The 13+ best national parks near Montreal must visit

The 13+ best national parks near Montreal must visit

Canada’s capital city is a great place to go for adventure, and it’s also home to some of the best national parks in the country.

The Canadian Rockies are an unforgettable place with mountains, rivers, glaciers and lots of wildlife.

And the National Parks located here are certainly one of the best parts about visiting Canada. Here are 13 of the best national parks near Montreal.

The 13 best national and nature parks near Montreal

Here are the top national parks close to Montreal to visit if you need to get away from the concrete jungle for a while. We also covered some of the best natural reserves and regional parks in the Montreal area.

You may spend the weekend exploring these beautiful parks (as most offer camping sites on their grounds). We limited our selection to destinations within a day’s drive of Montreal, which means no more than three hours.

You don’t want to spend ten hours in the car if your intention is to drive up to the park, get in a decent trek, and then drive back.

These parks in the Montreal area have been ranked according to their distance from the city center. This can help you better organize your vacation within the constraints of the time you have available.

1. Iles-de-Boucherville National Park, the closest national park to Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 25 minutes

A wildlife preserve as near to your house as you can get! The Iles-de-Boucherville national park consists of five small islands in the middle of the Saint-Lawrence River and is only 20 kilometers from Montreal.

Because of how near it is to Montreal, it might be included on the city’s list of national parks. To be more precise, it is one of the finest Quebec provincial parks.

In close proximity to Montreal, this provincial park welcomes visitors all year long. In the summer, you may set up your tent, and in the winter, you can put on your snowshoes.

This stunning natural and historical sanctuary is located just outside of Montreal, and it offers a wealth of other opportunities for recreation.

This national park is a great option for hikers because it is close to Montreal and features 21 kilometers of multi-use trails and another fifteen kilometers of rustic paths that lead to some of the most picturesque spots in all of the islands.

Summertime activities in addition to hiking include kayaking, canoeing, rabaska, cycling, and beach volleyball. You may see white-tailed deer and over 200 different types of birds all year long.

You can do snowshoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, or kicksledding in the winter.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, this Québec park is jam-packed with exciting activities. What’s more, it’s conveniently located a short distance away from Montreal.

2. Mont-Saint-Bruno, another national park close to Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 30 minutes

Located just a short drive from Montreal, the beautiful Sepaq park of Mont-Saint-Bruno is well worth the trip.

The park is a great place to visit if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend some time in a tranquil natural setting.

There are several paths to trek and explore, as well as five lakes for water activities, an orchard for harvesting apples in the fall, and a historic mill dating back 300 years where you may have tea.

The paths in this natural park near Montreal aren’t very lengthy or difficult, but they are beautiful and peaceful.

Over 200 species of birds and 40 species of animals may be seen year-round in this provincial park. It’s imperative that you visit the establishment promptly upon its opening in the morning.

Located in a residential neighborhood near to Montreal, the park experiences increasing crowds during the day, which scares off the animals.

This park in the Montreal area is beautiful year-round, not just in the summer. Great park for fat biking and cross-country skiing near the city. When the weather is nice, you may go for a hike or ride your bike on some of the routes.

You may take your dog on a hike or explore the park with your family and kids on one of the kid- and dog-friendly routes at Mont-Saint-Bruno.

3. Oka National Park, a beautiful beach near Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 45 minutes

Oka Park is so near to Montreal, it’s such a short trip from the city center! And the greatest part is, you can be on one of Montreal’s few beaches in just an hour!

However, it is not all that Oka National Park has to offer. Wetlands and a rare collection of American historic structures may both be found there.

Additionally, the Adirondacks and Lac des Deux Montagnes can both be seen from here, making this a really remarkable location.

In the summer, other than the beach, you may go hiking, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. Fat bikes and kicksleds are great ways to see the trails in the winter. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are other options.

Because of its proximity to Montreal, Oka sees a surge of visitors on summer weekends.

Try to visit the beach on a weekday or very early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time there. As a result, you may escape the masses for a short while!

If you’re seeking to arrange a beach holiday with friends, whether it’s for just an afternoon or for a long weekend, Oka is the place for you.

That should be taken into account based on your plans, as it is a family-friendly and kid-friendly environment.

4. Gault Nature Reserve in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, a beautiful nature park near Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 45 minutes

Costs: Under-17s get in free. A typical adult should expect to pay $8.

The Gault Nature Reserve atop Mont-Saint-Hilaire isn’t a national park per per, but it’s a must-visit for any Montreal-area hikers. McGill University owns and operates the Mont-Saint-Hilaire Gault Nature Reserve.

More than 1,000 acres of woodland are safeguarded here, along with 25 kilometers of pathways and four vantage points over Lake Hertel.

The Gault Nature Reserve paths aren’t particularly challenging, although they may get busy on the weekends. Get a parking spot close by and stroll over to the nature preserve.

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There are a lot of houses along the route that will let you park in their driveways. It’s a good idea to take them up on the offer on days when the reserve’s parking lot is very busy.

The Gault Nature Reserve is a great place to learn about conservation initiatives in addition to hiking. During the summer months, you may go bird watching, and during the colder months, you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

At Lake Hertel, you’ll find a little beach where you may relax and take in the scenery. When the leaves change color in the fall, these national parks take on a surreal quality.

5. Mont-Gosford, a beautiful nature park close to Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 1 hour

Another wonderful park close to Montreal that isn’t a national park. One of the best parks in the Montreal area is Mont-Gosford.

Mont-Gosford, the seventh-highest mountain in Quebec, is located in the Eastern Townships about an hour’s drive from the city.

Standing atop the summit, visitors can take in a stunning 360-degree panorama of the surrounding forest and mountains, as well as the states of Maine and New Hampshire.

Amazing paths run around the peaks and valleys, and may be hiked year-round. The 157-kilometer-long Route des Sommets (Summit path) includes the park and trail at Mont-Gosford, which is located in the Megantic area.

This park is convenient for day trips from Montreal, as well as overnight stays in tents or cottages.

In this park, you can see hundreds of stars in the night sky, making it well worth spending the night there. While at the Eastern Townships, you may stop by this park as well.

6. Mont Orford national park, a gorgeous national park near Montreal, in the Eastern Townships

Website: Official site

Drive time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Eastern Townships, if not Mont-Tremblant or the Laurentians, is where the locals recommend you go. When you need a break from the bustle of the city, head to the Townships.

One of the nicest parks in the Montreal area is the Parc national du Mont-Orford.

Mont-Orford is a terrific place to spend the winter because of its fantastic ski hill. Its 80 kilometers of trails guarantee that you’ll find something to enjoy. Indeed, hikers will find Mont-Orford to be a haven.

It’s possible to find a new vantage point in almost every part of the park. The national park close to Montreal is at its most beautiful in the fall, when the leaves take on a kaleidoscope of hues.

If you let your mind wander, you could miss seeing the white-tailed deer and Great Blue Heron that live in this park.

There are a number of things to do in the summer, and the fact that there are two beaches is a major perk. Countless outdoor activities, including cycling, canoeing, and kayaking.

This stunning park is conveniently located close to Montreal, and it has activities suitable for people of all ages and interests.

7. Parc national du Mont-Tremblant, one of the best parks near Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Just ask any Montrealer where they like to go to get away from the city, and you’ll hear “Mont-Tremblant” mentioned many times!

Mont-Tremblant has become a popular summer and winter vacation destination for Montrealers. The area is thriving because to the presence of a magnificent national park, a demanding ski resort, numerous indoor and outdoor activities, and much more.

However, the national parks are the main topic nowadays. The national park of Mont-Tremblant does not fail to impress. The Parc national du Mont-Tremblant is the biggest park in Québec, covering 1,500 square kilometers.

Water sports enthusiasts won’t want to miss this national park near Montreal, since it features not one but six major rivers in addition to its 400 lakes and streams.

There are 82 kilometers of paths to explore in this national park close to Montreal. The Via Ferrata du Diable is the most difficult and distinctive hike in the world.

This track falls in between walking and climbing, and it will provide you with an opportunity to explore the park’s magnificent mountains in a way you could only imagine before. The most spectacular time to visit is just before sunset.

You may also go swimming in lakes and rivers, but before diving in, make sure the shallow areas aren’t too cold—even in the summer, the water can be rather chilly.

Pedal boats, kayaks, and paddleboards are all available. It’s possible to rent several of these items right there.

This might be one of the greatest national parks in the country for tent camping. In the national park of Mont Tremblant, you may pick from several different campsites.

Since the conveniences available in each of these areas are essentially the same, we suggest choosing one based on its proximity to your intended activities.

8. Plaisance national park, a different national park near Montreal

Website: Official site

Drive time: 2 hours

To reach the national park of Sepaq’s Plaisance from Montreal would take no more than two hours.

Just by knowing that the word “Plaisance” translates to “pleasantness” in French, you already have an idea of what to anticipate from this establishment. This provincial park features a terrain dominated by bays, ponds, and marshes.

This natural park in Montreal is a great place to witness the return of thousands of Canadian geese each spring. This park becomes a haven for ornithologists throughout the summer months.

Over a hundred different kinds of birds call this area home, including ducks, herons, ospreys, and many more.

The Zizanie-des-Marais Trail in the park was washed away in 2017. Today, however, it is a renovated must-see for anybody visiting this national park. The wetlands and park may be explored at your own pace.

9. Yamaska National Park

Distance from Montreal: Distances of 19 and 24 Kilometers of Hiking Trails
Hiking/ Biking Trails: An hour and ten minutes’ worth of driving time
Rental Equipment: Yes (bikes, canoes, stand up paddles, kayaks, pedal boats)
Camping: Yes

Website: Yamaska National Park Website

Unlike the other national parks in the area, Yamaska National Park is not centered on a natural body of water but rather an artificial reservoir.

A bicycle tour around the park’s 19-kilometer loop is a great way to experience the park’s many attractions. This trail also links up with the free provincial cycling route known as La Route Verte in Quebec.

There are also a number of easy walking paths throughout the park to explore.

10. Mont-Tremblant National Park

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours (to La Diable entrance)
Hiking/ Biking Trails: miles of paths to explore on foot or bike
Rental Equipment: Yes (bikes, canoes, stand up paddles, kayaks, pedal boats)
Camping: Yes

Website: Mont-Tremblant National Park Website

The largest park in the Montreal area and the third largest in all of Québec is Mont-Tremblant National Park.

It is so big that it has been subdivided into three sections called La Diable, Pumbina, and L’Assomption.

In terms of accessibility from Montreal, the La Diable district is the pick.

All skill levels can find an appropriate path here. Even just in the La Diable area, you may choose from 15 different trails. However, La Roche is the most frequented since it has the finest view.

There are many lakes for swimming and other water sports, but Lac Monroe is the largest and most popular (it even has a beach).

The two waterfalls of Chutes-Croche and Chute du Diable in La Diable Sector should not be missed. Both locations provide easy access to nearby parking garages.

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11. Mont-Mégantic National Park

Distance from Montreal: Getting there will take you around 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Hiking/ Biking Trails: Trails for biking 4 km and hiking 35 km
Rental Equipment: Yes (bikes only)
Camping: Yes

Website: Mont-Mégantic National Park Website

It’s still within a day’s drive from Montreal, but we’re now a little further out. It takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Montreal to Mont-Mégantic National Park.

L’Observatoire and Franceville are the two sections of Mont-Mégantic National Park. It takes around 10 minutes longer to get to L’Observatoire Sector from Montreal, although both areas are easily accessible.

There are many beautiful hiking trails in both areas to explore. Each mountain, Mont Mégantic and Mont Saint-Joseph, may be found in Sector L’Observatoire.

These are not beginner-friendly hikes, and neither is it suitable for a family outing due to its length or difficulty level.

The Franceville rock crest and the waterfall-studded Promenade Ruisseau de la Montagne can be found in the Franceville sector, making it ideal for novice hikers and families.

12. Frontenac National Park

Distance from Montreal: Travel time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Hiking/ Biking Trails: paths for bicycling 29 km and trekking 64 km
Rental Equipment: Yes (bikes, canoes, stand up paddles, kayaks, pedal boats)
Camping: Yes

Website: Frontenac National Park Website

The natural wonders of Frontenac National Park await your discovery. Hiking trails in the Saint-Daniel Sector are all beginner-friendly, while those in the Southern Sector are a bit more challenging.

The climb up the Southern Sector’s Massif de Winslow is a popular one.

The trail to the top of the Winslow Mountains, which looks out over the Eastern Townships, is moderately difficult. Additionally, this is one of the few walks that also allows for kayaking.

13. Jacques-Cartier National Park

Distance from Montreal: Travel time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
Hiking/ Biking Trails: Trails for mountain biking (30 km) and trekking (100 km+)
Rental Equipment: Yes (bikes, canoes, stand up paddles, kayaks, pedal boats)
Camping: Yes

Website: Jacques-Cartier National Park Website

The Jacques-Cartier River originates at Jacques-Cartier National Park. It’s the only river in Québec (and one of just a handful in the country) to be recognized as a Canadian Heritage River.

That this river is the main attraction for visitors making the trip from Montreal to Jacques-Cartier National Park is hardly a surprise.

From Montreal, a trip to Jacques-Cartier National Park is all about exploring the river’s many facets.

You may relax on the placid river in a canoe, kayak, or rented dinghy, or you can crank up the excitement by navigating the rapids. Rent a rabaska (a big canoe) for a guided trip or a tiny raft to ride the rapids with a large party!

Those who, like myself, would rather just float along the river in peace are not forgotten, though; tubes are provided for this purpose as well. They have every conceivable boat for a cruise on the river, just as I predicted!

The 6 best national parks in Quebec worth visiting

To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of six other fantastic national parks in Quebec.

While it’s true that these parks are a bit of a drive from Montreal, we highly recommend spending some time here if you’re in the area. Quebec’s stunning national parks provide a wide variety of outdoor activities to suit any taste.

National parks near Quebec City

Take a look at these two national parks, which are only three hours distant from Montreal and extremely near to Quebec City.

Check them out if you’re spending the weekend in the provincial capital. Lovely national parks not far from Quebec City.

1. Jacques-Cartier national park, a stone’s throw away from Quebec City

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Drive time from Quebec City: 30 minutes

Parc national du Jacques-Cartier is one of the greatest nature parks in Quebec and can be reached in a little over three hours from Montreal.

And you can reach Quebec City in less an hour. It’s just like any other natural refuge near a major metropolis.

This national park in Quebec, Canada, is well-known for its large, hilly plateau, which is crisscrossed by deep valleys and a single long river. One of the most stunning glacier valleys in the province may be found in this park’s vicinity to Quebec City.

The park is a great area to go kayaking, canoeing, and tubing on the Jacques-Cartier River. You may stand up paddleboard, canoe, or kayak in the placid sections of the 550-meter-long river and take in the stunning scenery.

There are also sections of the river where rafters may enjoy exciting rapids. Hiking over the river is possible in the winter.

Several species of animals may be found in this national park not far from Quebec City. Over 260 kinds of butterflies and over 45 species of dragonflies may be found here.

This provincial park serves as a wonderful weekend retreat from either Montreal or Quebec City, regardless of the season.

2. Chutes Montmorency, one of the best parks near Quebec City

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: 3 hours

Drive time from Quebec City: 15 minutes

We included Montmorency Falls Park despite the fact that it is not really a national park because it is managed by the Sepaq. In addition, this park is unlike any other, so we really had no option.

The nicest part is that you can go there at any time of year and experience two whole distinct landscapes. It’s one of the nicest parks in the Quebec City area, and it’s only a 15-minute drive away!

The Montmorency Falls in Quebec City are an iconic landmark, towering at a height of 83 meters. They are the region’s crowning natural achievement.

The amazing part about this park is that, in the winter, visitors can go right up to the waterfalls and experience their force. If you want to get a rush, you may also try ice climbing up the icy walls.

During the summer season, visitors may also enjoy a trip on the scenic cable car, soar through the air on a zip line, or stroll one of the many paths that lead to breathtaking overlooks of the waterfalls.

You won’t be let down by wonderful park any time of year. Seeing these sights is well worth the effort required to get here; they are truly breathtaking.

Other amazing national parks in Quebec

Here are some other fantastic Quebec national parks that are well worth the trip. However, they are rather out of the way. But trust us when we say that your time spent in any of these natural parks will be time well spent.

Each of them contributes something special to the group. As a bonus, you may stop at one of these parks your route to or from a longer journey in Quebec. They will not let you down.

1. Papineau Labelle Wildlife Reserve, a gorgeous lake and park in Quebec

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: 3 hours

It was complete serendipity that led us to this park. One weekend, my friend and I decided we needed to get away and spend some time at a beach. It’s not easy to find a beach in Quebec besides Oka and the one in the Old Port.

Especially not when planning a vacation at the last minute. But luck was on our side, and we ended ourselves in the best possible location.

Although it is a bit of a drive from Montreal, the Papineau Labelle Wildlife Reserve is well worth the trip.

It’s roughly 3 hours driving from Montreal, but just 2 hours away from Ottawa and less than an hour away from Mont-Tremblant. The locals use it as a hunting and fishing destination, but it’s also a fantastic campsite with its own private lake.

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There are several hikes in the area, but they’re all rather easy. In less than two hours, we made the ascent and descent of Mount Bundy.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, Lake Nominingue is a great place to go kayaking or canoeing. Just hanging out here is a wonderful idea. Bring some bug spray with you, because the forest is dense and the insects won’t let up.

Among the top national parks for camping, this hidden gem is certainly a contender. Camping is convenient because most campsites are located on the lake’s shores.

In addition, the Papineau Labelle Wildlife reserve is worth seeing because such beaches are hard to come by in Quebec, especially so close to Montreal.

2. Bic National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in Quebec

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: 5+ hours

Ok, we’re going to be completely forthright with you. If we were to pick a favorite Quebec national park, it would have to be Bic.

It was a lengthy journey, but we finally made it here after much difficulty due to the five-hour trip and the fact that it is constantly packed solid. Nonetheless, we’re relieved to have arrived safely!

This park offers spectacular mountain scenery in addition to capes, bays, coves, and islands. Awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets may be seen every day.

The Bic is a must-see in Quebec, particularly for those who enjoy being in nature, not only for the unusual beauty but also for all the tiny details that make the mood here unlike anywhere else (and seals and fox).

The easiest way to explore this national park is by foot, but you can also go biking, kayaking, and even geocaching if you’re feeling adventurous.

The verdict is still out on whether or not Bic National Park is among the top national parks for camping. You’re in a beautiful natural setting, but you’re also near to the highway.

If at all possible, reserve one of the remote campsites. And if you want a truly amazing walk, you should definitely do the Grand tour. The only time of day you can round the bay is when the tide is low. An incredible adventure!

3. Forillon Park in Gaspésie, one of the best national Parks Canada parks in Quebec

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: About 10 hours, without stops

Forillon Park is one of the national parks that is maintained by Parks Canada. The trip there may be the longest from Montreal, but it’s well worthwhile.

Trust us! The distance to Montreal is almost 1,000 kilometers, while to the New Brunswick border is roughly 350 kilometers.

Campers and hikers will enjoy Park Forillon in the Gaspésie area of the province.

Fantastic beaches may be found there, as can a plethora of hiking paths that go through the area’s woodlands, along its shoreline, and along its several coastlines.

Some wildlife can be seen here as well. We were fortunate enough to encounter bears and porcupines on our previous camping trip there. The number of birds and reptiles you witness, though, will be enormous.

You may enjoy bicycling, kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and whale-watching, as well as trek the famed Land’s End route and have a picnic on the coastlines.

Park Forillon and the surrounding Gaspé area of the province provide a wealth of activities; plan to spend at least a few days here.

If you enjoy hiking, you’ll be happy to know that there are a plethora of paths to choose from, each with its own unique character and level of difficulty. Thus, everyone can find what they’re looking for.

Les Graves is undoubtedly one of the best-known paths in the world. After following it as it winds its way down the wide bay, you’ll arrive at the road’s terminus at Cap Gaspé and be able to say that you’ve been to Land’s End.

The hill features a lighthouse at its peak and a belvedere for whale-watching at its base. You have a great vantage position, so don’t forget the binoculars!

La Chute is a moderately difficult hike that passes through a beautiful forest of firs, maples, and pines. There’s a stunning waterfall full with freshwater right at the end of it.

The power of the waterfall changes depending on the time of year. You may relax in one of the iconic red Adirondack chairs provided by Parks Canada at the base of the falls.

It’s a sight to behold when autumn arrives and the leaves begin to change color.

With so many options, Forillon Park is a top pick among national parks for campers.

All the greatest features of Parks Canada are included, such as a heated indoor area, a playground for children, free showers, and much more!

Forillon Park, where we slept for a couple nights, is the nicest camping we’ve done in Quebec. If you want to secure a reservation, you should do it as soon as possible when the season begins.

4. Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Roché-Percé national park, the most unique national park in Quebec

Website: Official site

Drive time from Montreal: 10 hours 30 minutes

You won’t find anything quite like this national park in any other country but Quebec. The Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, just off the coast of Percé, is a great spot to visit and relax.

We’ll begin with the Roché Percé. We are all familiar with this Quebec icon from our school days. There’s a massive hole on the side of this granite formation that sticks out into the Saint-Lawrence River.

A literal translation of Roché Percé would be “pierced rock,” therefore that must be why it was given that moniker.

Seeing this rock in person is one of the most extraordinary things someone can do, especially after learning about it for so long. During low tide, you may stroll around the Rocher Percé, but beware of loose rocks!

Following that is the park’s Ile Bonaventure. Located approximately 30 minutes by boat from Percé’s harbor, the island lies a short distance from the mainland.

Just the journey to Bonaventure Island is an experience in itself, and you can expect even more from your stay there.

Once home to a community of fishermen, today only a large population of Northern Gannets and a few seals call this island home.

You may enjoy bicycling, kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and whale-watching, as well as trek the famed Land’s End route and have a picnic on the coastlines.

Park Forillon and the surrounding Gaspé area of the province provide a wealth of activities; plan to spend at least a few days here.

The island is home to a network of pathways totaling over 15 kilometers in length. Keep in mind that the trails, and the cruise ships that visit them, are quite exposed to the weather.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, trails may close and the trip might get rather turbulent. No of the weather, you should definitely visit this wonderful national park in Quebec.

As a bonus piece of advice, keep in mind that the entire hamlet of Percé closes down during the winter months, so you shouldn’t bother visiting then.

The atmosphere and the services available to visitors will be significantly different. The island is inaccessible since ferries stop running during the winter.


The 13 best national parks near Montreal will give you the opportunity to explore this beautiful city from the outside. In addition, it will give you the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

While you’re at it, you’ll also discover a rich history, gorgeous landscapes, and delicious food and wine.

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