Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park

Roam by birds, bays and beaches

Trail / Hike

Beginner-friendly

Full day

Looking for a quick hit of nature or have visions of relaxing on the beach, but don’t have time to head out for a full weekend? Then you’ve got to visit Cap-Saint-Jacques, Montreal’s largest nature park. In addition to a beach, it has trails, long corridors of trees, and wildlife including a turtle observation area.

Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park

Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park

Get Directions

Driving time from downtown Montreal

45 minutes

Beach close to the city

1

Trails to explore

16km

Plan your day trip

What you need to get into nature

Packing up

Cap-Saint-Jacques boasts 16km of hiking trails, so comfortable shoes are a must and packing a light jacket is also a good idea. Although the trails are generally not physically challenging, a good pair of waterproof hiking boots would be wise for walking through some of the muddy terrain. Pack along extra water and some snacks or sandwiches if you’re planning on staying the whole day. Don’t forget your camera and your binoculars if you want to scope out birds.

Starting your day

Getting through the main entrance is a breeze. Park your car in the open lot by the water and get ready to enjoy your date with nature. There are picnic tables next to the parking lot so you’ll have lots of room to settle in before your hike or sit down and eat your sandwich al fresco after your time exploring.

Time to explore

Start your day hike by the bay surrounded by the park’s poplar and willow trees. Enjoy the beachside setting before you make your way inward through the wetlands. If you decide to stick by the water, make sure to check out the turtle observation area (Havre aux Tortues) and take notes on how to relax if it’s sunny — turtles seriously know how to make the most of a warm day.

 

Really want to enjoy the water? Head out on an inflatable paddleboard on a sunny afternoon (you can rent one that packs down to the size of a backpack.).

Capture the moment

As you continue your hike through the forest, it’s a good chance to snap photos of any birds you see buzzing over sugar maple and birch trees along the way. With a little luck, you might spot owls and woodpeckers along the water and tree lines as well as chipmunks and muskrats barrelling through bushels of leaves or tree trunks.

Fun for the kids

Bringing your kids to the nature park? Then end your hike with a stop at the eco-farm or the outdoor centre where the little ones can do different activities such as obstacle courses, arts and crafts, archery and treasure hunts (day passes at the outdoor centre are less than $10 per person.)

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