It's been said again and again that Montreal has two seasons: winter and construction. And while Montrealers know how to have a good time regardless, there's nothing like taking a break every now and then to trade in the city grind for a walk on the wild side.
Not only does being among nature have a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being, but it's also a way to explore and have fun, especially when so many activities continue to remain closed or restricted.
Fortunately, Montreal is surrounded by hiking trails of all kinds that are just waiting to be discovered. Of course, wherever you're headed, make sure to follow the relevant public health guidelines.
No matter if you're a novice or a seasoned pro, you'll likely know that having the right gear has a big impact when it comes to hiking. Footwear can make all the difference, helping to keep you safe and comfortable along the way, whatever the terrain.
One of the most well-known hiking shoe brands is Merrell, whose new Moab Collection is designed to be lighter and more flexible than old-school boots while still delivering the traction and support any type of hiker needs.
Whether you opt for the protective, cushioned trail runners that are the Moab Flight or the lightweight, athletic tread of the Moab Speed, each can help you confidently take on any one of these nine trails near Montreal.
The Dieppe Trail In Mont-Saint-Hilaire
This spectacular hike is less than an hour's drive from Montreal, and if you follow the Dieppe trail you can even catch a glimpse of the city on a clear day. Talk about a "peak" selfie moment!
While Dieppe (and all of Mont-Saint-Hilaire's five trails) are open year-round, summer and fall are usually best to avoid the mud and muck (although it's nothing a good pair of hiking shoes can't handle).
Park Loop In Mont-Royal
You don't have to travel out of the city to get your hiking fix. While Mont-Royal's peak can be reached via the tried-and-true Park Loop, you can also opt for the more rugged trails that zigzag through forest.
It's a good idea to bring some snacks because you'll likely want to stop and take in the panoramic view from the summit (and maybe dip your toes in the mountain-top lake too).
Le Montérégien In Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno
As one of Mont-Saint-Bruno's 27-kilometre-long network of trails, Le Montérégien is ideal for more intermediate hikers. It'll quickly become a place you'll want to revisit, which is easy to do as it's less than an hour's drive from Montreal.
But don't forget your camera or your binoculars because, with over 200 bird species and 40 mammal species, you're definitely going to want to capture memories along the way.
Cime Haut-Richelieu In Mont-Saint-Grégoire
Located by Richelieu River Valley, what makes Mont-Saint-Grégoire's Cime Haut-Richelieu trail extra special (aside from the fact that it's only an hour from Montreal) is its farmland views that can be seen from the top.
The 2.3-kilometre trail is suitable for all hiking levels, with a summit you can reach in under an hour. If you climb on a clear day, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of Montreal in the distance.
The Gorge Canyon Trail In Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook
At about a two-hour drive from Montreal, this 3.5-kilometre trail in Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is worth the trip. The trail is perhaps best known for being home to North America's longest suspended footbridge, measuring 168 metres long and 50 metres high.
Access to the hiking trails costs $8 for adults (taxes included), which is a good deal for breathtaking views like these.
Calvaire d'Oka In Parc National d'Oka
As one of Parc national d'Oka's ten trails, there's no shortage wildlife to be seen on this hike. Just 45 minutes from Montreal, the Calvaire d'Oka is surrounded by history and heritage too, including three Roman-style chapels atop the mountain's peak.
It's truly an experience of hiking through history as much as it is hiking through nature.
Grand Prix Des Couleurs In Mont-Tremblantjuliaglipari | Instagram
Perhaps better known as a skiing and snowboarding destination, Mont-Tremblant also serves up seriously scenic views for hikers too, including waterfalls and streams along the way.
With Mont-Tremblant as the highest peak in the Laurentides, the Grand Prix Des Couleurs Trail is the quickest way to the top. You're definitely going to want to have your gear, including your hiking shoes, at the ready — and your camera too.
Le Grand Tour Trail In Parc National de la Yamaska
Parc national de la Yamaska is just over an hour away from Montreal, but once you arrive there's nothing city-like in sight.
Truly a picturesque place, Le Grand Tour Trail is a solid 19-kilometre-long loop. It'll definitely take up most of your day but in the best way — the adventure is what makes it fun!
Le Haut-Lieu Trail In Mont-Rigaudlotusan | Instagram
With plenty of climbs and descents, Le Haut-Lieu Trail in Mont-Rigaud is the dynamic main loop of the L'escapade Trails. Only an hour from Montreal, the trail stretches 13.5 kilometres.
With some of nature's nicest scenery, including abandoned arches and buildings that would make for a sweet photo op, Le Haut-Lieu may just be calling your name.
Combining 100% recycled laces and a Vibram® Ecostep outsole made from at least 30% recycled rubber with protective ankle support, cushioned soles and lightweight materials, you can make that first step an Earth-friendly one.
There's no need to feel trapped in the hustle and bustle of urban living. Heading out of the city and exploring some of the great hiking spots near Montreal is a really simple way you can feel better in your body and soul. As long as you're always following public health guidelines, get your hiking shoes on and get out there!
To learn more about the Moab collection, check out Merrell's website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.