saint Grégoire, a short distance outside the city in the Le Haut-Richelieu region.

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