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15 Spontaneous Fall Day Trips That Are Less Than 3 Hours From Montreal

From the nearest to the furthest destination. 🚗

Staff Writer
Fall foliage in the Laurentians. Right: Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

Fall foliage in the Laurentians. Right: Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

Autumn is quite possibly the most romantic time of year in Quebec, but the crisp air and changing leaves seem to come and go faster than one can say "câlisse de tabarnak je les ai déjà ratées." The best way to enjoy the season fully is a spontaneous day trip to, well, there are almost infinite options.

Here are 15 destinations within three hours of Montreal to add to your fall bucket list. Who says you need to drive for days to make the most of the change of colour in nature?

Arbraska Parks

Distance from Montreal: There are seven parks within a 3-hour range from Montreal. The closest one is in Mont-Saint-Grégoire (30 minutes).

Why You Should Go: These adventure parks let you soar through the colourful treetops via ziplines and aerial game treks. You can also bounce on suspended nets, or go on night treks and hiking trails in some locations.

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Beloeil / Mont-Saint-Hilaire

Distance from Montreal: 45 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Only a short drive from Montreal, you can visit the cute community of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, and observe the picturesque fall scenery as you walk around the nearby town of Beloeil. For the best panoramic views, you can purchase a $9 day pass to access the Gault Reserve and hike up the town's eponymous hill.

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Oka National Park

Distance from Montreal: 45 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Less than an hour from Montreal, Oka is the closest Quebec national park for Montrealers wishing to go on a leaf-spotting day trip in the Laurentians without driving too far.

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Rigaud

Distance from Montreal: 50 minutes

Why You Should Go: The 'Sentiers de L'escapade' in Montérégie features 27 kilometres of trails that are accessible year-round free of charge. If you visit Rigaud from October 8 to 10, you can attend the local festival of fall colours and take pictures with facilitators dressed as autumn elves and other fantastic creatures.

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Sainte-Adèle

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour

Why You Should Go: There are many beautiful things to see in autumn in this area, including the iconic Sainte-Marguerite Falls, and Saint-Sauveur Peak, which will have plenty of activities to celebrate the changing colours in the Laurentians.

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Lanaudière

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour 20 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Still quite close to our city, Lanaudière is less popular than the Laurentians or the Eastern Townships but it offers many off-the-beaten-path activities for city folks craving a fall getaway in the forest.

In addition to seeing the beautiful Dorwin Falls in the park of the same name, you can chill out along the banks of the Ouareau River and admire the beautiful autumn trees. Dogs on leash are allowed in the park.

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Étang Baker

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Situated in East Bolton, this gorgeous lake in the shape of a heart is surrounded by colourful leaves in autumn. This unique fall destination is so romantic and instagrammable — especially if you own a drone.

Find out more

Mont-Tremblant & Mont-Blanc

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Situated in the Laurentians, these mountains are mostly famous for their ski resorts, but autumn in the region is not to be disregarded. Ski Mont Blanc is organizing a festival of fall colours to celebrate this incredible time of the year.

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Saint-Donat

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 35 minutes

Why You Should Go: This municipality is organizing its yearly fall festival 'Symphonie des couleurs' from September 10 to October 9, and you can expect lots of workshops and events within a magnificent landscape.

Parc Oméga

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Parc Omega is well known for allowing curious adventurers to 'sleep with wolves', but you can also drive through the park for a couple of hours to see some wild animals, as well as the beautiful fall foliage.

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Mont-Orford

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour 45 minutes

Why You Should Go: From September 16 to October 17, you can enjoy some fun activities and ride the gondola at the Autumn festival 'Flambée des couleurs' in Mont-Orford. There shall be music, yoga sessions and several food trucks. Overall, the Eastern Townships region is one of the most popular neighbouring regions for Montrealers thanks to, among other things, its beautiful Victorian farmhouses and numerous microbreweries.

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George Park

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours

Why You Need To Go: Located in Coaticook in the Eastern Townships, this park has a 50-foot-tall suspension bridge which offers stunning views of fall foliage. The easy 90-minute long hike will lead you to a cave and a lovely gorge.

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Gatineau Park

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Gatineau Park is not to be missed in fall — with its trees covered with red and orange leaves, hiking trails and the popular Pink Lake. And just across the river, you'll find Ottawa, for a stop in the Canadian capital.

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The Thousand Islands

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Why You Need To Go: On the border between Canada and the United States where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario, you'll find Alexandria Bay and the historic Boldt Castle. You can go island-hopping using the ferry and decide which one of them has the best fall foliage.

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Quebec City

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Of course, let's not forget the second best city in our province. Quebec City is an amazing spot for an autumn getaway, as the fall leaves make it look look like a village out of a fairy tale.

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Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

    Charlotte Hoareau
    Staff Writer
    Charlotte Hoareau is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused in things to do in Montreal and Montreal weather. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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