Beautiful Gardens and Parks for a Nature Walk
Pack a picnic or curl up under a tree with a good book in one of the Québec City area’s beautiful parks or gardens. Surrounded by nature, you’ll have everything you need to relax, chat with locals, or simply admire the marvelous scenery. Although they’re generally calm during the week, things do pick up on the weekends. Take to their leisurely footpaths for a break during an action‑packed day or for a bit of impromptu exploring.
Plains of Abraham and Joan of Arc Garden
Plains of Abraham, Jeff Frenette Photography
Joan of Arc Garden / Jeff Frenette Photography
The Plains of Abraham is a sprawling urban park that’s full of history and is a must-see Québec City attraction. During the week you’ll see visitors and locals walking, jogging, and picnicking in the park. On the weekends families are added to the mix, livening up the generally laid‑back vibe. It’s that mix of action and peacefulness that makes the Plains of Abraham so popular with travellers. Joan of Arc Garden, which is nestled within the park, is a favourite among wedding photographers, which tells you something about how pretty it is. With artfully arranged flowerbeds of over 150 different species of plants and flowers, it’s a little sunken oasis in the city.
Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge
Office du tourisme de Québec
Bois-de-Coulonge Park is a well‑kept secret just a short distance from Old Québec, with charming historic buildings surrounded by magnificent lawns and forests. A lot of love and careful planning go into the big plant and flower beds, which are in their full glory in the spring.
Parc linéaire de la rivière Saint-Charles
Parc de la rivière Saint-Charles
With the linear park that runs along the Saint Charles River, you can get your fill of nature without ever leaving the city. The park stretches along the river for 32 km, from the Old Port all the way to Saint Charles Lake. There are 13 different sectors where you can go walking, canoeing, kayaking, and rollerblading, and in the winter the path is groomed for cross‑country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s a perfect way to spend an outdoorsy day in the city.
Montmorency Falls Park
Montmorency Waterfalls Park, Jeff Frenette Photography
Montmorency Falls Park is an iconic site in the region, with numerous activities for the whole family. The best way to visit the park is to take the classic panoramic circuit. The viewpoints will leave you speechless! The falls are a full 83 metres (272 ft.) high, which is 30 metres (or almost 100 ft.) higher than Niagara. You’ll get a thrill watching them rush and roar below your feet as you stand on the suspension bridge. No matter where you view them from, though, these falls are simply spectacular.
Samuel De Champlain Promenade
Jeff Frenette Photography
This gorgeous boardwalk stretches along the St. Lawrence River for over 4 km. It’s a lovely place to go walking, jogging, biking, or rollerblading, with public art, rolling lawns, and illuminated ground fountains. A gift from the provincial government to the City of Québec for its 400th anniversary, the promenade was named in honour of the city’s founder.
Marais du Nord
Marais du Nord
Explore natural wetlands just 20 minutes from Québec’s city centre at Marais du Nord Park. There are 8 km of trails with interpretive signage along the way, so the whole family can learn, experience nature, and enjoy the fresh air. Over 160 species of birds have been sighted in the marshes, so if you’re interested in bird-watching, Marais du Nord Park is the place to be!
Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans
For gardens and lavender fields that will leave you feeling inspired, take a trip to the Île d’Orléans Seigneury. There you’ll find six sublime gardens, each with its own theme, and an impressive variety of rare plants. The gardens are open to the public from May to October and are particularly stunning in July, when the seigneury’s 75,000 lavender plants are in bloom. You’ll feel like you’re in Provence! To round out the experience, there’s a shop with products made from lavender essential oil and a picnic area where you can spend a quiet hour in the sun.
Want a bigger challenge and find yourself in the great outdoors? Many parks within an hour's drive offer hundreds of kilometres of trails to explore. Discover them!