Sure, temperatures are cooler, but exploring the outdoors doesn’t have to be over. Here are 5 of Quebec’s best trails to walk, run, ride or even glide through at any time of the year – with breathtaking views, fun family-friendly activities and bonus pit stops along the way.
1. Parc-nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation
Located in Montreal, the Parc-nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation is the crown jewel of urban nature parks. Running 8.5 km along the Rivière des Prairies, it can easily be explored walking, cycling, and even cross-country skiing in the winter. Gaze out over the river from the lookouts, visit the ruins of old mills – an absolute hit with kids – and make sure you stop by local chocolatier Arioum Chocolats for some delicious hot cocoa or to tackle your Christmas shopping early.
Bonus: this destination is 100% pet friendly if they’re on a leash. In fact, your pup may even make friends along the way.
2. The Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park
Often underrated, the Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park features five lakes, an orchard, a historic mill, and dozens of kilometres to explore on foot, bike or snowshoes. Located in the Montérégie region, it truly has some of Quebec’s best trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages who want to escape the city for the day. A favourite among families with young children, the 8.5 km Lac Seigneurial and Lac du Moulin loop trail features a wide dirt path that’s especially convenient for parents with strollers or bike trailers.
3. The Gatineau Park
We could go on and on about the gems this park has to offer, but let’s just say this: 361 square km, second most visited park in Canada, rich biodiversity and endless options of outdoor activities, like hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing. The closest thing to paradise for a nature lover! If you’re a first timer in the area, try starting at the Visitor Centre located in Chelsea. Information officers are on-site to provide tips and help you plan your visit. Plus, after your invigorating nature excursion, you can stop by Biscotti & Cie., a charming café with the best soups and desserts in town.
4. The Domaine Saint-Bernard in Mont-Tremblant
Everyone knows the popular Mont-Tremblant ski resort, but this protected gem is worth drifting off the beaten paths of the Laurentians. Enjoy 1,500 acres of protected nature and over 37 kilometres of dedicated trails that range from novice to enthusiast. Cyclists, hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers of all ages can take in the beautiful sights along the way at any time of the year. This destination is also the home of the second-largest telescope open to the public in Quebec. Make sure you look into the Astronomy Evenings before heading out!
5. The Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook
Coaticook certainly boasts one of Quebec’s best trails. Split among four paths, this year-round park offers 19 kilometres of hiking and mountain bike paths, including the popular Sentier de la Gorge. This magical destination is also home to the highest suspended footbridge in North America!
Bonus stop: La Laiterie de Coaticook – It may be chilly outside but that’s not an excuse not to try this famous ice cream shop with a variety of flavours and over 80 years of experience.
Inspired by a mission to simplify the outdoor experience, Parmi Lifewear ventures off the beaten paths, offering inspiring tips and innovative garments to help people make conscious choices for their active, outdoorsy lifestyle.