Jump to content

Snowshoeing - Mount Royal Park


Recommended Posts

P1030502.jpgA fun snowshoeing adventure through Mount Royal Park in Montreal that almost ended at the hospital. 

Here's our adventure... Ana and I both arrived at the Mount Royal Park around 3:30pm. The park features cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing trails. We started our hike near the main pavilion, in which you can change, lock your personal belongings or even rent skates, snowshoes or equipment.



Mount Royal seen from the top of Place Ville-Marie.



From here the starting points of the various trails are all marked. For our hike, it was the purple snowshoe signals that we needed to follow. This trail is a loop of around 3km in length so regardless of where you begin, you will eventually end back at your starting point. Just a few minutes after we began the signals used to guide yourself along the trail started becoming hard to follow as they were spaced much too far apart to be able to spot. Backtracking after having gone in the wrong direction, we quickly got ourselves back on track. 

At several points, the snowshoe trail runs parallel to the cross country ski trails and in a few instances actually crosses them. Heading deeper into the forest the trail rises and descends, giving with each step an excitement of discovery, to see what we will see next during our trek.




Two trees twisted together, that made a creaking sound as the wind made them sway back and forth.



The trail turns and then heads down the side of the mountain. Eventually, the purple signals disappear and are replaced with blue signals in the trees. Continuing on, the trail leads us to a point where a fallen tree blocks the intended path. At the time I took the picture, the caption was going to read "Where we were supposed to go...". A simple course correction around the obstacle and we are able to press on.


Heading down more and more, we cross another cross-country ski trail and start seeing the lights of the downtown skyline coming into view. The Mount Royal park is really stunning, and it is amazing to have such a location situated right in the middle of the bustling city. We took a short break to spot famous downtown landmarks such as Place Ville-Marie and its roof-top search light.


Back on the trail, we are lead further and further down the mountain, and both Ana and I start getting concerned that we are heading away from where we intended to be. For me, questions such as the change from Purple to Blue signals also lead me to wonder if we had stumbled onto another trail that would end elsewhere. One thing was for sure, night was quickly setting in. 



Ever adventurous we continued on, despite wondering if we should turn around and retrace our path back to the start. A few minutes later we ended up at the Montreal General Hospital. Things were not looking promising to say the least as the signals seemed to be leading us straight for the emergency department. Since we were well hydrated and dressed warmly, we decided that we weren't ready to declare and emergency and continued on. 


Eventually, the trail started heading back into the forest, just in time as snow started to fall and the wind was increasing in strength.


Climbing up the mountain once again we then saw lights in the distance. It was the pavilion from the start and the skating rink. 

A few minutes later we arrived, our hike and adventure having come to an end.

The trail was quite enjoyable, the views from the mountain were stunning. Both Ana and I having a big love for Montreal, got to experience the city in a new way. The park itself is also quite easy to access, as several STM bus routes pass along its borders. There is also a large skating rink near the pavilion that is nicely setup and arranged. We had been wanting to experience the park for a while and finally got our wish.

While our experience was great and lots of fun, I do have to say that the signals could have been made to be less far apart in the critical areas where a change of direction was required so that second guessing the direction you were heading wasn't a frequent occurrence. In the end, we did start our hike shortly before sundown so the poor lighting as a result and unfamiliarity of the park definitely helped complicate our adventure.


Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Quite the adventure and I hope that the city of Montreal addresses the signage along the trail before someone does get hurt or lost. The site itself seems really nice and offers so many options like cross country skiing, skating and snowshoeing. Fun report to read and well done with the photos and all

Link to comment

Thank you for your comments. The signage wasn't really too bad but we did feel like we had gone the wrong way when we ended up near the hospital. It was a question of wondering whether to continue or head back the way we came. Again the darkness and our unfamiliarity didn't help but overall it was a fun experience.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Shane
      After having experienced the Mount Royal Park two winters ago with a snowshoeing adventure, it was high time to re-discover it again in the summer. 
      Gone are the many cross-country skiers, the snow-covered toboggan sliding hills, and the snowshoe packed trails... now we are treated to a pristine park, located in the middle of Canada's second largest city. The area is very picturesque, with the Beaver Lake located in the middle, now frequented by leisure rowboats, and hundreds of people enjoying the fresh air and nature.
      The park is easily accessible with public transit by metro and bus, or by parking lots nearby.
      The trails and paths circle around the summit of the mountain, and also head off in numerous directions, taking you to various destinations. There is also a pathway that does the perimeter of the lake. At one end, there is a nice stone waterfall that runs off into the lake.

      Walking the trails, you can catch glimpses of the Montreal skyline and the sprawling city.
      A great visit to an amazing location... until next time Montreal!
      Here are some pictures of the visit.

    • By Shane
      There is absolutely nothing better to do on a Friday night after work if you are a skier, than night skiing. This visit was at Camp Fortune, perfect for the variety and number of trails and terrain available to enjoy. The proximity to the city makes it even easier and quicker to get on the slopes as soon as the clock hits quitting time.
      Arriving around 5:30pm, the mountain is not busy, but it is very clear that the conditions are perfect. The recent snow of the past week and a half have brought the ski conditions to arguably the best they have been of the season... bar none. Just when it seemed like the end was quickly approaching, new snow arrived and arrived it did. The trails are perfectly groomed, absolutely no ice, and a pure joy to ride.
      Hats off to Camp Fortune for making the experience top notch as always, and Mother Nature as well for eventually coming through (better late than never I suppose).
      What were the best trails of the day? I can't say, they were all excellent. Canadian and Bud Clark on Skyline were in great shape, so were Slalom and Marshall.
      Off-Piste, the glade trail to the side of Marshall (YES! there are glades at Camp Fortune) was excellent. Unbelievable how much snow could be found between the trees there. And again, no ice!
      With the weekend now upon us, the best skiing of the year is now! If you ski or snowboard, you do owe it to yourself to enjoy it, you won't be disappointed. Night skiing ends at Camp Fortune for the season Tuesday night, so don't delay. Beyond this Camp Fortune is consistently the last to close in the region so we still should have a month to go to bring us to mid-April, perhaps beyond.
      Get off your couches... and Happy Skiing!

      The Pineault Triple Chairlift (Where legends and stories are born).




      Off-Piste (located to the left side of Marshall).




      Summit of Skyline.

      Bud Clark.

      Lower Canadian.

      Get off your couches!

      Another run begins.
  • Create New...