While pretenders come and go, the cities landmark is still the mountain. Mount Royal stands as a back-drop to the city's core, and even fists full of developers dollars couldn't obscure the view. The mountain park is an urban island of green, sharply contrasted by the stone, steel and concrete of its surroundings.But it is only one protected natural area, in what should become a corner stone for greater efforts to preserve more of the cities natural heritage and green spaces. Remember, this is a city that matured in a less than enlightened era, and efforts are more often needed to recover, rather than preserve.

Montreal has many metropolitan and urban parks and to its great credit it has set aside several areas as Nature Parks, these include Cap-St-Jacques, Bois-de-Liesse and Pointe-aux-Prairie There are also several Provincial Parks within a short distance of the city, including Iles-de-Boucherville located on an island just south of Montreal's eastern end. .

 
 
 

To some extent Montreal's excellent urban outdoor facilities are almost surprisingly, given the cities commercial and industrial history, along with the cities penchant for the high life.

 
 
    A lot of this may be attributed to dedicated individuals, who have fought hard and long to put together visionary projects such as the urban bike and recreation network. This is an exceptional effort, which has stitched together historic pathways with recently developed trails and imaginative access initiatives. There is of course still much work to be done in all Montreal's conservation and reclamation efforts.  
 
 

A lot of Montreal's green space is made up of the small parks, fields and grassed areas which surround the bike paths, particularly along the islands southern shores. This is in addition to, those green buffer areas which accompany the canal and aqueduct through the city.

 

Montreal and Laval Nature Parks

Parc du la Riviere des Mille Iles - Regional

Canoeing, Kayaking, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing The parks main access points are in Laval but it can be accessed from several areas on the Laurentian shore including the Centre de la Nature de Boisbriand. The park is made up of green space on both shores and on the dozens of islands along the channel. While very much an urban area, the marshes, islands and narrow channels provide excellent areas to explore in a sea kayak. You'll also find picnic tables on some of the shoreslines and islands, where you can stop to eat if you've packed a lunch. The park has rabaska canoe tours or you can rent your own kayak or canoe. In August the park is the site of the Descent de la Riviere Mille Isle, which sees over a thousand participants paddling the river. In the winter the park is open to cross country skiers (6km of classic, plus 7km of multi-use trails) and snowshoers when the river freezes over. From Montreal take highway 15 (or the 13 to the 640 to the 15) and take the last exit in Laval. Head east on Ste. Rose and watch for the signs. Entrance fee

Le Parc de la Rivière des Mille-Îles
345 Ste Rose Blvd West,
Ste-Rose, Laval, QC
H7L 1M7


Cap-St-Jacques - Nature Park

One of Montreal's beautiful nature parks, the park is located at the northwestern tip of the island in Pierrefonds/Senneville. You'll find excellent cycling and hiking along wide hard pack trails, along with a nice paddling route along the parks shore, a popular beach, a sugar shack and the eco-farm... More

 

Bois-de-Liesse - Nature Park

The park is located on the Montreal's north shore in the West Island. It stretches from the back river almost to the Trans-Canada Highway, and from Sunnybrook in the west, on passed Highway 13 to Avenue du Rousseau, in the east. The park has 12km of hiking trails, along with 8km of bike paths... More

 

Bois-de-l'lle-Bizard - Nature Park

Ile Bizard is an island located at the western tip of Laval and to the northwest of Montreal, above the West Island. The park is situated in the eastern half of the Ile Bizard, between Montee de l'Eglise and the Chemin du Bord-du-Lac. There are over 27km of cross country ski trails, 9.6km of which are accessible for hiking and biking in the summer... More

 

I'lle-de-la-Visitation - Nature Park

The park is a pleasant break from the urban landscape, located in Montreal's' east central region, along the Riviere des Prairie,You'll find a mix of forest and fields, which border the park's central bay. The bay provides excellent wildlife viewing, watch for black crowned herons, osprey and a variety of ducks, which can often be observed close-up. You can find canoeing, sea kayaking, biking, hiking, all within the parks boundaries. There are 9km of hiking trails and 2.5km of bike trails, which are made up of hard pack and crushed stone. In the winter there are 8km of cross country ski trails.You can reach the park from Montreal's cycling network, a section of which travels right passed the southern boundary. The park is located off Gouin Blvd east, between Papineau and Saint Micheal. Take Henri Bourassa to Rue de Lille, then turn north to Gouin. At Gouin turn east and drive for a short distance to the parks gate. There are a number of buses which will get you to the park, consult our Resources section for the Montreal's Urban Transit Link. Maps are available at the park office. There is a fee for parking.

2425 Gouin Blvd East
Montreal
514-280-PARC
or 514-280-6733

 

Point-aux-Prairies - Nature Park

There are 20km of cross country ski trails along with a designated snowshoe trail of 3km. The are 3km of hiking trails and 13.km of bike trails accessible in the summer. The park is rather unique, in that it stretches from, the northern shore to the southern shore of the island, through corridors which connect the three main sectors. The two parking areas in the north that can be reached from Gouin just off Saint Jean Baptiste. You'll also find parking areas in the other areas, with the visitor information center located in the middle sector. To reach the park follow the Trans-Canada into Montreal's east end, then exit at Henri Bourassa and head west. Take a right (north) at the second major intersection, St-Jean-Baptiste Blvd. At Gouin head east (right) which will take you two the parks northern entrance. There are a number of buses which will get you to the park, consult our Resources section for the Montreal's Urban Transit Link. Maps are available at the park office. There is a fee for parking.

12300 Gouin Blvd
Montreal
514-280-PARC
or 514-280-6733

* Bois Durvernay - 30km of Cross Country Ski trails, Birding 2830 Saint Elzear Blvd East (Vimont) Laval 450-661-1766
* Bois Papineau - 7km of Cross Country Trails, Snowshoeing, Birding 3235 Saint Martin Blvd East (Duvernay) Laval
* Parc des Prairies - 5km of Cross Country Trails Blvd des Prairies (Laval des Rapides) Laval 450-662-4902


 

Montreal & Laval Urban and Metropolitan Parks

Mont-Royal (The Mountain)

Hiking 30km, Snowshoeing, XC Skiing 20km groomed, Snowshoeing, Cycling This is Montreal's landmark and the cities outdoor center piece. An urban park, it's never the less a large and beautiful green space in the center of the city. The park forms the crown of Mont Royal, the cities central peak (if you will). It's heavily wooded, has lots of trails and excellent viewpoints. It's a great place for a stroll on a warm summers day or a quick cross country ski before leaving for work in the winter. Designed by the same architect that designed Central Park in New York, this is truly a people's park. Anytime of year you'll find groups and individuals involved in an array of outdoor and leisure activities. You can cycle to the top of the mountain without worrying about traffic, by following the shaded, winding, Olmsted Road (hard pack), accessible from Avenue du Parc near the monument. If you prefer the street, Voie Camillien Houde travels over the mountain from Mount Royal in the east to Cote de Neige in the west. You can access the hiking/walking trail system from Beaver Lake, which lies along the parks main road or you can find access from the Olmsted Road, Cote des Neige or Pine Avenue. Cross country skiers and snowshoers have trails waiting and equipment rentals are available. There is a small snowboard and downhill ski slope at Beaver Lake, which is perfect for the little grommets. In the winter other popular activities are tubing, sledding and tobogganing. Unfortunately mountain biking is not permitted in the park. The park is of interest to birders as there are many common nesting species. A restaurant and snack bar can be found at Beaver Lake but in the Summer you just might want to pack a picnic. You'll also find the exciting Tam-Tam drum celebrations, which take place beside the monument on Avenue du Parc, every Sunday in the warmer months.

The parks north side is taken up by two large and imposing cemeteries. You'll find many prominent Montrealer's that have found there final resting place here. This includes Maurice Richard, one of the world's greatest hockey players. Lord Shaughnessy, which oversaw the running of the Canadian Pacific Railways while it grew into one or the world's major multi-nationals. You'll also find the the monument for Camillian Houde, a mayor of the city and an early environmentalist. The Notre-Dam-des-Neige and the Cimetiere Mont-Royal websites will provide you with more information. There are a number of buses which will get you to the park, consult our Resources section for the Montreal's Urban Transit Link. If you wish to drive, you'll find parking in the Beaver Lake area. There is a fee for parking.

 

Parc Jean Drapeau

The park is Located on the the islands of Ile Ste-Helene and Ile Notre-Dame, in the St. Lawrence River, south of the city. Ile Ste-Helene has a long and interesting history, in contrast Ile Notre Dame is a man made island, constructed for the 1967 World's Fair. While it's largely an urban park, parts of the park are forested and quiet natural spaces can be found in the surrounding marshes and shorelines... More


Agrignon Park

Hiking 10km, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing 10km, Cycling A large green space with a lake and some nicely forested areas. The park is located in the Lasalle, Pole des Rapids region, just west of the downtown core. In the winter you can also toboggan and skate on the parks outdoor rink. You can reach the park by bike along the Aqueduct bike path. To reach the park by car from the downtown area, follow Notre Dame Street west to Boul. Agrinon, then head south (left) to the park. The park is also directly accessible from the Agrinon Metro (subway) station on the Green Line. Consult our Resources section for the link to Montreal's Urban Transit Authority and detailed information on access.

3400 des Tinitaires Blvd
LaSalle
514-872-3816


Lafontaine Park

This is a large urban park, which sees a lot of activity, particularly in the summer months. Arguably, this is the most beautiful of Montreal's truly urban parks and very much steeped in Montreal history and culture. There are venues for most of the traditional sports, such as baseball, tennis and hockey. There are also many walking and cycling paths through the park. In the summer you'll find open air theatre, which is free to the public.The park is in walking distance of the Sherbrooke Metro (subway) Station on the Orange Line. Or you can pick up a bus, here or at the Papineau or Prefontiane Metro stations. Consult our Resources section for the link to Montreal's Urban Transit Authority and detailed information on access to the park. To reach the park by car head east from the downtown core along Sherbrooke St., the park is a few blocks after St. Hubert St.

3819 Calixa-Lavallee - Walking 10km
514-872-2644


Maisonneuve Park

Hiking 5km, Snowshoeing, XC Skiing 18km, Cycling A large and very urban green space, next door to the Olympic Stadium. The park has facilities for the more traditional sports, as well as a section of the Montreal cycling network running through it. In a addition to it's neighbor, the Olympic Stadium, you'll also find the Olympic Village, the Biodome and the Botanical Gardens on its doorstep. The nearest Metro (subway) stations are Viau and Rosemont. Consult our Resources section for the link to Montreal's Urban Transit Authority and detailed information on access to the park. To reach the park by car from the downtown core, travel east along Sherbrooke Street, the park is located just passed Pie IX Boulevard.

4601 Sherbrooke St E
514-872-6555

Des Rapides Park

White Water Kayaking, Hiking, Cycling A small but fascinating natural area along the south shore of Lasalle. The park is an important birding area and lies just across from the Ile aux Herons Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary is best know for it's heronries, with nesting Great Blue and Black Crowned Night Herons. In addition, depending on the time of year, you might see the American Wigeons and Goldeneyes. Redwing Blackbirds, Mergansers and Mallards are the most abundant species on the islands. The park lies along the Berges bike path, which travels the length of Lasalle's south shore and connects into the larger Montreal network. The famous Lachine Rapids run alongside the parks southern boundary, providing White water kayakers (intermediate - expert) with an excellent area for paddling. Rafting Montreal is located just to the west of the park and also takes advantage of the rapids. These rapids have a large historical significance and are one of the key reasons the Lachine Canal was constructed. From downtown Montreal take the Ville Marie Expressway, to the 20 west, then take the exit for the Mercier Bridge (Route 138) Take the first exit into LaSalle and cross back east of the highway to LaFleur, where you head west (right), to the T intersection with Boul. LaSalle. Head south (left) for for a few kilometres, the park is on your right a short distance passed Boul. Bishop Power.

Lachine Canal

Cycling, Hiking/Walking, Sea Kayaking While not a designate park at all, the long green strip of land that follows the canal and bike path is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in the city. Effectively a linear park, it stretches from the downtown core in the east, to Lake Saint Louis in the west, connecting at either end to other bike paths in the 300km Montreal cycling network. You can rent bikes at both ends (or in the Old Port which is only a short distance from the Canal). After a long period of neglect, the canal has been refurbished and the locks restored, to once again allow small small boat traffic to travel end to end. You can rent kayaks (or bring your own) for a pleasant paddle along the canals waters (but don't do any eskimo rolls). Bring a picnic or pick one up at the Atwater Market, which lies just off the bike path. You might also consider dropping by the outdoor terrace at Magnans, a Montreal landmark, famous for it's huge succulent ribs, roast beef and steaks. You'll find parking at each end of the canal as well as several other points along route, including spots adjacent to Pont LaFleur and Pont du Cote-St-Paul. The Lachine Canal along with the nearby Fur Trade at Lachine site are part of Canada's system of National Historic Sites. Consult our Resources section for the link to Montreal's Urban Transit Authority and detailed information on access to the park.

 

Other Parks

Bois Durvernay - 30km of cross country ski trails, birding, 2830 Saint Elzear Blvd East (Vimont) Laval 450-661-1766
Bois Papineau - 7km of cross country trails, snowshoeing, birding, 3235 Saint Martin Blvd East (Duvernay) Laval
Parc des Prairies - 5km of cross country trails, Blvd des Prairies (Laval des Rapides), Laval 450-662-4902


 

Parks in the Surrounding Regions

Bois de Belle Rivière - Regional

The park has a number of hiking trails, which are used in the winter for cross country skiing. There are huts you can rent for overnight stays. There are also two sugar shacks to visit in the spring... More Laurentians

 

Domaine Vert - Regional

The park is in a lovely natural area with an extensive but easy trail system. The ease of access and the wide variety of activities available make it a popular local destination... More Laurentians

 

Doncaster - Regional

A beautiful nature park a short distance from Ste. Adele. The park follows the Doncaster River as it makes its way to the Riviere du Nord. The parks trials connect to the P'tit Train du Nord, presenting you with 200km more to explore... More Laurentians

 

Frontenac - Provincial

Lac Saint-François is the parks centre piece and much of the parks activities take place on it's waters or along its shores. The park has front country camping as well as 30 canoe campsites, hiking, cycling and a beach. In the winter both sectors are open for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing... More Eastern Townships

 

Ile de Boucherville Park (Provincial) - Located on islands in the St. Lawrence river just south of Montreal's east end. The park has hiking paths, cycling paths ( 20k in total ) which double as cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter. You can also use part of the trail system for winter hiking. In the summer you'll find a very nice paddling circuit for sea kayaks or canoes... More Monteregie

 

Mont Megantic - Provincial

Located in the Eastern Townships about 2.5 hours from Montreal, the park encompasses several 1000m peaks. Backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, wilderness camping, backcounty and cross country skiing make up the parks' activities list. Mont Megantic is crowed by the Astrolab observatory which should give you some idea of the excellent opportunity for star gazing in the park...Mont Megantic Eastern Townships

 

Mont Orford Park - Provincial

The park is a popular destination for Montrealers in both the summer and winter. The park offers hiking trails, an extended backpacking trail, cycling, lake paddling, cross country skiing front country camping and wilderness camping. You'll find one of the townships best downhill centers in the park as well... More Eastern Townships

 

Mont St-Bruno Park (Provincial)

The park is located about 20km south of Montreal on the south shore. Several small lakes perched on the mountain are surrounded by forest and fields. Hiking trails swing around the lakes and provide several nice lookouts along the way. During the winter, 30km of trails are groomed for cross country skiing... More Monteregie

 

Mont-Tremblant Park - Provincial

Located in a beautiful setting in the Central Laurentians/Lanaudiere regions, this is Quebec's most popular park. You'll find a wealth of outdoor activities including cycling, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, white water paddling, front country camping, wilderness camping, cross country and backcountry skiing... More Laurentians Lanaudiere

 

Oka Park - Provincial

Located on the shores of the Lake of Two Mountains in the Lower Laurentians, the park has hiking, mountain biking, front country camping, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and excellent birding. The park is a home to perhaps the best beach in the Montreal area. A bike path passes through the park and connects into the extensive Montreal cycling network... More Laurentians

 

Riviere-du-Nord - Regional

A beautiful regional park just off highway 15 outside of Saint-Jerome. The park lies along the P'tit Train du Nord (the Laurentian's rail trail) on the shores of the Riviere-du-Nord. The Chutes Wilson are a great spectacle, particularly in the spring when the waters can be ferocious..More Laurentians

 

Yamaska Park - Provincial

You'll find hiking trails, canoe rentals and a very nice beach. The park lies along a bike path, which directly connects into the broader Eastern Townships network which has hundreds of kilometres of paths. In the winter there are trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing... More Eastern Townships

 

 

   

Resources

Our resources section provides provides supporting information, including links to sites which are located within or nearby the parks listed. In addition you'll find links to our accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, events and attractions sections.

Tourism

Out-There's Montreal Accommodations
Out-There's Montreal Restaurants
Out-There's Montreal Nightlife
Out-There's Montreal Attractions

Out-There's Montreal

 
 

Adventure

Des Rapids

Des Rapides Park - From the City of Montreal

Lachine Canal

Maisonneuve Park

Maisonneuve Park

Mont Royal

Mont-Royal - The official site

Parc Jean Drapeau

Parc Jean Drapeau - The official site

Montreal Urban Transit

STCUM - Montreal's Bus and Metro System

The Surrounding Regions

 

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