Autumn is most likely my favorite season. I love watching the days grow shorter, lounging under a blanket while watching a good movie on rainy days, and, most of all, admiring fall foliage. And indeed, fall foliage in Quebec is absolutely magical!
When I first arrived in Montreal, people quickly told me about fall foliage in Quebec. I admit that at first, I didn’t really understand why it was such a big deal, but now it’s become part of my everyday language!
So if you also want to learn more about fall foliage in Quebec, get tips on the best way to enjoy autumn in Canada, and discover all the things to do during this magical season, let’s get started!
Why is fall foliage in Quebec so magical?
While winter in Canada tends to linger longer than we’d like, summer, on the other hand, has a much shorter visit! By August 15th, the coolness sets in, and the trees slowly begin to lose their greenery.
That’s when autumn gradually makes its appearance! Fall foliage, or the season of colors, as it’s called here, is absolutely magical. The trees turn shades of orange, red, and gold. This palette of colors stretches as far as the eye can see in the national parks.
So fall foliage really makes Canada look like a painting.
As an anecdote, it’s the maple leaves that take on the most beautiful colors, becoming bright red. Does that remind you of something?
When is the best time to enjoy fall foliage in Quebec?
The intensity of the colors varies from early September to mid-October. In general, it starts in the northern regions of Quebec and gradually moves south towards the United States. Nevertheless, the best period remains from late September to October 15th.
But one thing is certain, autumn is brief here and only lasts a few weeks. So, make the most of it!
My advice? You can track the progress of tree colors using an interactive map that is updated regularly by the Quebec Tourist Office. It's quite useful because it can vary each year.
The Best Spots to Admire the Fall Foliage in Quebec
I haven’t had the chance to experience the Canadian autumn in other regions yet. But in Quebec, I’ve been captivated!
So here’s a list of the most beautiful places to admire the colors in Quebec.
Mount Royal Park in Montreal
Even though the national parks outside the city are more extensive, Mount Royal Park in the heart of Montreal is equally magical in the autumn. There are numerous pedestrian paths dedicated to walkers. You can also reach Beaver Lake and have a picnic break!
My advice? Climb to the Mount Royal viewpoint to see the city from above in its autumn attire.
Mont Tremblant National Park
Located 2 hours north of Montreal, Mont Tremblant Park is perfect for admiring fall foliage for a day. Many hiking trails are open, with different difficulty levels.
But if you like hiking, you can enjoy beautiful views of the park’s lakes.
Mauricie is my favorite national park in Quebec, by far! The viewpoints are magical, and the facilities are very clean. When you arrive at the park, it’s clear where to go to observe the fall foliage. There are also various hiking difficulty levels.
Mount Orford Park
The burst of colors at Mount Orford is magical. Being located in southern Quebec, I recommend going there in early October to enjoy the peak.
Thanks to the ski lifts on the mountain, it’s easy to gain altitude to observe the colors at Mount Orford.
The ride costs only $16.50 and is worth the view!
Mont Owl’s Head
A bit south of Mount Orford Park, I highly recommend Mont Owl’s Head if you enjoy lake views.
Because it’s a ski resort in winter, it’s possible to climb to the top of the hill to observe Lake Memphrémagog from the summit.
For the less athletic, you can take the chairlift (round trip for $19). But if you have the courage, you can also hike to the top! Personally, I’m not at all athletic, and I managed to do it! I won’t lie; it was tough. But we managed to climb the 500m elevation in 1 hour.
The picnic with a view at the summit is definitely worth it!
9 Things to Do in Autumn in Canada
You’ve understood that autumn in Quebec is mostly about fall foliage, but not only! There are quite a few other must-do activities if you want to make the most of this beautiful season.
Autumn means apples! Yes, it’s the best time to eat this fruit. That’s why many farms open their doors to everyone. It’s a very enjoyable activity, often done with family or friends.
Of course, you’ll leave with your harvest, ready to make a delicious autumn dish. The must in Quebec? Apple crumble!
My advice? I invite you to consult the Apple of Quebec website, which lists all the orchards in the region and helps you select the one that best suits your preferences (location, organic, on-site sales, etc.).
Carving Halloween Pumpkins
Halloween is a real event! Everyone dresses up (not necessarily as scary monsters), and kids parade in the streets to collect candies.
By the way, if you want to show kids that you’re ready to receive them, you need to indicate it by placing a lit pumpkin in front of your doorstep. Without it, no one will come to your house. Clever, right?
So don’t miss this tradition, and sharpen your knives (while staying safe, of course)!
Admiring the Illuminations at the Botanical Garden
Every year, the Botanical Garden announces a new edition of its “Gardens of Light” event. From early September to late October, the Botanical Garden opens its doors after sunset so visitors can enjoy an illuminated tour through the Japanese garden, the First Nations garden, and the Chinese garden.
An “immersive and sensory experience” that is quite magical! Tickets are available on their website and cost $16.50 per person, with discounts for certain age categories.
My advice? Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance; the event is often sold out.
Participating in Grape Harvests
Another seasonal fruit is grapes! Autumn marks the start of grape harvesting in Quebec, which begins in September.
To participate in this unique experience, head to the Eastern Townships and the Wine Route. Some vineyards offer the opportunity to participate in grape harvesting, while others offer tastings, and some allow you to learn more about the winemaking process through guided tours.
All the details can be found on their dedicated website!
Enjoying the Indian Summer
In addition to these beautiful colors, Quebec is also known for its Indian Summer!
Biking in the Trees
If you want to have a unique experience while enjoying fall foliage in Quebec, I have just the thing for you!
Only 10 minutes from Sutton, south of Montreal, you can go for a bike ride in the treetops! The concept is simple: a bike suspended in the air by cables. To move forward, you just need to pedal while maintaining safe distances from other bikes.
Other than that, you can simply enjoy the view! The course is 1 km long and passes over a pond, near the treetops, and even along the mountainside! It takes just over 45 minutes to complete the course.
It costs $50 per person to enjoy it. Find all the details on their website.
It’s sure that if you want to enjoy fall foliage, planning a little hike is the best idea. It’s by putting on your walking shoes and climbing a bit towards the summits that you’ll have the most beautiful views.
And hiking in the fall is also very pleasant because the temperatures are ideal. Neither too hot nor too cold!
Taking a Stroll on the Laurentian Canopy Trail
This new attraction opened in 2022. It’s a kind of wooden tower that rises above the treetops and has a path through the forests to reach it.
In autumn, it’s a really magical spot to observe the colors! There’s a 360-degree panorama of the landscape.
You can buy your ticket here.*
*This is an affiliate link. This means that I will receive a small commission if you purchase your tickets here. It’s free for you, and it really helps the blog, so thank you!
Taking a Helicopter Ride over a National Park
If there’s a time of year when taking to the skies is recommended, it’s in autumn! Seeing all these color gradients from the air must be absolutely magical!
I haven’t done it myself because, in general, I like to keep my feet on the ground, but if that’s your thing, I’ll share the addresses with you!
For example, with Héli Tremblant, you can soar over Mont Tremblant Park! If this activity interests you, you can purchase your tickets here.*
*This is also an affiliate link, which allows me to receive a small commission if you purchase your tickets here. Thank you in advance!
I hope you enjoyed this discovery of fall foliage in Quebec! It’s truly a magical season that I look forward to every year. How about you? What do you like to do in the autumn?