Just 30 minutes by car from Old Québec and the hotel Manoir d’Auteuil, you can take in the exceptionally welcoming environment of Montmorency Forest. No matter what season you are visiting Québec, you will find a wide range of outdoor activities at the forest, including some educational ones for young and old alike.
The 412 km2 Montmorency Forest, all of which is open to the public, is the biggest teaching and research forest in the world. The mission of the forest is to provide public education related to sustainable forest management, with a focus on developing viable and sustainable management of the timber, wildlife, water, recreational, tourism and landscape resources. The model ensures the maintenance of biodiversity within the distinctive ecology of the natural forest and management of the ecosystem with the help of Laval University and its students.
The featured activity at Montmorency Forest in the winter is skiing on 135 hectares of slopes and cross-country trails. Off-trail skiing on pristine snow, as well as off-trail backcountry ski-shoeing excursions with a professional guide, are offered. A multitude of other winter activities are also available.
Montmorency Forest offers the longest cross-country ski season in the province of Québec. The special climatic conditions promote natural snow trails maintained by grooming machines and unique snow cannons allow for the opening of several trails from as early as October 30 - something that is unique across the province. The trails are open to the public and to professional athletes.
You can also partake on a snowshoeing trek across thousands of hectares of forest with a naturalist as a guide, collect Boreal Forest products and learn about the Montmorency Forest boreal ecosystem, an ecosystem that is rich with wildlife. A culinary workshop manned by a leading chef is also offered. Trails are ranked in terms of difficulty from easy and intermediate to expert. The forest boasts six snowshoeing trails.
You can skate outdoors on natural ice in Montmorency Forest. On Friday and Saturday nights, the skating area is illuminated. Skate rentals are available.
In the evening, you can sled down a path illuminated along both sides by a string of lights.
You can track and identify wildlife species native to Montmorency Forest Boreal area with a naturalist. In the winter, you can encounter several species including red squirrel, lynx, porcupine, moose, marten, snowshoe hare, spruce, red fox, beaver, grouse, ruffed grouse, timber wolf, fisher and river otter.
Montmorency Forest offers an abundance of activities for enjoying wildlife during your stay in Québec City, with fishing and hiking among the most popular.
From May to September, fishing with light tackle and fly-fishing are available on three lakes and two rivers. Boat rental is available.
Summer wildlife hiking
Six hiking trails ranging from 2.5 km (1.5 miles) to 11.4 km (7.1 miles) in length, ranked in terms of difficulty from easy to intermediate and difficult. You can enjoy a stunning view of the falls. As you walk along the trails, more than 30 explanatory signs describing the Boreal forest of Montmorency are conveniently placed along the route.
Guided forest tour
Take a tour with a naturalist guide and discover the fauna and flora of the Boreal forest. The most commonly encountered species during a guided forest tour are beaver, fox, porcupine, loon, hare, waterfowl, moose and birds of prey. Some lucky individuals could spy a black bear, lynx or timber wolf.
During your stay, ask the staff of Le Manoir D’Auteuil about how you can discover Quebec’s nature and wildlife.