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Off the Beaten Path in Montréal: Best Places to See Seasonal Colors

Updated: June 14, 2024

Written by

AAA Travel Editor, Laurie Sterbens

If you’re planning a trip to Montréal, you can easily fill your days visiting its wonderful museums, dining on fabulous bistro fare and strolling through the historic streets of Old Montréal. But in autumn when the trees display their brightest reds, yellows and oranges, or in summer when pastures become rainbows of wildflowers, it’s worth it to venture away from downtown to enjoy the seasonal colors. In some cases, you won’t have to go very far at all. Here are a few ideas:

Eastern Townships

20, Don–Bosco Sud (Tourism Eastern Townships) , Sherbrooke

Head south of the St. Lawrence River into the hills, farmlands and villages of the Eastern Townships. Parks and reserves offer easy hiking trails that are a fun way to experience the region with family. The Eastern Townships are foodie heaven, with wonderful restaurants, wineries, microbreweries and local producers of cheese, chocolate, coffee and other gourmet goodies. The region also offers a variety of museums and other attractions. Whether it’s exploring trails, tasting regional treats or visiting local shops and museums, choose a route and bask in the warm colors of fall or the bright hues of summer as you drive through the countryside between your planned stops.

King's Road Scenic Highway

PR 138 runs parallel to the north bank of the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and Québec City. The , a AAA Road Trip, begins about midway at Cap-de-la-Madelaine. The route passes through farmland and semi-wooded areas that are especially picturesque when seasonal colors are on display, providing a stunning backdrop to the charming villages along the way.

Montréal Botanical Garden

4101 rue Sherbrooke E.

You can take a stroll through the autumn woods without leaving the city at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Trails through the vast arboretum will lead past a forest of red, yellow and orange. But colors abound here no matter when you visit—the Botanical Garden’s landscapes and greenhouses are updated throughout the year with lush displays of seasonal blooms and foliage.

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Mont-Royal Park

1260 ch. Remembrance

Mont-Royal Park is another wooded oasis within the city. Walk, jog or bike the trails that wind through the woods of Mount Royal, or hike up to the top for a birds-eye view of the city framed in the colors of autumn leaves or summer wildflowers. Along with trails, the park includes scenic overlooks, historic sites and a lake, perfect for a family picnic or a romantic stroll.

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Morgan Arboretum

2150 Pine St., Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue

On the western tip of the Island of Montréal is Morgan Arboretum, a 610-acre forest preserve on the McGill University Macdonald Campus. Walking trails here will take you into forests with a variety of trees including beech, hemlock, red maple and sugar maple. The preserve also includes old fields and pastures, some of which became plantations for now-mature trees and shrubs grouped in themed collections including birches, oaks, maples, and flowering trees and shrubs. A self-guiding tour and smartphone app are available to make the most of your visit.

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Written by

AAA Travel Editor, Laurie Sterbens

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