Need a little fresh air in Montreal after a long week of business meetings with clients? Then look no further than the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park in the West Island. It’s the largest nature park in Montreal, boasting over three square kilometers of green space.
In the summer, you can put on your bathing suit and curl up with a nice book at the park’s sandy beach, which is the only public swimming beach in Montreal. And for those a little bit more adventurous, you can tap a dip in the water or rent a canoe, kayak, or paddle boat and float along to rest and relaxation.
Or if you’d prefer not to get sand in your shorts, never fear. There’s something for everyone here, including some of the best hiking and biking in Montreal.
For example, the park has over 27 kilometers of hiking trails and cycling trails. But don’t worry, the hiking trails are relatively flat, so anyone can enjoy the view of the sugar maples and silver birches in the park. And if you’re quiet, you might even catch a peek at a map turtle. There are nature activities offered by the Groupe uni des éducateurs-naturalistes et professionnels en environnement (GUEPE).
And if you have a green thumb or just enjoy some fresh produce, check out the park’s organic farm. The farm raises a wide variety of vegetables and fruits as well as cows, sheep, and chickens. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can watch how they make maple syrup from March through April at the park’s cabane à sucre.
In the winter time, the park still offers plenty to visitors. There are over 30 km of trails for cross-country skiing in Montreal as well as snowshoeing activities. Meanwhile, the farm offers sleigh rides and taffy on snow.
Admission to the park is free, but there is a $8 daily parking fee (they take cash or major credit cards).
How do you get there?
By car, you can take Highway 40 west to exit 49 and drive along chemin Ste-Marie. Then follow the signs to the various entrances for the reception center, beac, or organic farm.
By public transportation, you can take bus 64 from the Côte-Vertu métro station to the Cartierville terminus. Then take bus 68 from the terminus to the park entrance. Or from the Henri-Bourassa métro station, you can take bus 69 to end of the line and then bus 68.
Where to stay? Well we’ve got plenty of short-term condos and apartments rentals in the West Island. So contact us today to find the perfect rental or your stay in Montreal.
For more information about the park, you can contact the visitor center directly here:
Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park
20099 Gouin Blvd. West