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22 Mar, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

Winter activities offered at Montreal nature parks

Get out, explore, and enjoy Montreal’s snowy nature parks this season. With a variety of outdoor activities to try, there is sure to be something for everyone. Lace up your skates, wax the cross-country skis, and grab your sleds, because there’s tons of fun to be had outdoors!

Winter activities

To get everyone’s heart pumping, GUEPE (an educational nature organization) will offer cross-country ski, snowshoe, and sledding equipment rentals at five of the city’s nature parks: Cap-St. Jacques, Bois-de-l’Île-Bizard, Bois-de-Liesse (des Champs sector), l’Île-de-la-Visitation and Pointe-aux-Prairie (Héritage sector). Check their website for rental details and prices. Take care to book at the desired park as reservations are not transferable. You can also find ski lessons for children and special events happening throughout the winter.

As an added bonus, skis and snowshoes will be available free of charge to children 17 and under who reside on the island of Montreal.

Nature Parks

With nature parks located across the island of Montreal, from western Pierrefonds to the eastern section of Pointe-aux-Trembles, you can take your pick and see which park has your preferred activity. Entrance to all the nature parks is free, but you will have to pay for parking ($9.75 for the day, $7.75 for two hours, payable by cash or credit card).


With an area of 330 hectares, Cap-Saint-Jacques is the city’s biggest park and offers access to a diverse lineup of activities through its fields and forests. Aim to spend a few hours at this park: zip down the tobogganing hill and explore many kilometres of hiking trails or go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or fat biking.

Hours: Open every day from sunrise to sunset

Address: 20099 Gouin Blvd. W, H9K 1C6

Accessible by public transit: Yes (Bus #68)

Phone number: 514-280-6871


New winter activities at Montreal parks

Bois-de-Liesse. Photo credit: Christine Latreille

BOIS-DE-LIESSE PARK (des Champs sector) Pierrefonds/St. Laurent

This park features a century-old forest, elevated boardwalks through the tree canopy, easy walking trails, and a diverse assortment of animal and plant life. The cross-country skiing trails span nine kilometres with another nine kilometres for snowshoeing as well as two sledding hills (located near the Douglas-B.-Floreani St. entrance.)

Hours: Open every day from sunrise to sunset

Address: 9432 Gouin Blvd. W, H8Y 1T4 or 3555 Douglas-B.-Floreani St., H4S 1Y6.

Accessible by public transit: Yes (Bus #69 and #68 for Pierrefonds entrance, #175 or 215 for St. Laurent entrance)

Phone number: 514-280-6729 or 514-280-6678


ÎLE-DE-LA-VISITATION PARK Ahuntsic-Cartierville

This historic nature park offers cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing with trails that wind along Rivière des Prairies, through the woods, and near the impressive Hydro Quebec dam.

Hours: Open every day from sunrise to sunset

Address: 2425 Gouin Blvd. E, H2B 1X7

Accessible by public transit: Yes (Bus #69)

Phone number: 514-280-6733


POINTE-AUX-PRAIRIES PARK (Héritage sector) Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles

Right on the eastern tip of the island, this park is known for its ecosystems, including forest, wetland and glades. It’s also a great spot for bird watching and other animal sightings. There are kilometres of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, and toboggans and carpet sleds are available for rent.

Hours: Open every day from sunrise to sunset

Address: 14905 Sherbrooke St. E, H1A 3X1

Accessible by public transit: Yes (Bus #186)

Phone number: 514-280-6691


Parc Jean-Drapeau. Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal

JEAN-DRAPEAU PARK – something for all ages

“This winter there will be cross-country skiing as well as fat bike and snowshoeing trails,” said Véronique Caissie, social media and media relations advisor, Société du parc Jean-Drapeau. “We will also have a [refrigerated] ice-skating rink and people will be able to slide freely down the Espace 67 hill. All these activities will be free for people with their own equipment. Others will be able to rent on-site.”

For those wishing for some quiet time observing nature, bird feeders are installed in the woods near the Aquatic Complex. Try out the skating trail complete with twinkling nighttime lights, and try ice-climbing or fat-biking. To find out more, visit our article here.

Hours: Hours and info for each activity are posted on the park’s website parcjeandrapeau.com (winter activities)

Address: 67 Macdonald, Montreal, H3C 6A3

Accessible by public transit: Yes (Jean-Drapeau metro station)

Phone number: 514-977-9328

Skating at Beaver lake – Mount Royal Park Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal

Play in Montreal’s other large parks

Other locations that families might enjoy include Angrignon Park, which is easily accessible by metro; Montreal’s iconic Mount-Royal Park with its refrigerated skating rink, sledding hill, bird-watching, tubing, cross-country ski lessons, and hiking trails; Jarry Park where you can sled, skate, or ski; Maisonneuve Park with ski and skating trails; or La Fontaine Park where two cross-country ski trails will once again be offered as well as the traditional outdoor skating rinks, including one that’s refrigerated.

For more information on Montreal’s large parks, visit the city’s website at montreal.ca where you can check snow conditions before heading out.

Related reading: Discover one of Montreal’s largest parks

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