Best Hiking Around Québec City

Hiking
René-Martin Trudel

The Québec City area has a geographical landscape to rival its culture. That may explain why hiking is the most popular and accessible outdoor activity around here, for both experienced hikers and newbies. There’s just so much nature and so many stunning landscapes! The trails will take you to cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence River, through glacial valleys, and into the heart of the boreal forest. Here are a few practical tips and recommendations to make your hike one to remember.

Best Hiking Trails for Day Hikes

Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier

Discover a huge national park boasting over 100 km of trails, giving you plenty of freedom to explore. Try the Loups trail, with its spectacular view of one of Québec’s most beautiful glacial valleys. There are lots of animals about, so keep your eyes open. You may just catch a beaver at work on a dam!

Vallée Bras-du-Nord

The wildness of Vallée Bras-du-Nord makes it a favourite among hikers. Follow the river and you’ll find plenty of nice spots for a dip. Or take the Bras-du-Nord trail for a spectacular view of Delaney Falls.

Station touristique Duchesnay

Station touristique Duchesnay is known for its short, well‑groomed trails on flat, even ground, making it perfect for family nature walks. The rock-roofed shelters along Le Rocher trail are a neat natural phenomenon that’s popular with kids. They’ll be talking about those funny rocks all the way home

Mont-Sainte-Anne

There are many ways to climb the 625 metres (2,050 feet) to the top of Mont-Sainte-Anne, including trails from easy to advanced and a gondola! No matter how you get there, you’ll enjoy a stunning view of the surrounding hills, the St. Lawrence River, and Île d’Orléans. If you plan to take the gondola up or down, be sure to check the schedule before you head out.

Forêt Montmorency

The largest teaching and research forest in the world is a wild swath of boreal forest with majestic conifers as far as the eye can see and very few deciduous trees. Come fall, you may get the chance to observe moose in their natural habitat.

Epic Hiking Trails for Multi-Day Hikes

Sentier des Caps

Sentier des Caps is a 51 km trail running through the hills of Charlevoix, with the St. Lawrence River below. Spend 2–5 days in this pristine natural environment dotted with huts where you can spend the night. The wide wilderness and breathtaking views of the river will reward you for your efforts!

Vallée Bras-du-Nord 

The Philosore Trail and the Falaise Trail are great challenges for the more athletic. The wooden mountain huts offer a unique experience while the friendly village of yurts offer a little more comfort.

Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier

Set up your base camp in or Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier and head out to explore impressive glacial valleys. There are yurts, campsites, huts, and cottages to make your nature getaway that much easier.

Hiking Trail Conditions That Change with the Seasons

Although most trails are open all year long, here’s some information to help you optimize your hike in each season:

Summer hiking

In summer, even if it feels suffocatingly hot in the city, lower temperatures in the forest can make it surprisingly nice for a hike. Just be sure to bring enough water and stay hydrated.

Fall hiking

Fall is often the most popular hiking season, both for the beauty of the colours and the absence of mosquitoes. Since the weather is cooler, be sure to bring warmer clothes and a raincoat. If you can go hiking during the week, do! With all the nine-to-fivers out for their fill of fresh air, the trails can get pretty busy on weekends.

Winter hiking

In winter, contrary to what you might think, you can often go hiking without snowshoes. If it hasn’t snowed in a few days, the snow on the trails will have been compacted by the previous days’ hikers.

Spring hiking

In spring, it’s best to wait a few weeks after the thaw before heading out into the forest. Most trails are in good hiking condition by mid-May. Bring a bottle of mosquito repellent.

How to Go Hiking Without a Car?

If you don’t have a car, you can take a shuttle bus to Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier. It leaves from Québec’s city centre and takes you to the discovery and services centre right in the heart of the Jacques-Cartier Valley. Contact Quatre Natures to book a seat.

 


Québec cité
Editorial Team

As proud ambassadors of our beloved city, we’re delighted to be sharing the things and places we love most in the Québec City area. What a joy for us to help you discover everything this vibrant and welcoming city has to offer!

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