5 great hikes for families (and dogs)

These are great spots to take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful fall season

5 great hikes for families and dogs

Photo credit: Getty Images

Discovering the great outdoors can be twice as fun with dogs. Our furry friends’ enthusiasm for adventures is a great encouragement for children and adults to get out and hike new trails and experience our region’s beautiful natural spaces. So, the next time you’re planning a walk through the woods or a stroll across scenic hills, check out some of these destinations where four-legged visitors are welcome.

 

 

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Les sentiers Jean-Baptiste-Jodoin

1130 Rang, La Petite-Caroline, Rougemont, J0L 1M0
sentiersjbjodoin.com

The 4.6 kilometres of mountain trails are accessible by the Michel Jodoin Ciderie between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day, though only some days are available to those with dogs. The route will take you past interpretive panels and to a lookout where you can view the surrounding farmland’s changing fall colours. On average, a hike will take about two hours; make sure to wear hiking shoes and bring water (and snacks for the little ones). As it’s an intermediate trail, it is not accessible by stroller so you may want to bring along a carrier. You can also take advantage of the orchards at the ciderie for a picnic among the trees, and grab some ciders for an adults-only treat.

  • Trail days open to those with dogs: Year round on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Daily access: $4 per person (12+ years old) and $3 per dog.
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times on the trails and on the site and must respect other hikers as well as the natural environment. And don’t forget to pick up after your dog.

 

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Le Rocher Park

215 Thomas, Saint-Amable, J0L 1N0
st-amable.qc.ca/parc-le-rocher

This recreational tourism site was formerly the location of an old Ministry of Transport sandpit and was acquired in 1982 by the Municipality of Saint-Amable. Now, it’s a place to relax, learn more about nature, picnic, and explore the wetlands. There is even a playground and sports and recreational facilities. The network of trails through the forest is where visitors may spot nearly 30 species of trees, 140 plant species, pollinators, and birds. Trails are marked and you can travel the white track (2 kms), red track (4.7 kms) or yellow track (3.5 kms).

Easily accessible from Thomas St., Le Rocher Park has a parking lot with access to the recreational area, the trails in the wooded section, and to the reception chalet (open for the winter season only).

  • The site is open year-round from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Access is free.
  • Dogs must be leashed and owners must clean up after them and dispose of their waste.
  • Note that for the protection of the animal species who live there, dogs are not allowed in the adjoining parc des Étangs-Antoine-Charlebois in Sainte-Julie.

 

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Sentiers de L’escapade

15 du Boisé-des-Franciscaines St., Rigaud, J0P 1P0
ville.rigaud.qc.ca/tourisme/sentiers-de-lescapade

The 20 kilometres of trails at the Sentiers de L’escapade cross over the not-too-steep Mont Rigaud and throughout the surrounding mature forest of pines and maples. Hikers can learn about the wildlife, plants, geology and history of the mountain thanks to the 25 interpretation panels distributed along the trails. Tread quietly for a chance to encounter herons, turkey vultures, white-tailed deer, and birds, and wave hello to the passing riders and their horses. With short and long hikes, the trails offer a wide range of year-round walking/hiking opportunities for all ages.

  • The trails are open every day, year-round, from sunrise to sunset.
  • Access is free.
  • Dogs are accepted on the Sentiers de L’escapade, provided they are restrained at all times on a leash that does not exceed 1.85 metres in length. Dogs over 20 kg must wear a harness or halter. Owners must collect their dog waste and dispose of it in an appropriate place.

 

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Le bois de l’Équerre

49 Rang de l’Équerre, Laval, H7L 6A3
reseaucanopee.org/fr/le-bois-de-lequerre

Located in the Sainte-Rose district of Laval, Le bois de l’Équerre offers 12.95 kilometres of hiking trails through maple groves and wetlands. While visiting you may see some of the 160 species of birds who live or migrate through the woods, and 20 different kinds of raptors have been spotted. Interpretive panels describe the various flora and fauna that frequent the woods. The 1.65 km Kéroul accredited universal accessible trail is ideal for wheelchairs and strollers.

  • From October 1 to April 14 access is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • It is free at all times.
  • Dogs are accepted provided they are on a leash that does not exceed 1.85 metres in length. Owners must collect their dog waste and dispose of it in an appropriate place and you may only bring a maximum of two dogs with you.

 

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Centre de plein air Roger-Cabana

2060 Chemin des Hauteurs, Saint-Hippolyte, J8A 2L5
saint-hippolyte.ca/services-aux-citoyens/centre-de-plein-air-roger-cabana

During the summer and fall, this outdoor centre offers more than 10 km of trails dedicated to hiking, trail running and mountain biking. The routes vary from intermediate to more advanced and offer views of Lac de l’Achigan and the surrounding mountains. Bonus: The kids will likely enjoy the elaborate outdoor obstacle course that was developed for kids ages 4-15. With rope walls to climb, swinging logs to cross, bridges, and an awesome zipline, it will be hard to leave! Indoor and portable bathrooms are available at the reception centre, and picnic tables are near the large parking lot. Check the website to see the winter activities that are available once the hiking trails close at the end of November.

  • The hiking trails are open every day from April to November, from 8 a.m. to 30 minutes before the sun sets.
  • Access is free.
  • Dogs are accepted provided they are on a leash at all times on a leash that does not exceed 1.85 metres in length. Owners must collect their dog waste and dispose of it in an appropriate place.

Related read: Explore Montreal’s large nature parks