Mont Royal is undoubtedly the crowning glory of the city of Montreal. If you have never been to this particular Canadian city, the mountain is ‘the’ landmark to look for when you arrive in the city. The mountain is really not hard to spot as it is ubiquitous from any spot in downtown Montreal.
Mont Royal is home to a park that bears the same name and sits on its peak. Although the park is not entirely the product of Mother Nature, city dwellers nevertheless absolutely adore this fantastic green space, which was landscaped by none other than Frederick Law Olmsted, renowned for designing the Central Park in New York City.
Getting to the mountain is a dream experience for any hiking and outdoor enthusiast. If you would like to observe the sweeping cityscape of Montreal, make your way to the different lookout points, all sitting on the top of the mountain summit. The viewpoints to choose include the Kondiaronk (Chalet), Crags Trail and Camillien-Houde Drive. There are several hiking paths that lead to Mont Royal Park. One of the most used ones is the Olmsted Road way. If you are nervous about hiking because you have not done it before, heading to the Mont Royal summit makes a great hiking introduction. The hike takes only about 45 minutes and covers approximately 6 to 7 kilometers (4 miles).
Aside from the amazing panoramas of Montreal, Mont Royal Park offers a lot more! It is essential a huge lush playground that hosts activities like picnicking, horseback riding, jogging and cycling. Fortunately, the park is a tourist attraction worth visiting year round. If you happen to come to Montreal during the winter, the park is a perfect place to enjoy tobogganing and cross-country skiing without having to drive far out from Montreal.
Beaver Lake is one of the top sites to see while here. This beautiful man-made lake is surrounded by a playground and a pavilion, which in turn houses tourist amenities like restrooms, outdoor equipment rental shops and a restaurant bistro. The Smith House is another famous landmark in Mont Royal Park. This heritage building welcomes visitors to the park and offers insights and more information about Mont Royal. The Smith House is also home to the lovely restaurant and terrace called Café Smith.
Even bird watchers will absolutely love Mont Royal. In fact, birdwatching is a major tourist activity of the mountain park. If you are a lover of the adorable flying feathered creatures, then consider following the Bird Feeder Circuit, which showcases the wide variety of bird species inhabiting the mountain. Running along the Olmsted Road, the circuit is open from November to April.
To reach Mont Royal Park by public transport, look for Bus No. 11 using the STM bus schedule. This specific bus service picks up passengers from Metro Mont-Royal and Côte-des-Neiges Road; and goes all the way to the top of the mountain at the park. Another option is to rent a car and drive to the summit. There are pay parking spaces on some streets around the park and near attractions like Smith House and the Beaver Lake. You can rent a parking spot for the entire day for just under 8 US dollars. Once there you are free to explore and experience all Mont Royal Park has to offer!