The hub of outdoor life in Montreal is the small mountain at its center, Mount Royal. Winter activities in the park include tobogganing and cross-country skiing while picnics (alcohol permitted) and tam-tams, or drum circles, are popular when the island warms up.
It’s easy to forget you’re in a city as you ascend the park’s shady paths. Parc du Mont-Royal owes its lush design to Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Central Park and Chicago’s Jackson Park.
The hike becomes steep in places, but the skyline view from the top is worth it. You can admire downtown Montreal and the St. Lawrence River from the terrace at the summit and brush up on Quebec history with the murals inside the Chalet du Mont-Royal.