Free activities in Montréal parks for nature lovers

Last updated October 27, 2023
Reading time: 2 min

Hundreds of activities, most of them free, await you this summer in the nature parks and the large parks, Frédéric-Back, Mont-Royal and Jean-Drapeau. Enjoy the great outdoors and nature to the fullest without leaving the island!

Feel like a swim? Montréal hosts five beaches:

Swimming is not permitted at the plage de l’Est in Pointe-aux-Trembles.

The beach at the Parc-nature du Bois-de-L’Île-Bizard is the smallest. It is ideal for families with young children. 

Find out about water conditions (in french).

Hiking, biking, water activities, camping, shows and conferences

The nature parks offer 70 km of walking trails and 45 km of bike paths in a lovely green space. Check the maps to find the many walking and biking trails in the parks

Popular activities at the parks include water sports such as paddle boarding (introductory sessions and yoga on the board), fishing in designated areas, wildlife photography, and family picnics. The parks also offer a rich and diverse activity program.

Try your hand at tent camping (for a fee) at Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques or take part in a special camping evening at Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies. New campers can attend the “First Steps in Camping” workshop (in French) in these two parks. 

If you are looking to try something new, check out the fishing caravan, guided hikes for all or for older adults, the Sunday afternoon conferences and the more than 50 nature discovery activities offered by the city’s partner, Guêpe. Kids will be dazzled by the circus show “Branché,” and can compete in a fun rally or in the photo rally “Focus on biodiversity.”

Parks even more accessible

  • At the nature parks, Parc du Mont-Royal and Parc Frédéric-Back, you can find dozens of kilometres of flat trails accessible by wheelchair. More experienced outdoor enthusiasts can borrow adapted all-terrain wheelchairs free of charge to travel on trails with uneven terrain.
  • You can also reserve a free seahorse chair to take a dip at the Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques beach. Note that beach mats that improve accessibility, mobility and movement between the parking, the water and the toilets are available for users of this wheelchair. 

For reservations, call 514 280-6778, 24 hours in advance.

Free shuttle service

From mid-June to early October, a shuttle service travels from downtown (Berri-UQAM bus station) to three nature parks: 

  • Parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques: Every Saturday, from June 17 to September 2
  • Parc-nature du Bois-de-Liesse: Saturday, July 15, September 16 and October 7
  • Parc-nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies: July 23, September 30, and October 8

Reservations must be made with Navette Nature from the 15th of the month preceding the outings:

  • June 15 for all July outings
  • July 15 for all August outings
  • August 15 for all autumn outings

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