Quebec has 24 provincial parks which are large, designated areas that are great escapes from city life. Montreal-area provincial parks have admission fees. You’d think our taxes would be enough to cover the maintenance of these parks but, well, I digress. That said, the fees are “worth it” in the sense that the parks are well maintained (from my experience).
Free Access Day
Outdoors enthusiasts will be excited to hear that the province is giving everyone a “free trial” on Saturday, September 12, 2015. It’s called Quebec National Parks Day and it’s a great opportunity to unplug and experience nature. With today’s nature-deprived way of life, most city-dwellers rarely make a point of getting out there.
Get out there, do some fun activities, breath the fresh air, and help your body and mind stay healthy by taking advantage of the free access.
Montreal Area Provincial Parks
Montreal area parks include the following. I’m listing the parks that are within a roughly 2-hour drive of Montreal.
- Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
- Oka National Park
- Mont St. Bruno National Park
- Yamaska National Park
- Mont Orford National Park
- Mont Tremblant National Park
- Parc National de Plaisance (“Pleasure National Park”)
Which one should you try?
I have a few favourites, with one of them being Îles-de-Boucherville National Park just east of Montreal. I always feel as though it’s a secret because relatively few people know about how fantastic the park is for walking, light hiking, biking, picnicking, barbecuing, fishing, kayaking, golfing, archeology, camping (new), and just plain relaxing. Find a picnic table under a weeping willow and enjoy the afternoon as the river flows nearby and the breeze is just right.
I took the photo above while waiting in line for the “bac-a-cable” which is a 2 minute ferry ride guide by an underwater cable. It takes you to some of the different islands which make for some great outdoor activities.
A note on the confusing names: In Canada, the large parks run by the provincial government are called “provincial parks.” In Quebec, provincial parks are called “national parks.”
Have a great day outdoors!