Québec City at its Best
5 Hikes to Enjoy Stunning Fall Foliage Sceneries
As a big fan of the great outdoors, I absolutely love fall. The weather is dry and often sunny, but not too hot. The turning leaves make for gorgeous scenery, and the mosquitoes are all but gone. It’s the perfect time to get out into the woods and go for a hike.
Here are 5 of my favourite trails for the fall.
1 Bras-du-Nord Trail
Credit: Philippe Jobin Zoom
Round trip: 8 km (5 mi. Portion between Shannahan office and the fall)
Average time: 2.5 hours
This hike takes you along a river up to Delaney Falls, which cascades from an impressive height (100 m higher than Niagara Falls!) into the calm waters of the river below. The limited elevation gain makes it a perfect starter hike for kids.
2 The Pionniers Trail
Round trip: 6 km (3.5 mi.)
Average time: 3 hours
Sainte-Anne mountain is a fall classic. First, because of the Great Colour Adventure from September through to October, with lots of fun things to see and do. Second, because hiking up the mountain is a fun challenge for the whole family that rewards you with a fantastic view of the St. Lawrence River and the tip of Île d’Orléans. One of my favourite things about this trail is that it’s mostly in the forest, rather than on the ski runs. If the hike up seems a bit too daunting, you can take the gondola. There is also a secondary trail running back down the mountain if you’d like to do a loop.
3 Les Loups Trail
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
Round trip: 11 km (7 mi.)
Average time: 3.5 hours
This trail boasts breathtaking views of the majestic Jacques-Cartier valley. The gradual incline to the second viewpoint isn’t too technical and rewards you with a fantastic panorama once you get to the top. For a shorter hike, you can head back after the first viewpoint, which cuts the distance down to 5 km. On busy weekends, hikers must take the free shuttle to the trailhead.
4 Mestachibo Trail
One way: 12.5 km (7.5 mi.)
Average time: 3–5 hours
This is a trail for experienced hikers. It runs along rivière Sainte-Anne, has a few footbridges, and is steep in places. It’s best to start at the church in Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges and end at Jean-Larose Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region. This means you’ll want to park a second car at the waterfall or plan to take a taxi back to the church. In the fall, this hike gives you splendid views of the seasonal colours on Mont Sainte-Anne.
5 Du Sommet Trail
Credit: OTQ Zoom
Round trip: 5 km (3 mi.)
Average time: 2 hours
Located just 30 km from downtown Québec City, Mont Wright mountain park is a favourite with local runners and hikers. To get to the Summit trail, you’ll need to take the Forêt ancienne (Ancient Forest) trail, which takes you past several splendid old trees that took root over 300 years ago. You’ll have a better view of them in the fall, since some of their colourful leaves will already be on the forest floor. The forest also has a scattering of large boulders that form natural shelters and rock faces that are perfect for climbing.