Montreal is one of Canada’s largest cities, measured in both population and geographic size. Encompassing over 430 square kilometers, the Montreal metropolitan area offers an unrivalled variety of outdoor activities—from the forested heights of Mont Royal to the raging rapids and peaceful islands of the St. Lawrence River. For outdoor enthusiasts, Montreal boasts outstanding cycling, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, surfing, whitewater rafting and canoe camping—all without having to leave the city.



Things to Do in Montreal

Kayak Montreal

It should come as no surprise that an island city like Montreal boasts an abundance of exceptional kayaking opportunities. Kayaking in Montreal ranges from tranquil touring among the bird-filled wetlands of the Boucherville Islands National Park and the Riviere-des-Milles-Îles, to kayak surfing at the Lachine Rapids on the St. Lawrence. Just beyond the city, you’ll find world-class whitewater kayaking on the spectacular Rouge River. Get started planning your paddling adventure today at Kayak Montreal: Where to Paddle, Rent, Buy & More.

Canoe Montreal

If you are looking for the perfect canoeing day trip, there are plenty of places to visit in Montreal to get your single-blade fix. Favorite urban escapes include the leafy channels and wildlife-filled marshes of Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville, a cluster of five closely-knit, vehicle-free islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence. In the Laval borough of Saint-Rose, Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Îles encompasses some 20 islands scattered across the largest protected wildlife area in the metropolitan district—a pleasant labyrinth of water and vegetation just 30 minutes from downtown Montreal. For a unique perspective of Old Montreal dip your paddles in the Lachine Canal National Historic Site. The historic Atwater Market is just steps away, where you can stock up on delicious picnicking supplies for your journey to the Old Port and other must-see Montreal attractions.

Canoe Rental Montreal

Parc de la Riviere-des-Milles-Îles

Montreal’s largest canoe and kayak rental center, the Eco-Park offers 3-hour and daily rentals of canoes, as well as single and tandem kayaks and SUPs.

Location: 345 Blvd Sainte-Rose, Laval
Phone: 450-622-1020

Aventure Milles-Îles

Situated in a peaceful park-like setting on the banks of the Riviere-des-Milles-Îles, this center rents canoes, single and tandem recreational kayaks, fishing kayaks and SUPs.

Location: 1553 Rue du Parc des Plaines, Laval
Phone: 514-463-1402

Lachine Canal Nautical Centre

Located within the Lachine Canal National Historic Site just across from the famous Atwater Market, the nautical center rents canoes, sea kayaks and pedal-powered sit-on-top kayaks. Half-hour, 1- and 2-hour rentals available.

Location: 2727 Rue Saint-Patrick, Montreal
Phone: 514-842-1306

Îles-de-Boucherville National Park

Rent canoes, kayaks and SUPs at the park’s Grosbois Visitors Centre or at the Rental Centre.

Location: Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
Phone: 800-665-6527

Canoe Camping Montreal

The only canoe camping right in the city, Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville offers 50 riverside tent campsites and 25 Ready-to-Camp sites on Îles Grosbois, the furthest of the park’s five islands. Located 3 km from the parking area, the campsites are accessible by water trail, on foot or by bike.

If you’re in downtown Montreal or on the city’s South Shore and looking for a quick canoe camping getaway, Parc National de la Yamaska is a gem in the Eastern Townships near Granby, just 1.5 hours from Montreal. The focal point of this accessible park is the Choinière Reservoir, which offers rustic lakeside campsites for canoe camping. You can also rent canoes at the park, or opt for the canoe camping package—including equipment rental, campsite and firewood.

Two hours to the north of the city, Parc National du Mont Tremblant boasts the best backcountry camping near Montreal. Enjoy a 2- or 3-day canoe trip camping along the park’s two main rivers—the Diable and the L’Assomption—or relax lakeside at three destination canoe camping lakes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Amélie LR (

Ice Canoeing Montreal

Yes, you read that right. Ice canoeing has been practiced in Montreal since the early 1800s, when it was the only means of winter transport between the islands and shores of the St. Lawrence River once ice made the swiftly flowing waters too treacherous for ferries to cross. Today, ice canoeing is an unlikely winter sport celebrating the hardiness and ingenuity of early Québécois. Crews of five athletes alternately row amid bobbing ice blocks and push—or “scooter”—their canoes across slush and ice floes in the annual Montreal Ice Canoe Challenge. The event draws thousands of spectators to the city’s Old Port, where you can watch the teams battle it out in the icy waters surrounding the islands of Parc Jean-Drapeau. Nested in the heart of the harbour, the Montreal ice canoe race is particularly breathtaking for spectators thanks to the racers’ close proximity to the shores all along the route.

Want to try this only-in-Quebec sport for yourself? Canot à Glace Expérience offers a half-day Ice Canoeing Experience where you’ll be accompanied by professional guides and learn techniques to safely navigate the icy waters of the St. Lawrence at Quebec City (3 hours from Montreal).

Paddleboard Montreal

Whether you are an experienced standup paddler or it’s your first time trying SUP, you’ll find loads of outstanding (pun intended) paddleboarding near Montreal. For excursions on gentle water, both Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville and Parc de la Riviere-des-Mille-Îles are popular destinations with easy access from the city and on-site rentals. On the South Shore near Beauharnois, the Îles-de-la-Paix National Wildlife Area boasts beautiful, almost transparent water and abundant bird life. Just 40 minutes west of Montreal, the miles of fine sand at Parc National d’Oka offer leisurely paddleboarding with a chill beach vibe.

Readily accessible from the Montreal borough of LaSalle, the Lachine Rapids are known for incredible SUP surfing in the St. Lawrence River. First time catching a wave? Not to worry, KSF is the city’s oldest and most highly acclaimed paddling and surf school, with step-by-step lessons to take you from flatwater to advanced level surf waves.

Standup Paddleboard Rental Montreal


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KSF (@ksf_montreal)

KSF (Kayak Sans Frontieres)

Based right at Rapids Park on the riverfront in LaSalle, KSF offers paddleboard, surfboard, touring kayak and whitewater kayak rentals, as well as all the necessary gear and equipment to play in the water.

Location: 7770 Blvd LaSalle, LaSalle, Montreal
Phone: 514-595-SURF (7873)


Based on the waterfront in Verdun, NAVI offers SUP and kayak rentals on the St. Lawrence River below the Lachine Rapids.

Location: 6500 Blvd LaSalle, Verdun, Montreal
Phone: 514-800-0481

SUP Montreal

With a rental location in Boisbriand near the Riviere-des-Milles-Îles and a boutique in Villeray (Montreal), SUP MTL offers touring, inflatable and surf-specific paddleboard rentals, plus lessons and guided excursions.

Location: 8400 Blvd St-Laurent, suite 201, Montreal
Phone: 438-821-7106

Parc de la Riviere-des-Milles-Îles

Montreal’s largest paddle craft rental center, the Eco-Park offers 3-hour and daily rentals of SUPs, canoes and kayaks.

Location: 345 Blvd Sainte-Rose, Laval
Phone: 450-622-1020

Aventure Milles-Îles

Situated in a peaceful park-like setting on the banks of the Riviere-des-Milles-Îles, this center rents paddleboards, recreational kayaks, fishing kayaks and canoes.

Location: 1553 Rue du Parc des Plaines, Laval
Phone: 514-463-1402

Îles-de-Boucherville National Park

Rent SUPs, kayaks and canoes at the park’s Grosbois Visitors Centre or at the Rental Centre.

Location: Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
Phone: 800-665-6527

Oka National Park

Paddleboard, kayak and canoe rentals are available in the park by the hour, half-day or full day.

Location: Oka National Park
Phone: 800-665-6527

Paddleboard Yoga Montreal

Discover the pleasures of SUP and yoga in a playful atmosphere while enjoying the most beautiful waters of Montreal. Join paddleboarding pioneer KSF, Quebec’s first SUP yoga school, for a 2-hour initiation class or 75-minute class in dynamic Jala Flo or gentle Yin Flow sunset SUP yoga. Classes are offered at their LaSalle and Parc Jean-Drapeau location, and are available as drop-in classes or 4-week sessions. If you’re in Laval or the North Shore, the Riviere-des-Milles-Îles lends a perfectly relaxing atmosphere to a SUP yoga session with SUP Montreal.

Rafting Montreal

Montreal is situated at the convergence of two mighty rivers—the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence—which means outstanding whitewater rafting opportunities are just as plentiful in this vibrant city as smoked meat and 17th-century architecture. You can enjoy thrilling whitewater rafting in the Lachine Rapids minutes from downtown, or drive just an hour away to discover the amazing canyons and beautiful l’eau vive of the pristine Rouge River. Learn more about the Top 10 Best Places to Go Rafting in Montreal.

Hiking Near Montreal

With so many fantastic outdoor activities in Montreal to choose from, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the exceptionally rewarding option of simply going for a hike. There are a number of breathtaking destinations for hiking near Montreal where you can get back to nature and take a breather from the busier Montreal attractions.

Hikers walking along the groomed trails in Montreal
Photo courtesy of: Parc du Mont-Royal, Montréal © Tourisme Québec // David Gunther

Mont Royal

Rising to a height of more than 230 meters (760 feet) at the center of the city is the mountain from which Montreal takes its name. Rambling up the wide promenades that ascend this Montreal landmark is perhaps more of a walk than a hike, but some steep inclines will still get you sweating. The arboreal oasis of Parc du Mont-Royal is beautiful at all times of the year, and the views of the city from the summit are simply stunning. The seemingly endless network of paths and trails makes it easy to spend an hour here, or the entire day.

Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park

Less than 30 minutes from the downtown core, Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno offers 27 km of easy hiking trails around its five lakes, with options ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours or more. Visit this pet-friendly park in autumn for gorgeous views of the changing leaves. With the exception of the more rugged Le Montérégien hike, all of the trails are beginner-friendly.

Mont-Orford National Park

The 80-kilometer trail network at Parc National du Mont-Orford makes this beautiful park in the Eastern Townships well worth the 1.5- to 2-hour drive from Montreal. From the Mont-Orford Massif, at 853 meters in elevation, hikers can admire panoramic views of the rumpled peaks of the Appalachian Mountains for as far as the eye can see. Trails are available for all levels, including easy hikes to spectacular lookouts and challenging multi-day treks for backpackers.

Mont-Tremblant National Park

Quebec’s oldest park and one of the province’s best for hiking is just 2 hours from Montreal. Hikes in Parc National du Mont-Tremblant run the gamut from easy nature strolls to challenging treks to breathtaking viewpoints. If lofty lookouts are your thing, try the 5.4-km La Roche Summit Trail (Diable sector) or 4-km L’Envol Trail (Pimbina sector) for exceptional returns on sweat equity. Truly adventurous hikers can lace up their boots and head out for a few days on the park’s backpacking circuit, staying overnight at remote mountain huts.

Montreal Bike Paths

With a network of bike paths over 500 kilometers in collective length, the possibilities for two-wheeled adventures in Montreal makes your head (and legs) spin. Cross paths with some of the city’s best sights, from the Lachine Canal to Old Montreal, through Parc La Fontaine and around the Olympic Village, and then pedal your way off the island to explore both the north and south shores. Don’t have your own bike? Montreal’s highly popular shared bike scheme, Bixi, operates over 600 stations around the city.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by I Do Photography (@adouphotography)

Accessible from Laval or Ile Bizard in western Montreal (hop on the cool cable ferry), La Vagabonde is a paved 21-km-long cycling path linking Parc d’Oka to nearby municipalities. The path crosses the park over a distance of 10 kilometers and leads riders to the sublime beach at Lake of Two Mountains.

Wheel your bike aboard the river shuttle from Montreal or Boucherville to reach Parc National des Îles-de-Boucherville. The archipelago’s 21-km network of bike paths allows easy access to the park’s most beautiful lookouts and the flat terrain makes it an ideal choice for the whole family. Bikes for adults and children as well as tandem bikes are available for rent at the park.

Further afield—but still less than an hour from downtown Montreal—St-Jérôme is the starting point of Le P’tit Train du Nord, a 232-kilometer-long rail trail that can be ridden in easy sections or taken on end-to-end. The “Little Train of the North” follows a former Canadian Pacific Railway line through the scenic Rouge River and Rivière du Nord valleys. It’s the longest linear park in Canada and is paved for nearly half its length. Cyclists are rewarded with stunning mountain panoramas, scenic rivers, lakeside pedalling and quaint villages. Plan a one-way ride, making use of widely available local shuttle services, or pause overnight at one of the campgrounds or inns situated along the path.



Where to Stay in Montreal

Whether you prefer a deluxe mountainside retreat, off-grid escape or family cottage rental, there is no shortage of amazing options to provide you with a convenient home base for exploring Montreal’s breathtaking natural beauty. But you’ll need to get organized and book well ahead if you want to guarantee a great place to stay during Montreal’s busy peak summer season.

Camping Montreal

Looking for a peaceful place to pitch your tent that offers both the sounds of nature and great access to the sights of the city? It’s easier to find outstanding camping around Montreal than you might think. From family camping by the beach and luxury glamping in the forest, to riverside camping by the put-in and canoe camping on a backcountry lake, discover the Best Places to Go Camping In and Near Montreal. These spots are all within a two-hour drive of the city, and all offer outstanding access to outdoor activities.

Montreal Hotels

Auberge Du Vieux-Port

Sample the best of Montreal’s renowned French-Canadian culture and cobblestoned streets—plus an amazing river view—at this upscale boutique hotel located in the heart of historic Old Montreal just steps from the Old Port and Notre Dame Basilica. Auberge du Vieux-Port is the city’s only hotel located along the Saint Lawrence River—and you can enjoy exclusive views from the rooftop terrace or one of the 15 rooms that face the waterfront. Amenities include deep soaker tubs, jetted showers, free Wi-Fi and a rooftop terrace. There are also loft suites, which are located a short walk from the hotel and are great for longer stays—they feature kitchenettes and offer more privacy away from the hotel.

Location: Old Montreal

Auberge de La Fontaine

At the center of the Plateau Mont-Royal district, this turn-of-the-century luxury inn occupies a lovely stone building across from Parc La Fontaine. Pull yourself away from the Auberge’s warm atmosphere, comfy furnishings and overflowing bookshelves to explore Montreal’s other park. Once a farm, this 84-acre green space offers shady walking paths, sunny lawns and duck-filled ponds.

Location: Plateau-Mont-Royal

The Gite King Hostels

For adventure travellers on a budget, it’s hard to beat the location and rates at this well-reviewed hostel just a few strides from the Lachine Canal. Guests in the cheerful rooms of this red brick building on Boulevard Monk enjoy easy access to Rapids Park and KSF surf school in LaSalle. There are also plenty of hip eateries and bars nearby, if that’s your thing. Private and double rooms, shared kitchen and free WiFi and breakfast.

Location: Southwest Montreal

Montreal Cottages and Cabin Rentals

Less than an hour outside the city, Montreal’s amazing cabin and cottage accommodations are perfect for romantic getaways, Insta-worthy girls’ weekends or as a special treat for your family vacation. Whether you are looking for convenience, comfort, decadence or all of the above—you’re sure to find it in Montreal. And if you are still wondering what to do in Montreal during your stay, these gorgeous cottage resorts offer loads of outdoor activities on-site and nearby.

Les Pieds Sur Terre

Located just 45 minutes from Montreal near Rawdon, Les Pieds Sur Terre offers a selection of unusual accommodation options nestled in a peaceful forest. Choose from a storybook treehouse, cozy tepee tiny house or truly out-of-this-world bubble glamping. Each bubble is unique, sleeping 2, 4 or 6 people, with comfortable beds beneath a transparent stargazing sphere. Smaller bubbles are attached to fantastically crafted cabins, while the Great Bear Bubble houses everything under one dome, but they all include indoor kitchen, bathroom and private outdoor Jacuzzi. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy a short forest walk to reach your retreat and a sublime night under the constellations.

Book now


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kabania (@kabania)


Another fantasy treehouse cabin experience—this one just over an hour’s drive from Montreal—awaits at Kabania. Cozy wooden cabins on stilts and treehouse cabanitas perch amid the canopy on the edge of vast Oaureau Forest Regional Park. Each cabin includes basic furnishings, woodstove and veranda with lovely views. This little forest community also includes a comfortable and spacious common cabin with full kitchen and shower blocks for cooking, lounging and get-togethers. Picture a charming, rustic hostel in the woods. Hike from your cabin to lookouts in the Oaureau Forest or stay on-site—ropes courses in the trees, tubing and swimming in the river make this a fun, year-round family cottage destination.

Book now

Entre Cîmes & Racines

One hour from Montreal, the 12 eco-lodges nestled in this 175-acre forest are as comfortable as they are unusual. “Between Roots & Crowns” offers various off-grid cabins including The Hobbit, inspired by the movie The Lord of the Rings. Bring candles and a sense of adventure. Besides bunking in a fantasy, families will enjoy the on-site hiking and mountain biking trails, kids’ climbing wall, giant maze and scavenger hunt.

Book now

Bel Air Tremblant Dome Resort

The stunning geodesic dome rentals at Bel Air Tremblant Resort offer a truly unique lodging experience and the perfect blend of luxury and nature. Tucked between the Rouge River and Mont Tremblant National Park, these modern domes are just a 1.5-hour drive from metropolitan Montreal. Even better, each dome is set on a spacious deck with a private hot tub, barrel sauna and beautiful views. A wall of windows keeps the domes bright and airy and brings those views inside, where you can luxuriate in a king-size bed, take a hot shower or prepare a romantic fireside dinner in the kitchenette. The resort is open year-round and offers a huge variety of adventure activities, including paddleboarding and kayaking, hiking trails, zip lines, horseback riding, fat biking and more.

Book now



Montreal Weather

Weather in the Montreal area varies greatly depending on the season when you plan to visit. During peak summer season (late June through August), Montreal enjoys hot and humid days with plenty of sunshine. July and August are the hottest months, with average daily highs of 26°C. High summer humidity can commonly make those temperatures feel in excess of 30°C, especially in the city center.

Spring (May–June) is cooler but often quite pleasant with highs of 17–24°C, while fall (mid-September through October) offers a mix of bright sunshine, chilly rains and crisp nights. These shoulder seasons can be a great time to visit Montreal as attractions and accommodations will be less crowded.

Winter in Montreal (December–March) is renowned for cold, snowy weather, but those equipped for the frosty conditions will find it’s also a magical time to enjoy outdoor adventures—from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, to fat biking and tobogganing in the parks. In January, the coldest (and snowiest) month, the average daily high is just -4°C and overnight temperatures can drop below -15°C.

Get hourly, weekend, 7-day and 14-day weather forecasts for locations in and around Montreal at The Weather Network. Environment Canada offers 7-day and hourly forecasts for Montreal.

Surf’s up on the wide expanse of the mighty St. Lawrence River. | Photo courtesy of: Montréal © Tourisme Québec // Gaëlle Leroyer


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here