9 great hikes to soak up fall colours

Tourisme Montréal

This article was updated on August 31, 2022.

One of the most spectacular times for a daytrip around Montréal is fall, because Mother Nature puts on quite a show. The changing colours of the leaves are one of the most special aspects of the boreal forest that surrounds the city, whether you head in the direction of the Eastern Townships, Montérégie or the Outaouais. So fill your tank, don your hiking boots, set out for a drive—and prepare for breathtaking views on the way to these great walking destinations.


This famous Eastern Townships destination about 1.5 hours from Montréal is always great for hiking, but in the fall—specifically on weekends from mid-September to mid-October—Mount Sutton features a ton of fall festival activities for all. Its altitude of 840 metres provides a great vantage point for fall colours. Try the Lake Mohawk trail in the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton—it’s a 3-hour hike with jaw-dropping views.


Owl’s Head

Fall weekends at Owl’s Head, about 2 hours from Montréal, light up with lots of festive activities starting at the end of September. Check those out or just go for the stunning hikes: there are 4 trails on this Eastern Townships mountain ranging from 2.5 to 5 km long, with an exceptional panoramic view of Lake Memphremagog and Vermont in the distance.


This mountain 45 minutes from Montréal, in Montérégie, is amid the Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno: a national park comprising 5 lakes, an apple orchard, a tea shop, a historic mill and many more attractions. Make its gentle 213 metre ascension your destination for a hike, and take in its hundreds of species of fauna and flora. It’s particularly well-known for birdwatching.


This popular Montérégie hiking destination just over an hour from Montréal offers many trails, but the best is arguably Sentiers Jean-Baptiste-Jodoin. Located right by the famous Cidrerie Michel Jodoin orchard and cidery, this intermediary-level, 3.2 to 4.6 km trail is open to all year-round. It leads to a unique view of the surrounding orchards (this is apple country, after all!).


Trails on Mont Saint-Grégoire are managed by CIME Haut-Richelieu, an organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of this Montérégie mountain’s natural beauty. After a mere hour’s drive from Montréal and a moderate 2.3 km hike you’ll access a panoramic view from the top, where you can see Montréal and Mount Royal, Rougemont, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, the mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks.


Just 45 minutes from Montréal lies Rigaud, a Montérégie village that leads to 9 hiking trails managed by the Sentiers de l’escapade, ranging from short-and-easy to longer, for a total recreation network of 27 km. The free trails are widely used all year round, for everything from hiking to fat-biking to cross-country skiing and horseback riding. Hike to the lava-rock top of Haut-Lieu for a panoramic view lush with red oaks and white pines.


Gatineau Park

This sprawling nature reserve covers a whopping 360 square km of beautiful verdant forests, hills and rivers, including 200 km of trails in all varieties of difficulty. It’s well worth the 2 hours’ drive from Montréal to discover Gatineau Park’s rich biodiversity, either on foot, by bike or by canoe—highlights include the Mackenzie King Estate, Champlain Lookout and Luskville Falls.



Under 2 hours away from Montréal by car, Parc des Montagnes Noires de Ripon offers 17 trails covering a total of 25 km. Explore this 800-acre Outaouais forest by foot or bike—it ranges from the woodland environment of the Petite Nation to agricultural developments. Admire the Petite Nation valley from the top of the 12-metre observation tower at the summit lookout on Mont Grand-Pic, 426 metres above sea level.



Home to the Réserve écologique de la Forêt-la-Blanche nature reserve, this area in the Outaouais is a 2-hour drive from Montréal. Discover one of North America’s most ancient forests, including some 400-year-old trees, along 12 km of mostly easy or intermediate trails—perfect for a family activity day! The 2.3 km Bullfrog Trail is a lovely loop featuring a small waterfall and a floating boardwalk. In the fall the colours are simply spectacular.

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