Quebec's forests account for 20% of all of Canada's forest and 2% of the forests of the world. In other words, we got a hell of a lot of trees here. Living our day-to-day life in the bustling and increasingly chaotic Montreal, it's easy to forget that a magical nature escape is just a quick drive outside the city.  The Quebec region and it's surrounding areas are a filled with natural hidden gems each more magical than the next.

Whether you want to drop off the grid for a few days and trek deep into the wilderness, or you're looking for a quick breath of fresh air - there is a destination for everyone less than 4-hours outside the downtown core. Each destination has a unique appeal.

Over the next few pages, we will look at some key "secret" destinations and regions near Montreal. Some are perfect for that quick day trip, others require a bit more commitment for a weekend trip, but each one is truly unique and is sure to provide a memorable experience.


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Visit the highest peak in the North East, Mount Washington in New Hampshire

Distance from Montreal: approx 4 hours

Why you should go: Mount Washington is a not only a stunning mountain but a perfect region if you're looking for that secluded nature get-away. The surrounding presidential range mountain is truly natures playground and offers tons of outdoor activities in winter and equally in summer.


Get in touch with nature and visit Parc National Du Mont-Saint-Bruno

Distance from Montreal: approx 30 Minutes

Why you should go: Parc National du Mont-Saint Bruno is only 30 minutes from downtown Montreal and is a playground of outdoor fun. Boasting long hiking and cross-country skiing trails in the winter, and beautiful lakes in the summer. It's perfect for a quick afternoon in the country.


Visit Parc National Du Mont-Orford for Outdoor Fun in winter and summer

Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Parc National Du Mont Orford is only 90 minutes outside of the city and is home to an amazing skill hill and miles of hiking and cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails. You can also enjoy some stunning views from the top of the mountain. Very romantic.


Visit Magog for a real taste of the Eastern Townships Quebec

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Ice skating, skiing, snowboard, dog sledding, ice fishing - you can do it all in Magog. Making it the perfect weekend getaway destination. Also, the town of Magog itself has some great little restaurants and shops to visit.


Visit Parc De I'ile-Saint-Quentin a natural gem right in Trois Rivière Quebec

Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Parc De L'ile Saint-Quentin is located right in Trois Riviere and is a natural, parked on the banks of the St-Lawrence River this natural gem boasts gorgeous views in the winter and sandy freshwater beaches in the summer. Yes, beaches! Say no more.


Visit the rocky beaches of Portland Main for a romantic weekend getaway

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Distance from Montreal: approx 5 hours

Why you should go: This is one of the destinations that takes a little bit longer to get to, but it SO worth the drive. For a true taste of New England culture, Main is the number one destination. The beach towns are equally as charming and friendly in the summer as the winter, too.


Visit North Hero Vermont for breathtaking lake-front views and New England hospitality

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Straddling the board of New York State and Vermont State lies a little secret spot few Montrealers know about - Vermont Islands. A series of islands floating in the middle of Lake Champlain.  Characterized by genuine New England hospitality and Quaint antique shops, local farmer markets and family-run inns over looking the lake, this is the destination is perfect for a romantic getaway for two.


Visit Montebello Quebec for unique wildlife sightings and fresh air

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Distance from Montreal: approx 1 hour

Why you should go: Montebello Quebec is known for its frequent wildlife sightings, you're almost guaranteed to some majestic deer while driving on the winding country roads. There are also several luxury spas and hotels in the area, only 1 hour away from Montreal, it's the perfect destination for a romantic night away from the city.


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Visit Saint-Agathe-Des-Mont for a real taste of Laurentiens Region

Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Saint-Agathe-Des-Mont is the perfect destination if you want to get a feel for the Laurentian region. In the winter you have tons of classic activities such as skiing in the region, and in the summer there are tons of lakes and rivers to splash in and cool off in. Overall, an amazing way to escape the city for a few hours.


Visit Lake Placid New York for breathtaking mountain and lake views

Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Lake Placid is home to one of the steepest ski hills in on the east coast - White Face Mountain. Experienced skiers only. In the Summer Lake Placid is the perfect spot for boating, fishing, and sailing. The town itself is filled with quaint restaurants and shops, so if you just want to kick back with a beer, that's an option too.


Visit Mont Sutton for a day of skiing and outdoor fun

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Located in the Eastern Townships, Mont Sutton boast great snow and beautiful views. A great spot for a day trip to ski or just to chill by the fireplace. Whatever floats your boat.


Visit Ausable Chasm in New York State to see unique natural marvel

Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Only a short drive away from Montreal, Ausable Chasm is located in Northern New York State and is the perfect spot to take in nature, in the summer, and in the winter. A truly unique natural marvel, everybody should visit Ausable Chasm at least once!


Visit Lake George, New York for beautiful lake views and outdoor fun

Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: Lake George is a quaint lakeside town in Northern New York State. If you're into boating, fishing, hiking, it's a great spot for a weekend getaway. The town itself houses all kinds of local restaurants serving traditional New England dishes and seafood, so if you prefer to kickback


Visit Coaticook Quebec for beautiful views and killer local ice cream

Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Coaticook is located in the eastern townships of Quebec and is known for making some of the best ice cream Canada. Yes, Canada! The surrounding towns such as North Hatley are also known for their quaint country vibes and are a must-visit for lakeside fun in the summer


Visit Lac-Megantic Quebec for beautiful country views

Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: Lac Megantic is right near the border of Quebec and Maine. It's a great spot to stop over if you're traveling to the US. This massive lake is a perfect for a weekend getaway during the hot summer months.


Visit Pointe Fraser Quebec right a secret natural gem right outside Cornwall

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: This is where the border of Ontario and Quebec runs directly through the St-Lawrence river. Pointe Fraser is on the Quebec side, but you can paddle over to Ontario in a few minutes. This spot is perfect for long summer days of boating, fishing and swimming.


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Visit Pointe-Aux-Anglais Quebec on the banks of the Ottawa river for a rocky natural gem

Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Pointe-aux-Anglais is right outside of Rigau Quebec and only a short drive outside Montreal. This spot is perfect for swimming in the summer and enjoying the views in the winter.


Visit Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park right on the island for a little taste of nature right in the city

Distance from Montreal: approx 45 min

Why you should go: Located right on the Island of Montreal, Cap-Saint-Jacques is a national park right on the banks of the beautiful Lac des Deux Montagne. A perfect destination for a short day trip when you need a quick break from the chaos of the city.


Visit Senneville in the West for a quick nature escape right on the island

Distance from Montreal: approx 45 min

Why you should go: Senneville is a beautiful suburb of greater Montreal located in the West part of the island. This suburb boasts some beautiful forests and trails, along with a stunning waterfront.


Visit Parc De La Riviere Des Mille Iles just outside Laval for a nature escape

Distance from Montreal: approx 45 min

Why you should go:  A narrow river - Riviere Des Mille Iles - runs alongside the north bank of Laval. At this particular spot, lies a cluster of dozens of little islands, making for some beautiful views and nature landscape right outside the city.


Visit Ile-Des-Moulin right outside Terrebonne for a unique Quebec experience

Distance from Montreal: approx 1 hour

Why you should go: Quaint and historical town right outside Terrebonne, Ile-Des-Moulin will give you a real taste of Quebec and it's surrounding regions, and it's only 60 minutes outside downtown Montreal.


Visit Lac Saint Pierre right outside Trois-Riviere for breathtaking mountain views

Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Lac Saint Pierre and it's neighbouring towns are part of the Mauricie region of the Province. Lac Saint Pierre itself is stunning, this is where the St-Lawrence river opens up right after Sorel Quebec and runs narrow again heading East towards Trois-Riviere. There are all kinds of fun activities to do on the lake. Making it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.


Visit Knowlton Quebec for a taste of the Eastern Townships

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Knowlton is one of the key towns in the Eastern Townships. Located just 90 minutes south of Montreal, the surrounding hill are great for skiing in the winter, and Lac Brome next door is perfect for splashing around in the summer.  The perfect destination  for a day trip outside the city.


Visit Cap Aux Oies outside Quebec City for stunning views of the St-Lawrence

Distance from Montreal: 4 hours

Why you should go:  This part of the St-Lawrence river is characterized by beautiful rocky shores that make a great long-weekend nature destination in the winter and/or summer. Cap Aux Oies is just one of the many quaint towns along this unique part of the banks of the St-Lawrence river.


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Visit Le Massif in Charlevoix Quebec for an epic skiing weekend

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Distance from Montreal: approx 4 hours

Why you should go: Le Massif De Charlevoix is a beautiful mountain in the heart of Charlevoix Quebec and is the home of some of the best skiing in Eastern Quebec. The mountain itself overlooks the St-Lawrence river, so a day of skiing comes with stunning views.


Visit Saint Donat De Montcalm for a tranquil nature escape

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Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Saint-Donat is right by Parc Du Mont Tremblant in the Laurentian region just a quick drive north outside Montreal. This area is particularly quiet and less touristy than other areas in the Laurentian. Making it a great option if you're looking to escape the more crowded areas of the country.


Visit Rawdon Quebec for stunning sights and fresh air

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Rawdon is only 90 minutes outside Montreal is generally free of the touristy vibe you would get in some other parts of the Laurentian Region. There are plenty of attractions in the area, too. From hiking beautiful hills and swimming in the surrounding rivers, it's the perfect day trip to detox from the city.


Visit Saint Alexis Des Mont for a Mauricie Quebec experience

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Why you should go: If your really want to get off the grid head to this region of Quebec right outside Shawinigan. Warning: cell phone signal is low. Making Saint-Alexis-Des-Mont is a true natural hidden gem of the Mauricie region.


Visit Lac de la Montagne Noire In the Laurentians

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Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: This is a stunning lake not to far outside Montreal. Just 2-hour drive north and you will feel as if the city is so far behind you.


Visit Frontenac Provincial Park in Ontario for some rough and wild terrain

Distance from Montreal: approx 4 hours

Why you should go: Frontenac Provincial Park is located not too far outside Kingston Ontario and boasts some of the most beautiful crystal clear lakes in the province. It's perfect for summer camping. Considering the distance from Montreal, this is perfect for a summer get-away for the weekend.


Visit Wellesley State Island Park In New York State

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Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: This state park is right on the border of Canada and the US, and is perfectly secluded. If you want to truly get away from the busy city, take a weekend trip and drive out to northern New York.


Visit Charleston Lake Provincial Park for beautiful sights in Eastern Ontario

Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: If you head down West along the banks of the St-Lawrence River, you will find some truly beautiful natural wonders, such as Charleston Lake Provincial Park.


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Visit Grenadier Island in Ontario for beautiful views and swimming

Distance from Montreal: approx 2.5 hours

Why you should go: Grenadier Island can be found in the Thousand Island region of Southern Ontario. It's natural and peaceful beauty is perfect for a weekend hiking get-away, or just enjoying the tranquil nature and sights of the area.


Visit Butternut Bay Outside Brockville and enjoy the St-Lawrence River

Distance from Montreal: approx 2 hours

Why you should go: Butternut Bay is also part of the Thousand Island Region of Southern Ontario and is a treasured summer community of the region.


Visit Cape Vincent Ontario for truly unique natural sights

Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: Cape Vincent is a riverside town located close to Kingston Ontario. It's a great destination for those who love boating and want to get away from the city without being stuck too deep in the wilderness.


Visit Coteau Du Lac just outside Vaudreuil, for a quick escape from the city

Distance from Montreal: approx 1 hour

Why you should go: Located only 1 hour West of the city, Coteau-du-lac is a little-hidden gem for beaches and swimming in the summer. And the most magical sunsets you've ever seen.


Visit Saint Anne De Bellevue for a quick waterfront date

Distance from Montreal: approx 30 min

Why you should go: Only 30 minutes west of downtown Montreal, Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue is close enough to take a drive for lunch or dinner. Maybe you need a special date idea? Well, Sainte-Anne just might just be the answer! The sunsets in the summer are especially beautiful.


Visit Parc National De Plaisance Quebec for a true nature escape

Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Parc National De Plaisance is right on the border of Ontario and Quebec and is a new National Park founded only in 2002. A great place to bring the family for a day of hiking or a weekend of camping in the summer.


Visit Chénéville Quebec for a magical and deep wilderness experience

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Distance from Montreal: approx 90 min

Why you should go: Chénéville Quebec isn't for city people that generally try to stay away from real wilderness; this quiet region of Quebec will no doubt offer a genuine nature experience.


Visit Mount Mansfield Vermont for beautiful views and hiking

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Distance from Montreal: approx 3 hours

Why you should go: Mount Mansfield is the tallest peak in Vermont and boasts some incredible views. Also, skiing in the winter is incredible, this mountain gets some of the most fluffy and powdery snow in the region.


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