June 18, 2020 4 Incredible Spots To Hike In Eastern Canada This Summer
With many gyms and fitness centres still closed this summer due to COVID-19, what better way to get some exercise than to hit the trails? Move your body, spend time with friends or family and experience the soothing benefits of getting out in nature.
While most people think of Western Canada when they think of mountains and hiking, there are also tons of fabulous, lesser-known spots to explore in Eastern Canada as well!
We’ve rounded up our favourite spots that are easily accessible to the major cities in Eastern Canada: from Toronto to the Greater Montreal area, to the Quebec City region.
Hiking Spots in the Montreal Area
There are tons of hiking spots in close proximity to Montreal for hikers of all levels!
Yamaska National Park
Photo: © 2020 Sépaq. All rights reserved.
Only an hour away from Montreal, Yamaska National Park is the perfect nature destination for a day trip or even a weekend getaway.
Breathe in the beauty and fresh, clean air of the Appalachian Lowlands while keeping an eye out for local wildlife on the trails. The park features five hikes all suitable for beginners and families, as the elevation isn’t too steep. Hikers can choose to keep it simple and go for a short hike of just a few kilometres and then hit up the lake. But those looking for a challenge can test their endurance and embark on Le Grand-Tour – a full-day 19 km loop.
Plus, some of their hikes allow for dogs on the trail, so you can bring your favourite furry family member along for even more fun!
Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook
Hikers from all over flock to Parc de la Gorge for their famous Gorge “Canyon” Trail, which includes the longest suspended footbridge in North America. From 50 meters above the ground, you can rest on this cable bridge and admire breathtaking views of the canyon and surrounding area. A word of caution though…don’t bring your friend who’s afraid of heights on this getaway!
The hike is approximately 3.5 kilometres and takes most people 1.5 hours to complete. The park is located nearly two hours away from downtown Montreal.
A sweet bonus? You can finish your day of hiking off at Laiterie De Coaticook Ltée, a local ice cream maker home to some of the best gourmet ice cream in Quebec!
Hiking Spots in the Greater Toronto Area
Toronto at times can feel like a concrete jungle. That’s why getting away from the hustle and bustle and getting out into nature is more important than ever!
Doris McCarthy Trail
Photo: © 2020 Irina Baranova. All rights reserved.
If you’re from Toronto or the GTA, a perfect outing is heading to the Doris McCarthy Trail. The trail leads from Ravine Drive, off Kingston Road to Lake Ontario through Gates Gulley and offers spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the Scarborough Bluffs.
The Scarborough Bluffs, or commonly referred to as “The Bluffs” are a soaring escarpment that runs for 15 kilometres along Toronto’s eastern portion of the waterfront. With the gorgeous blue waters, white sandy beaches and towering cliffs, it almost feels like a piece of the Mediterranean right in the middle of Ontario!
This trail will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the bluffs without all the crowds.
The hiking trail is about 40 minutes from downtown Toronto and can be done in about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.
Hiking Spots Near Quebec City
With the Laurentian mountains in nearby proximity to Quebec City, many Quebecers are spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking spots!
Photo: © 2020 Québec Cité. All rights reserved.
One of our favorite spots is the Montmorency Forest. The 412 km2 forest is often considered to be the largest and oldest university research and teaching forest in the world.
Choose from trails ranging from 1.7 to 12.1 km, with options for beginners, intermediate and advanced hikers. Bring a snack or lunch and take a break on the trail to admire gorgeous views of the Noire River Falls. You might even spot a family of deer or one of the 164 bird species that call the park home!
The forest is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Quebec City.
No matter which hike you choose for your summer day-trip, don’t forget to rest up afterwards.
Take some time to stretch and treat your knees to a much-deserved recovery treatment. Our Magic Bag hot and cold compresses are the perfect way to soothe sore muscles after a long day of hitting the trails. Follow up with a nice cuppa tea and an Epsom salt bath, and you’ll be good as new and ready for your next adventure!
We hope this list gave you some ideas and inspiration for getting active and exploring new destinations without straying too far from home!