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Best Hiking in the Eastern Townships: Complete Guide

The best hiking in Eastern Townships has mountains, lakes, and sprawling vistas. There are covered bridges and suspended footbridges. Trails for novices and families with young children, and ones for skilled hikers. This is the “garden of Quebec”, one of the best places in the province to commune with nature.

Eastern Townships has some of the best hiking near Montréal, making it the ideal day trip destination. It’s also a bucket list destination overflowing with joie de vivre, wineries, and delicious restaurants.

Let’s chat about the best hiking Eastern Townships have to offer!

Hiking Shoes - in Forest - Freepik
Photo credit: Freepik

Where to Hike in the Eastern Townships? Best Places

Réserve naturelle Montagnes Vertes

This green mountain reserve in the Eastern Townships is 78 km2 in size. Owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy of Canada, the reserve’s network of trails is 60 km in length.

There are three main sections: the trails of the Eastern Townships, Parc d’environnement naturel, and Corridor Appalachien. As the trails in the reserve are on public property, you’ll have to pay a daily access fee or purchase a membership. Some trails cross into Sépaq, and access will need to be purchased there as well. 

Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook

Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook has four hiking trails to enjoy in summer. The Gorge trail Eastern Townships is by far the most popular, and beautiful. The trail is a 3.5 km loop with a 59 m elevation gain. It’s an easy trail, ideal for novice hikers, birders, and runners.

The trail includes a suspended footbridge with a great view of the gorge, as well as an observation tower. Hikers looking for a more challenging Eastern Townships hiking trail will love the Tillotson trail. It’s 8.5 km in length with a 152 m elevation gain – not to be confused with the Mont Hereford via Neil-Tillotson trail.

Dogs can walk on the trails here, if they remain on a leash. Access to the hiking trails is 10 CAD for adults, 5.75 for the first child, and 3 for each additional child.

River in Forest - in Quebec - Pixabay
Photo credit: Pixabay

Mont Sutton, a Hiking Mecca in the Eastern Townships

Mont Sutton is a popular Eastern Townships ski destination in winter and perfect for hiking in summer and autumn. The loop trail is 3.5 km in length, with a 324 m elevation gain. It’s quite easy getting up, but going down you’ll be traversing a black diamond ski trail. If you want to avoid the strenuous workout, take the Alleghanys trail down, which will take around 2 hours to complete.

Avid hikers will enjoy the Lac Mohawk trail, which takes about 3 hours to complete.

The Marmite aux sorcières trail is a 20-30 min hike and leads to cascades and a small creek. It’s an easy hike, perfect for families with small children. Hikes on Mont Sutton ski trails are free to do.

Hiking view - in Eastern Townships - Louise Charpy from - Unsplash
Photo credit: Louise Charpy from Unsplash

Mont Ham, Part of the Eastern Townships’ Best Hiking Spots

About 40 min north of Sherbrooke, Mont Ham stands 713 m above sea level. The mountain, which stands alone, is a local favourite. There are a couple of hiking trails on Mont Ham, but the most beautiful is also the most difficult.

Bienvenue à l’Intrépide! The loop trail is 7.7 km with an elevation gain of 425 m. The trail has some steep sections, but the views at the summit make the sweat and tears worth it. If you don’t have time for the full 7.7 km hike, there is a 3.7 km trail (moderate) that goes directly to the summit. This is the prettiest Eastern Townships hiking trail.

Access to the hiking trails is 9 CAD for adults, 4 for children over 5 years.

Men in Forest - with Hiking Poles - Freepik
Photo credit: Freepik

Parc national du Mont-Mégantic

There are 20 km of trails in Parc national du Mont-Mégantic, a Sépaq park located southwest of Lac Mégantic. Hiking is divided into two sections: Mont-Mégantic Trail (Observatory sector), and Franceville.

The Boreal Promenade is an easy hike that is stroller-friendly and takes about 45 minutes to complete. The Promenade du Ruisseau is also stroller accessible. The remaining hikes range from intermediate to difficult.

For a challenge, try The Rise of the Dragon, The Three Summits, or Mont Mégantic. Dogs are only permitted on the Mont-Mégantic trail, and only from May until the end of October.

Access to Sépaq is 9.55 CAD per day.

AstroLab - Mont-Megantic National Park - in Eastern Townships

Watch Out for Ticks!

Hiking in the Eastern Townships, as with any hiking destination, is not without its risks. The most significant being ticks. These parasites bore into the skin and can cause Lyme disease. It’s important to remove ticks quickly and know how to identify them.

Before hiking in the Eastern Townships, be sure to wear a long sleeve shirt, pants, socks, and good shoes. Keeping your skin covered helps to keep the ticks away, but the CDC suggests further measures.

Suggested Hiking Gear

Depending on the difficulty of the trail, the following gear may be useful.

Hiking Gear - Ali Kazal - Unsplash
Photo credit: Ali Kazal from Unsplash

In Case of a Walking Emergency

Accidents happen, and sometimes they happen on the trail. In Quebec, calling 911 will connect you to emergency services. If you’re able to leave the trail but need to see a doctor immediately, here is a list of emergency departments in the Eastern Townships.

  • Sherbrooke: CHUS – Hôtel Dieu, 580, rue Bowen S
  • Sherbrooke: Salle d’urgence de l’Université de Sherbrooke, 68 rue Privée
  • Coaticook: Centre hospitalier de Coaticook, 138, rue Jeanne-Mance
  • Granby: Hôpital de Granby, 205, boul. Leclerc O

Eastern Townships hiking is a fabulous way to stay in shape and fall in love with this stunning part of Quebec. Whichever trails you choose to hike, remember the cardinal rule of hiking: leave no trace.

Whatever you take on the trail must return with you, including your garbage. It’s also a good idea to read up on what to do if you come across a bear, before you start your hike!

Looking for Tours, Activities and Planned Outings?

When I look for things to do in my destination, I always have a look at Viator, GetYourGuide, Manawa and sometimes even Expedia. It’s first off a great way to find out what there is to do, but always a quick and easy method to book cheaply and efficiently with these renowned platforms.

What to Do in the Eastern Townships and How to Organize Your Trip

Curious about how to spend your day in the Eastern Townships? Here’s a list of the top activities to consider adding to your plans:

Preparing For Your Trip

When I look for things to do in my destination, I always have a look at Viator, GetYourGuide, Manawa, Civitatis and sometimes even Expedia.

It’s first off a great way to find out what there is to do, but always a quick and easy method to book cheaply and efficiently with these renowned platforms.

Need a place to sleep? I find most of my accommodations on Booking.com but I also use Hotels.com for their rewards program (11th free night) as well as Expedia. When booking smaller places in Quebec, you might not find them here and need to contact them directly.

Looking for a cheap flight to the Eastern Townships through Montreal? Have a look on Cheapoair or Skyscanner I use regularly.

Once you’re there, rent a car to roam free with AutoEurope or RentalCars or hop on a bus around Montreal, Quebec, and surrounding cities with Busbud.

Have a great time on the Eastern Townships hiking trails!

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Eastern Townships / Quebec Destinations / Trip Planner / What to See and Do

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