Take a Hike: Montreal’s Top Trails

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely amble or an extreme adventure, it’s not much of a trek to Montreal’s best hiking spots. We present the best trails for…

…the fragile
Gently shake off your Sunday hangover on the mellow trails of Île Ste-Helene, where quirky Expo ’67 sculptures nestle the trees along the St-Lawrence River. Look for Jean Lefebure’s Signe Solaire, gleaming in the sun like a giant upended beetle, and Yves Trudeau’s towering robot, Phare du Cosmos. End the day with a reward: an ice-cold beer from Piknic Electronik.

… the four-legged
Dog owners sweat their way up to Summit Circle, past Upper Westmount’s opulent mansions. The woodland on Mount Royal’s third peak is a tranquil, off-leash zone, so pups bound blissfully over logs and streams as you tread trails designed by Frederic Law Olmsted – the landscape architect behind Central Park.

… the feral
Hike the Côte-des-Neiges side of the mountain to discover the final resting place of Maurice Richard and infamous gangster Richard Blass at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery. Montreal’s 343-acre answer to Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery is very much alive with wildlife, including foxes, cottontail rabbits and falcons.

… the early fall
Morgan Arboretum is best in late-summer, when many of its indigenous and international trees – think butternut hickories, fragrant cedars and black cherry trees – start changing colour. Twenty-five kilometres of trails lead you through mature forest and into a peaceful state of mind.

Image courtesy of Bob August.

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