FOR WINTER 2016-2017: A nice hill is just behind the chalet d’accueil. Bring your own sleds or rent one inside the chalet. You can also enjoy “Les dimanches après-midis autour du feu” on some Sunday afternoons. See HERE for rates.
This 84 acre nature park had been on my to-do list all summer but we didn’t make it until end of September! On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon we braved the Metropolitan (but quickly bailed out and took Henri-Bourassa), and got from Pointe-Claire to the parking lot in just under 30 minutes.
I haven’t been up this way in ages and it was neat to see the different neighbourhoods and spot some landmarks from my childhood.
We found a parking space in the lot just north of Rue de Lille (7$ for 2 hours, 9$ for the day), and it’s just a 20 second walk to the Chalet d’accueil with washrooms, vending machines and maps! The map definitely came in handy as there are multiple walking trails, bridges and buildings to see.
We decided to walk west towards the museum and cultural centre of the Maison du Pressoir and the café Festigoût (at the maison du Meunier 10897, rue du Pont) which is open everyday during the summer from 10-7. We crossed the bridge and saw the remains of the old mill which date back to the 1700’s, read the information signs, and watched the water rushing under our feet. Once on l’Île-de-la-Visitation we walked along the river saw the large cross dedicated to the French missionary Nicolas Viel, and then “what is THAT??” saw the Hydro dam with it’s huge waterfall. Very impressive for the little ones (and me!). There are benches all along the walkways with lots of places to rest, or lookouts out over the river where you can spot people paddling by.
The two big boys want to bring their bikes next time and take the Eastern trail that travels towards Montreal North. I like that they’d be safely on a bike path without cars around them.
There are lots of benches and picnic tables, there’s a designated area for BBQs (it smelled SO GOOD, but was also very smokey), and we found some water fountains scattered around. The littlest was easily able to walk the route we chose and it is mostly hard-packed gravel and some asphalt. Very stroller-friendly! It made for a really pretty and relaxing afternoon outside.
You can find more information on the park HERE. We’ve also visited some of the other “grands parcs” in Montreal and you can find them on the website by clicking “Nature Parks” in the tags.
NOTE: There is a LOT of poison ivy along the edges of the paths. Also, some of the paths are for bicycles AND pedestrians so I made sure to hold onto the kids’ hands so they didn’t get run over.
NOTE: Always the check city’s website before going as times, dates and prices may change. There are also various events and activities throughout the winter and summer.