Guys, let's be straight-up for a minute. Summertime in the city is super fun but sometimes, you need to disconnect.
Every now and then, you need to get out of the city and immerse yourself in nature. Not only is it necessary to take a little breather, but it's also really fun to discover the hidden gems that happen to be right in our own backyard.
Plus, you know, hiking, biking, paddleboarding, and camping are really, really great ways to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
If you're wondering where you'd even get started having a good time outside super close to Montreal... well, worry not. I've got your back, friends.
Mount Ham Regional Park
Calling all those who love to camp, you might want to sit down for this one. Mount Ham Regional Park is quite possibly one of the best camping spots in Quebec - and seeing as it's only about a two-hour drive out of Montreal, it's perfect for us city dwellers looking to escape for the weekend.
Now, Mount Ham has a whole lot more than just camping to offer. You can go hiking, disc golfing (a combination of golf and frisbee), backpacking, and more. Oh, and as an added bonus, this spot happens to have one of the highest peaks in the Eastern Townships. So prepare for a hike that ends with an incredibly gorgeous view.
If you're interested in planning a visit or just looking to get outside, make sure to visit MEC's Good Times Outside digital platform, which connects Canadians to the great outdoors. Discover fun activities and events that are happening nearby, or just a short drive away!
Montagne D'Argent Climbing Park
Have you ever wanted to spend the day adventuring through nature, and the night peacefully enjoying it? Well, Montagne D'Argent, situated in La Conception, QC, totally has you covered.
Just over a one-hour drive from the city, Montagne D'Argent has something for everyone, so no matter what you're into, you're truly going to enjoy your weekend in nature.
You can saddle up and go for a climb on one of the Montagne D'Argent's 250 climbing routes; hike on 16km of hiking trails (for all skill levels!); take in the gorgeous park views; or just chill by the water at your campsite - which, yes, totally does include hot showers.
Gault Nature Reserve
Before I say anything else, let me just say this: Gault Nature Reserve is an actual paradise, and it's literally only a 45-minute drive outside of the city.
With lakes, brooks, trees, lush greenery, and a whole lot more, this huge reserve offers pretty much the most pristine nature you could experience this close to Montreal. But that's not all that's high key amazing about Gault Nature Reserve.
Offering about 25km of hiking and exploring trails, Gault Nature Reserve also happens to be every single hiker's dream come true - whether you're a beginner or an expert. The trek takes you to an epic lookout, so you can gain views of the entire nature reserve, and ends near orchards, the perfect place to refuel!
With a name like Aerobic Corridor, you just know that this hiking trail is going to be full of fun and adventure. And it totally lives up to the hype!
Located in Morin Heights (which, btw, is probably one of the most picturesque towns in the Laurentians), this spot is roughly a one and a half-hour drive away from the city, which is not far at all... especially when you consider how amazing this hike is.
Leading you in and around forests, valleys, villages, waterfalls, and fields, the Aerobic Corridor hiking trail follows the former CN railway line (so history buffs, this one's for you!) and spans about 58km. No worries, though: it's accessible to everyone - cyclists included! - and you can explore as much or as little as you'd like.
Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville
If you're down to travel somewhere that's close to the city, but still feels like an adventurous escape, then look no further than this national park, a 30-minute drive from Montreal.
Actually, it's more "island" than "park". A handful of small islands make up Parc national des Îles-De-Boucherville, which means it's beautiful but also super fun to explore.
You can paddleboard, kayak, or canoe through waterways and channels, no matter your skill level. If you're not into water adventures, no worries. There are plenty of other ways to explore the park, including hiking and cycling. There's even a campsite, in case you want to extend your stay (and trust me, with so many fun things to do, you'll totally want to stay here forever.)
No matter what you choose to do, getting away from the hustle and bustle of Montreal and immersing yourself in nature for a weekend is key to enjoying your summer.
Ready to hit the road? MEC's Good Times Outside platform doesn't just offer fun activities, it also provides some key gear recommendations to ensure you're ready to kick some outdoor butt. You can search outdoor activities based on the vibe you're going for, whether it's adventure, a challenge or something a little more laid back.