The 10 most beautiful nature trails in Quebec

Deux personnes font une randonnée dans le bois

The more temperatures climb, the more we get the urge to go outside and get moving. We can’t think of anything better than taking in the great outdoors as we say goodbye to the gloomy season! So, to get your juices flowing, we’ve compiled the 10 best nature trails in Quebec for you to consider. Get ready, because some of these trails are quite challenging. But well worth it!

1. L’Acropole-des-Draveurs

Located in the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-rivière-Malbaie national park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab), the Acropole-des-Draveurs (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) is a unanimous choice.

Are you in good physical shape? All the better. Because to take on this trail, you’ll need good cardio and strong leg muscles. If you’re just a beginner, you might want to pass on this one for now until you’ve reached a higher level.

But if you like climbing, you’ll love this place. This looping 11.2-km trail, with a vertical drop of 1,233 m, transports you to a forest wonderland from the start of the trail to its summit. You’ll be diving into the wonderful flora and countryside of an alpine region.

The cherry on top? A spectacular view of the Malbaie River valley and the surrounding mountains.

2. Mont Mégantic

Mont Mégantic (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) is 1,105 m high. In fact, you’re taking on Quebec’s 8th highest summit. And the trail is 10.7 km long!

The trail starts with a climb up to the Pic des Crépusciles, which leads to Mount Saint Joseph. Hang on tight, this is the toughest climb of the trail. Along the way, you’ll see signs with information about wildlife, flora and history of the park.

Once at the top..tada! You get a stunning, 360 degree view of the Eastern Townships. Be sure to stop at the ASTROLab (This hyperlink will open in a new tab), an astronomical observatory. Still have energy to take in more scenery? Make a 2.5 km detour to climb to the top of Mount Victoria.

3. Grande Basque Island

Are you near Sept-Îles on the North Shore? Jump into a shuttle boat that will take you to Grande Basque Island (This hyperlink will open in a new tab). It’s the only island in the archipelago with hiking trails.

The peak is not very high, but the 11-km trail to get there is well worth the trip. You’ll come across headlands and several coves. A truly stunning and untamed journey.

Need a break? Swim in one of six beaches on the island and picnic by the water.

After several climbs, stop and admire the view provided by the neighbouring islands. And observe how the Gulf of Saint Lawrence looks a lot like an ocean. Impressive.

4. Les Loups Trail

If you’re ever in Quebec City, make sure to visit the legendary Jacques-Cartier National Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab)! Less than 30 minutes away from downtown, you’ll find the famous Les Loups Trail. It provides a breathtaking view of nature. It’s one of the most scenic, and therefore most popular trails of the SÉPAQ network.

With a vertical drop of 447 meters, this trail covers a moderate 10 km, round trip. First you’ll notice deciduous trees, which are gradually replaced by coniferous trees, but the view remains scenic throughout. Once you’ve climbed about 2 km, you come face-to-face with your first breathtaking view. Ideal spot for a break.

Had enough of walking? You can stop there and turn around. Or, you can climb on to the top of the Sautauriski Mountain for a spectacular view. You’ll overlook the Laurentians and the stunning Jacques-Cartier River’s valley.

Getting ready for your adventure means...
  • Dressing in seasonal clothes that dry quickly
  • Wearing hiking shoes or boots
  • Protect yourself with rainproof windbreakers, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and sunglasses.
  • Recharge by bringing water, snacks, juices, granola bars...
  • Treat any wounds by bringing a first aid kit
  • The extras: flashlight, fully charged phone and map of the trails

5. The Pic Champlain trail

Welcome to the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, to the Bic National Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) (French only), just 15 minutes from Rimouski. You’ll find plenty of hiking trails here. For the best view of an Appalachian countryside, go to Pic Champlain.

A gradual 6 km uphill walk (intermediate level) gets you to the top. On the way you’ll see headlands, bays, coves, islands, mountains...everything you would hope to see on your journey!

When you arrive at the Pic Champlain gazebo at 346 m in altitude, the curtain drops. That’s when you finally see the Saint Lawrence River, which you smelled and heard throughout your trek, while the Baie des Ha!  Ha! is a sight to behold as well!

6. The Pic-de-l’Aube trail

The Gaspésie National Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) offers several interesting hikes like Mount Albert, Mount Saint-Joseph and Mount Jacques-Cartier. And make sure you get to the Pic-de-l’Aube, a unique site, and undoubtedly the park’s best kept secret.

Located at an altitude of 920 m, it can be accessed by a 6-km forest trail over a 350-m slope. No technical difficulties in sight. The highlight is at the top of the mountain where you are rewarded with a splendid view of the Chic-Chocs wall.

7. Les Caps trail

Another well-kept secret is the Éternité Bay in the Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab). To reach the top, you could take the Statue trail. But we recommend Les Caps, which has less circulation but is no less scenic. The goal is to get to the Giants’ Point of View, so stick to the Les Caps trail!

If you’re a seasoned hiker, this 10.2-km trail shouldn’t present much of an obstacle. Think you might find it difficult due to its 340-m vertical drop? Make it easier on yourself. Walk on the River trail and check out the many streams and waterfalls. And keep your eyes open along the fjord.

The ultimate reward sits at the top. That’s where the serene view of the Éternité valley awaits you... Carry on to the Éternité Cap from there.

8. The Mount Brassard trail

Ever heard of the Sept-Chutes Regional Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab)? Located in the Lanaudière region, you can get several beautiful views of the Matawinie. It’s a great spot to get exceptional views of the Laurentides.

The hike begins on a trail hugging the Noire River. Along the way you’ll come across the Bridal Veil Falls, a 60-m high waterfall, and the Guy Lake. Before you reach an altitude of 600 m, you’ll trek over 8.5 km and come across rocky headlands, cliffs and falls. Clearly marked and well-maintained, the Mount Brassard trail can be quite difficult, but it’s doable. In the more tricky areas, there is a rope system to help you along your way.

Need to recharge? Settle in at one of the many picnic tables. Then for dessert, try a few of the wild blueberries that grow throughout the trail. Basically, once you’re at the very top, you’ll be overlooking the Noire River, Lake Rémi and the high hills of Saint-Zénon. Sheer joy for the eyes.

9. The Toit-des-Laurentides trail

Go to Mont-Tremblant National Park (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) to reach the Pic Johanssen. At an altitude of 935 m, it’s the park’s highest peak.

The best part is climbing to the Toit-des-Laurentides. From clearings and magnificent forests, you’ll see charming streams and paths lined with coniferous trees. This 14.3-km hike is considered difficult. You’ve been warned!

10. Mount Saint-Hilaire

Live in Montreal? Don’t need to go far to take in the sights! Just 45 minutes away from downtown you’ll find Mount Saint-Hilaire (This hyperlink will open in a new tab) (French only) and Gault, its natural reserve. On more than 1,000 protected hectares, 25 km of pedestrian trails expose you to the Saint-Laurent Valley.

With a maximum vertical drop of 281 m, the hiking trails range from 1 to 8.5 km. Accessible to families, the Rocky, Dieppe and Pain trails lead you to the top for a splendid view overlooking the Richelieu River below.

Be careful

Did you know that 9-1-1 emergency service is not available in 75% of Quebec? What would happen if you broke an ankle or got sick somewhere high up on a mountain? Good thing there’s Airmedic.

In case of an emergency, it provides medical assistance and secure air transport throughout Quebec, day or night.

Choose between a term, seasonal or annual coverage. And get a discount with Beneva.