Located only 23km East of downtown Montreal, this National Park is an easy escape for nature and bird lovers at the city’s doorstep. In this post, we visited two short trails at the national park – Sentier Saint-Gabriel and Sentier Petit-Duc. The second walk, Sentir Petit Duc is suitable for snowshoeing. We have hiked it without the equipment this time as there was not enough snow to snowshoeing.
Address: 330 Rang des Vingt Cinq Est, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, J3V 4P6, QC
Car: about 30 minutes from Montreal
Opening times: The park is open all year long from 8am to sunset
Parking: 3 parkings available (P1, P2, P3)
Entrance fees: Sepaq entry fees
The two described trails are suitable for all terrain baby stroller
We parked at parking number 2 near the visitors centre where there was a winter gear sale outside. Sentier Saint-Gabriel is a short and easy loop trail of 1.8km. We started the walk passed the visitor centre on the right where the path is going uphill (part of a road). There are clear signs along the path to follow. Once you reach the covered picnic area, turn right to start the loop trail.
Throughout the path there are explanations about the history of the park (brothers of St Gabriel). There is a gated cemetery and also a botanical garden dedicated for trees.
After a lunch break we decided to do the second short walk, Petite-Duc. The walk starts on the left of parking number 2. The loop trail is very short, only 1.5km. The trail is also suitable for snow tracking shoes. The walk starts near a pond (Etang de la roche). Pass the pond and turn left to reach the kids playground, continue through into the woods (follow the signs for Petit-Duc) and you will find many mature tree indications and explanations. Once you finish the loop again at the playground, go back along the other side of the pond towards the parking area.