No visit to Montreal is complete with a hike up Mount Royal!
This post is part two of a series on visiting Montreal. For more, check out historic Old Port!
Mount Royal is most likely how Montreal got its modern name. The area had several Native American names before French settlers used Ville Marie, but at some point the name got changed, possibly by someone misreading a map and substituting the mountain for the city name.
I love it when major cities have nature close by; bonus points if it’s walking distance. Edinburgh has this in spades, and so does Sydney.
McGill University backs up to Mount Royal, giving the campus the advantages of an urban university with tons of green space. Elyse’s first year dorm window looked out on the forest!
There are several trails up Mount Royal. The main one is paved and wide enough for cars, although I didn’t see any our entire time. Others are steeper, but still have steps built-in. None of these trails require roughing it, so anyone could make this hike work!
After a 20 minute walk up the steps, we made it to Mount Royal Park! The views were crowded but not choked on a late-summer Saturday, so it wasn’t hard to snag a spot to take in overlook.
The view of the city and the river is definitely work the walk! I always love city overlooks to help me get oriented in the city. Somehow seeing the landmarks in relation to each other helps me get my bearings internal way more than a map.
It’s a beautiful spot for pictures. A friend took his girlfriend up here to propose less than a month before I visited. (She said yes!) There’s also a large building that hosts events from time to time. It looks like a chalet, and the inside is worth checking out to see the architecture.
A few fun facts about Mount Royal:
- This hill itself has three peaks. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know it counts as one hill if it has three peaks. But there you go.
- The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, a famous landscape architect who also did New York’s Central Park. However, because of money issues the park he designed was never created.
- In the 1950’s, Montreal’s Mayor Drapeau instituted “morality cuts” to Mount Royal’s forests, severely cutting them back based on fears that people had sex in the bushes.
Having taken all our photos and pieced together everywhere we wanted to visit, we made our way back down on the main paved path. It’s slightly longer but is less steep if you’d prefer a more leisurely walk. The forest is lush and beautiful, perfect for a quiet walk or a run in the shade!
I loved our morning exploring Mount Royal! Getting to explore both a big city and get some nature in made Montreal the perfect getaway!
Where have you visited with both city and nature? Leave it in the comments below so I can add it to my list!!
This post is one of a series on visiting Montreal. You can also see Old Port and check back next week for more!
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8 thoughts on “Montreal: Mount Royal”
What a beautiful place! Great to know about the little history behind Montreal. great pictures.
Ash | http://www.theashtreejournal.com
I love how you always include some fun facts in your posts. You’d be such a fun person to travel with!
Thank you so much! I know, I love to learn a little about all the places I visit. Especially when you can pick the brain of a local while you’re there!!
I always feel like I’m getting the travel bug when I read your posts! haha. Love how informative they are 🙂
What amazing views! It looks like such a cool place, I would love to visit.
What a beautiful place and I love how you have explained everything. I have been to Montreal few times but never been to Mount Royal Park, I am definitely going to visit this next time I am in Montreal, the view is so beautiful.
These city shots are awesome! I’ve always wanted to visit Montreal. Sounds like you had a great time 🙂
Thank you so much! We really did – it surprised me how much I loved Montreal!!