Written by Tania Schiliro on 04.01.14

Rising up in the middle of the city, Mount Royal is a four-season playground for Montrealers and tourists alike. As one of Montreal’s most popular natural landmarks, it’s a great spot to escape the urban noise and enjoy nature at its finest, and getting there is pretty easy—just start up any hill from Downtown Montreal! For those who make it to the top, the Mount Royal summit, also known as the Kondiaronk belvedere, offers a breathtaking view of the city. You can unwind and watch the sunset from one of many viewpoints, the other main one being the Camillien-Houde belvedere. At night, the Mount Royal cross, located atop the mountain, lights up and can be seen from miles away, and is now also accessible through the summit circuit—an easy 45-minute hike. Simply take Chemin Olmsted from the Smith House, towards the chalet. Once there follow the summit circuit and it will lead you straight there. The mountain welcomes tens of thousands of visitors and passers-by all year round. Some cool features include Beaver Lake, a place where you can leave your stress behind, rent a paddleboat and enjoy a peaceful ride around the man-made lake. The area becomes a go-to destination for outdoor skating come winter. Leave it to Les amis de la montagne, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal, to host an array of recreational activities for all ages: cycling, bird-watching, ice-skating, skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, and the list goes on. All these outdoor activities can sure work up an appetite, but not to worry, they’ve also got that covered! The Café des Amis offers some great comfort food and a selection of beers and wines. From mid-May to mid-October, you can also enjoy a coffee or tea on their outdoor terrace. During the same period, Montrealers gather around the Sir George-Étienne Cartier monument for Tam Tam Sundays—an outdoor drum jam held every week (weather permitting). An event not to be missed if you’re looking to relax and catch some rays or have a picnic.

Mount Royal is where Montrealers go to get a breath of fresh air, to take a stroll through nature, to jog, to ice skate, to gaze over the city’s skyline and to find some peace of mind.

For more information on Mount Royal and on activities hosted by Les amis de la montagne, visit www.lemontroyal.qc.ca.
For a complete interactive map of the mountain click here.

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