The most beautiful free hiking trails in Quebec

The most beautiful free hiking trails in Quebec

Spring is coming back! Craving for fresh air? Longing for escape and to be amazed? Simply want to shake off the winter blues and recharge your batteries? Nothing could be simpler!

Whether with family, friends, or solo, I suggest you discover or rediscover beautiful landscapes by enjoying lovely walks, hikes or trails of varying levels, in the heart of the rejuvenating nature.

I won't hide anything from you if I say that I love walking/running. In short! Enjoying nature. For this reason, I would like to share with you a little overview of outdoor routes where you can recharge your batteries by breathing in fresh air to your heart's content, for free. The trails that I recommend may not be to everyone's taste; some may have too much elevation gain or be too long, but the trick is that each recommended route will offer several different levels of tracks.

1. On Montreal Island, I love walking on Mount-Royal (on the main trail when I have a stroller or on the surrounding trails when I'm training or with friends). This beautiful mountain in the heart of the city is full of surprises.

Other options, equally enjoyable, include running in the Parc-nature de l'Île-de-la-Visitation, the Parc-Nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies or the parc des Rapides. All of these places are worth a visit. You will discover wonderful fauna and flora on these beautiful trails just a stone's throw from Montreal.

2. If we leave the island of Montreal, there's Laval nearby, with Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles and its 10 km of walking or running trails, interweaving 4 ecosystems: forest, river, marshes, and swamps.

3. In Lanaudière, I love to go on the national trail 100m from my cottage in St-Côme. Otherwise, there's the Swaggin trail with its beautiful waterfalls. For a bit more of a challenge, Montagne Noire is undoubtedly the place where I have the most fun.

4. In the Laurentians, it's the trails of Prévost where I take great pleasure in walking, but also the UQAM outdoor center a beautiful trail in the forest on the banks of the Archambault River, with its 25 km of trail along the Archambault River and its numerous magnificent viewpoints.

5. Heading towards Quebec, we cannot miss the trails of the  Stoneham tourist resort. The resort's 9.5 km hiking loop is sure to charm you.

6. On the South Shore this time, le marais de la Rivière aux Cerises or the Mount Bélanger trail are must-sees. The Mont-Orford or Sutton trails will also conquer the most athletic among you.

7. For those who venture a bit farther from the metropolitan region, Charlevoix is a must-see with its numerous mountains and magnificent parks. To name just two, I suggest exploring the viewpoints of the Massif de Charlevoix or simply walking the 2.5 km trail of the boisé du Quai where beach, dune, and forest await.


I hope I have inspired you to lace up your appropriate shoes and grab your multifunctional tube to explore our beautiful Quebec. Regardless of the season, there are countless hiking trails to explore in our magnificent province. As I write these lines, good memories and beautiful moments come to mind, making me want to explore other wonderful places. Feel free to suggest some to me, I am always open to suggestions!

Happy walking or running! ;)



Geneviève Asselin-Demers

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