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Sweet getaway in Montréal

Away from traffic

Why would you decide to zigzag between orange cones and detours imposed by closed lanes on bridges to reach the beach, irritated, with a wilted picnic and impatient kids?

Too many Montrealers unfortunately ignore that they have sandy beaches with warm waters and picnic areas close by on their island.

After all, Montréal is an island with 21 km of shores and its nature parks are open to a wide variety of activities. I am pleased to introduce one of my favorites.

Le parc-nature du Cap-Saint-Jacques

This is a park I discovered when I was windsurfing at L'Anse-à-l'Orme many years ago and I visit in all seasons. For cross country skiing in the winter, even under the stars, and in the summer for swimming and its lovely sandy beach, where kids build sand castles while adults engage in sun tanning and relaxation.

Located in a lovely bay on the Lac des Deux-Montagnes, it is embellished by a picnic area where sunny areas or shady ones can be chosen. A guaranteed holiday atmosphere and very far from orange cones and traffic jams!

For the more active

Kayaks, canoes and pedal boats can be rented on site for those who wish to spend time on the water.

Why not experience kite surfing or paddleboarding? Be warned that paddleboarding is not as easy and relaxing as it seems. All the muscles of your body are involved. I would recommend beginners to experience it over only a short period of time.

Hiking or biking through the woods and centennial trees are other options. You will soon reach the farm where organic products are offered for sale (fruits, vegetables, honey and syrup). And it is very likely that you will cave in to the kids’ demands for a carriage ride to say hello to the farm’s animals.

You can push the adventure a little further and bike along the lake to discover a countryside you would have never suspected exists on the island of Montréal.

For the ardent angler

Did you know that the lac des Deux-Montagnes is one of the best spots in the province of Québec for muskellunge? According to experienced anglers, bass and walleye are also swimming in these waters. And they even told me that June is the best month for bass.

On July 9, a naturalist will be at the park to answer all questions about different species of fish and share some tips for sustainable fishing activity.

Under the stars

Why not stretch the day out with a touch of magic? Note on your calendar that on August 12, the Société d'astronomie de Montréal hosts an evening of observation of the moon and constellation in the park. Free admission for all. Binoculars and telescopes will be at your disposal for an evening that promises to be a high point in a well-filled day.


The park is open until August 28 and will be accessible for Labor Day weekend (September 3, 4, 5), weather permitting.


The park is located at 20099 West on Gouin Boulevard.

By car take Autoroute 40 O, exit 49, chemin Ste-Marie, follow Chemin de l’Anse à l’Orme and the signs for 6 km. Allow a little more than 30 minutes to get there from downtown Montréal.

For more information on parking fees and admission.

Try it! The whole family will want to come back!

Christiane Théberge