Off the Beaten Path in Montréal: Best Places to See Seasonal Colors
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:
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.
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.
flickr / CC BY /Robbie Sproule
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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AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens is an AAA Travel Expert.