8 National Parks near Montreal
Thanks again for dropping by! I finally got my free Parks Canada Discovery Pass! :)
For this year (2017), in honour of the 150th of the confederation, Parks Canada is offering free entry to all its parks! As if you needed another excuse to visit our beautiful parks and wilderness!
The majority of the parks that you see in pictures from Canada are in the west between, British Columbia & Alberta, but on this side of the country, the east, we have some hidden treasures that are within reach of big cities like Montreal & Toronto. For those living or travelling to either of these two cities, I have researched the parks that are relatively close going for a weekend getaway, so up to 8 hrs drive from Montreal. Each park offers different activities so don't forget to check the official page for more information on camping spots and on different hiking trails.
The list below is ordered by provinces
There are not many National parks in Quebec since the majority of the parks are under provincial jurisdiction:
The Saguenay Lac-St-Jean region is full of activities. The main attractions are the Lac-St-Jean and the Fjords. Also, don't forget to visit the St-Felicien Zoo, where the animals are free and you are in a cage.
This marine sanctuary was originally established to protect the biodiversity of the region. Always wanted to see beluga whales and blue whales? Then this is the park for you! You can Kayak next to these amazing animals!
Only 2:30 hours north of the Montreal, the park is one of the biggest in the province. It has more than 150 lakes of all sizes which are perfect to swim on a hot summer day or to Canoe your way through to admire the fall colours.
Probably the most well-known park in the Quebec/Ontario region. It is very accessible from either Toronto, Ottawa & Montreal. The Saint-Lawrence river is full of small islands and it is best discovered through a canoe-camping trip.
The park is located north of Toronto. This could be the perfect mix of outdoor adventures and city discovery.
The bay is home of the world’s largest freshwater archipelago, the emerald shoreline will leave you astonished. It offers several types of camping and glamping. The rustic cabin for two in an island beach sounds like the perfect getaway!
Attention, this region is full of venomous rattlesnakes and other wildlife! SCARRRYYY!!
Located in the same Georgian Bay than the previous recommendation, the peninsula park has steep cliffs and turquoise water. It claims to be Canada’s most pristine waters. The Marine park offers dive points to discover the underwater treasures such as 20 shipwrecks.
Apparently, it get busy during the summer months so planning ahead well in advance is highly advised.
Close to the U.S. border, this park has something for everyone. Are you a bird lover? Do you love the Monarch butterflies or you are looking for a summer or winter adventure? Then Point Pelee might be your best chance to do all these activities.
The Maritimes have beautiful landscapes & amazing seafood! These are a bit further but they might be worth the extra hours. These show the Atlantic coast at it best.
The rock formation with the brown colour is so different from everything you've seen.
Perfect if you are looking to swim in warm beaches and then take the bike to discover the woods.
Get your pass
All you need to do is to sign-up through the website. The passes are high in demand, I suggest you fill the request at least 1 month in advance.
Disclaimer: None of the photographs of the parks are mine, they were taken from the internet.
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