- Thinking of enjoying a hike in Quebec this fall?
- Whether you're looking for a beginner stroll or a camping trip, these are the 21 best fall hikes in Quebec.
- Get out there and explore La Belle Province!
You don't really have to leave Montreal to enjoy the fall months, because Mont-Royal is one of the most beautiful parks to walk in to see the colours of the leaves change... and it's only a hop, skip and metro away.
But if you want to check out our province a bit more, or chance experiencing something a bit out of the ordinary, like hiking over suspension bridges or catching sight of whales and belugas playing off the coast... then a Quebec road trip is the way to go.
We looked into hikes for everything from beginner easy strolls to intense two-to-three-day hikes that would have you camping along the trail.
There really is something for everyone in Quebec... and each and every one of the spots we chose will exceed expectations for their beauty and grandeur.
It's mid-September and the air is already turning rather crisp. Some of these trails will have you climbing to much higher elevations so make sure to pack up your warmest layers and fleeces. Don't forget a good pair of hiking boots that are weatherproof and good for traction.
Without further delay, here are 20 of the most scenic places in Quebec to hike during the fall months.
THE 'BARELY-EVEN-BROKEN-A-SWEAT' EASY HIKES
Where: Parc National d'Aiguebelle; 12373 Route d'Aiguebelle, Rouyn-Noranda
Length: 1 hour; 2 km
With over ten trails to choose and 30km of hiking paths, this park has something for every fitness level. The fall foliage views while crossing the suspension make this spot a personal favourite. The Les Paysages trail may be easy, but it also has an impressive spiral staircase and a floating walkway.
Promenade De La Chute
Where: Parc de la Chute-Montmorency; 5300 Boulevard Sainte-Anne, Beauport
Difficulty: Very easy
Length: Varies; 0.5 to 3 km
The trails at this park crisscross allowing you to choose your distance - but the must-see is the waterfall. Surrounded by trees, you can get up close and personal with the might of the 83-meter falls.
Sentier du Morne
Where: Access in front of 301 Route du Morne, Lac-Drolet
Length: 30 minutes; 1.2 km
There are two 1.2 km beginner trails that lead you to an observation tower where you can take in the gorgeous 360º panoramic view.
Des Trois-Étangs Loop
Where: Parc National du Mont-Orford; 3321 Chemin du Parc, Orford
Length: 2 hours; 5.5 km
Home to some of the best views in the province, Mont-Orford National Park boasts a stunning waterfall, boardwalk lookouts, and several fantastic spots to swim. The Des Trois-Etangs Loop leads you through the full experience.
Where: Parc National des Hautes‑Gorges-de-la-Rivière‑Malbaie; 25 Boulevard Notre-Dame, Clermont
Length: 1 hour; 2.5 km
The easy trail takes you to a spectacular view of the Cran des Érables cliff.
Where: Parc National Frontenac; 599 Chemin des Roy, Sainte-Praxède
Length: 2 hours; 5.7 km
Most of the trails on at this park are easy, but they will take you deep into a coniferous forest that makes you feel like you're in another world.
Where: Parc National du Bic; 53382 route 132 O, Le Bic
Length: 2 hours; 5.8 km
You will have a little bit of everything at this national park; capes, bays, coves, islands, and mountains clustered with centenary jack pines.
Sentier de la Pointe de l'Islet
Where: Pointe de l'Islet; 150 CH Traverse De Ligne Anse St Jean, Tadoussac
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Length: 20 minutes; 0.6 km
You may go for the trees, but this incredible trail has views of the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Rivers where you can spot whales and belugas. While it's a short stroll, you'll end up taking extra time to just take in all the scenery.
THE 'GETTING-A-LITTLE-OUT-OF-BREATH' INTERMEDIATE HIKES
Sentier de la GorgeParc de la Gorge
Where: Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook; 400 Rue St-Marc Street, Coaticook
Length: 1.5 hours; 3.5 km
Take in the panoramic views of fall on the longest suspended footbridge in North America.
The Champlain Trail
Where: Gatineau Park; 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, QC
Length: 30 minutes; 1.3 km
The Champlain Trail is definitely one of the coolest trails in Gatineau Park. It takes you to the top of the Eardley Escarpment where you can overlook all of the park.
Parcours de la Crête des Grives
Where: Parc Régional du Massif du Sud; 300 Route du Massif, Saint-Philémon
Length: 4 hours; 11.1 km
This trail is truly the reason for hiking. It crosses rivers and streams, takes you through an ancient forest and if you make it to the summit, has the most beautiful views in the park.
Sommet du Sentier La Roche
Where: Parc National du Mont-Tremblant; 4456 Lac-Supérieur Road, Lac-Supérieur
Length: 2 hours; 5.4 km
If you make it to the top of this trail, you'll be able to take in the view of the Valley of Lac Monroe, which offers views of the deep blue water and endless forests.
Where: Mont Owl's Head; 40 Chemin du Mont Owls Head, Mansonville
Length: 2 hours; 2 km (one way)
Take in the view from the summit of the mountain where you'll be able to see the mountains of Jay Peak, Éléphant and Orford in their autumn bloom and the lake below.
Where: Parc National de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher‑Percé;
Length: 2.5 hours; 7 km (one way)
The trails are only accessible on the Bonaventure Island by boat and they stop running October 14th, so make sure to book your trip soon! You'll hike along cliff walls, through meadows and impressive evergreen forests.
THE 'OH-CRAP-WHAT-DID-I-GET-MYSELF-INTO' DIFFICULT HIKES
Where: Forillon National Park; 1238 Boul de Forillon, Gaspé, QC
Difficulty: Extremely hard
Length: 13-15 hours; 36.6 km
This long mountain hike will wind you past lakes and through the forest where you can check out the leaves and usually catch sight of some wildlife. Most hikers make a two-day hike of it, sleeping in one of the lean-to shelters set up along the way.
Where: Parc National Des Grands-Jardins; 25 Boul. Notre-Dame, Clermont QC
Length: 4 hours; 8.6 km
The hike is worth it for the foliage views, but getting to the top of this mountain also gives you a stunning view of the Charlevoix meteorite crater and Vallée du Gros-Bras
Where: Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier; 103 Chemin du Parc-National, Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury (Québec)
Length: 5.25 hours; 16 km
This looping trail has hikers ascending 500 meters up the mountain. From there you follow a lengthy beaver stream and are treated to the spectacular view of the valley gorges
Where: Start at the church in Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges; 3428 Avenue Royale, Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges
Length:3-5 hours; 12.5 km
It's a tough hike, there's no doubt about it, and the length is only one way. But the views of the canyon and river are worth every panting step. You'll cross two suspended bridges over the Sainte-Anne River and be able to take in the rugged beauty of the area. You will end at Jean-Larose waterfalls located at the base of Mont-Sainte-Anne Resort.
The Loop of RidgesParc Environnemental Naturel de Sutton
Where: Parc Environmental Naturel de Sutton; 900 Chemin Réal, Sutton
Length: Full-day hike; 13.8 km
It's a demanding hike but you'll reach an area where several century-old birch trees are perched, and where else can you experience that?
La Descente Aux Enfer
Where: Les Canyon Portes Enfer; 1280 chemin Duchenier, Saint-Narcisse-de-Rimouski,
Length: Varies; 300 steps down, 300 steps back up
You read that correctly. Translated, this trail is affectionately called Descent to Hell's Gate. It's 300 steps down and 300 back up.
Sentier des Sommets
Where: Parc Montagne du Diable; Village des Bâtisseurs, 1100 Chemin Léandre Meilleur, Ferme-Neuve
Length: 2 days; 31.8 km
Plan for an overnight camping stay at one of the trail huts along the way. The best time is as early in the season as you can go, as the leaves tend to turn earlier than in other places in Quebec.
Quebec has an endless amount of scenic parks to choose from.
The only question you have to answer is how far you want to drive...
Enjoy the fall!