Take the time this winter to explore this huge nature park by foot, snowshoe, cross-country ski, or fatbike. And all that fresh air and exercise is sure to get your stomach rumbling, so after you’ve taken in the views along the river and through the trees, enjoy a warm treat at the rustic sugar shack tucked into the forest.
With its 330 hectares, Cap-Saint-Jacques nature park is the largest park in Montreal and offers an abundance of activities year-round. In winter, skiers can discover multiple groomed cross-country ski trails ranging in length from 2.4 kilometres to 10.9 kilometres. There are also 6.5 kilometres of trails for fatbiking, seven kilometres of walking trails, 12 kilometres of snowshoeing trails, and even a sledding hill for exhilarating rides.
Families can also walk through the working ecological farm. Though the barn is currently closed and it’s not possible to approach animals due to the pandemic, you can still wave at the cows and horses in the field.
Sugar shack open
A special treat is a visit to the sugar shack. Surrounded by mature maple trees, it’s open on weekends and during spring break during the sugaring-off season. Located near trails, you can access it by foot, ski, or snowshoe. Park at the welcome centre and follow the trails signs throughout the park. The tiny dining room inside the shack is open, however, it can accommodate a limited number of sit-in guests at a time. On weekdays, dining inside is only for group reservations made in advance.
Open until early April on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Spring break special service of maple taffy as well as other snacks: March 3, 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wearing a mask is mandatory to enter the sugar shack. Cash and debit are accepted.
Equipment is available
For those who don’t have their own equipment, rentals of skis, snowshoes, sleds, and crazy carpets are available on site (bring your own fatbikes). Reservations are required and must be made online at www.guepe.qc.ca.
For more information, call 514-280-6833 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The welcome centre is closed for winter but the bathrooms remain accessible every day from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Masks are required inside all buildings.
About Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park
Address: 20099 Gouin Blvd. W., Montreal, H9K 1C5
Opening hours: The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset.
Access to the park is free, but parking rates apply: $7.50 for 2 hours, or $9.50 for the day.
Accessible by public transit: Yes (Bus #68)