A mere 45 minutes’ drive from the centre of Montreal, this protected national park in the Montérégie region has five lakes, an orchard, a historical mill and dozens of kilometers of trails among oaks, maples and 200-year-old beech trees for hiking, snowshoeing or skiing, depending on the season. The St-Bruno area was a favorite among rich Anglophone Montrealers at the turn of the 20th-century, who built lavish vacation homes you can still see today. The mountain was designated a national park in 1985, and has since protected its rich flora (it harbors 24 species of plant that are threatened by extinction) and fauna from encroaching residential development. Birders love the park for its 200 indigenous species, but with any luck, you might also see a white-tailed deer among the gorgeous views, particularly on the Lakes Trail.
Photo: Maurice Pitre, courtesy of Sépaq