With mid term break around the corner, now might be the perfect time for an outdoor adventure… Especially if it involves seeing some gorgeous fall colours! Whether you’re looking to hike, camp, or get away from the city for an afternoon, here are some of the COC community’s favourite local spots.
Thank you to everyone who shared their list of favourites with us. We can't wait to explore the trails with you!
A really popular spot—and the first hike we planned this season—is none other than Mont Tremblant. If you’re looking for a bit of a relaxed hike and a place to grab a hot chocolate, this is a great choice. Between the hiking routes, Via Ferrata and camping sites, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch some sweet views! Many campsites are still available during our mid term break in these sectors: de la Sablonnière, Lac-Monroe and Lac-Chat.
And if you just want to take it easy, Mont Tremblant village is really charming to visit on its own!
Next on the list would have to be Sutton! This COC favourite is also the next destination for our hiking trip! If you want to join us, we’re heading to Sutton on Saturday, Oct. 7. Ticket sales will be up today and tomorrow at noon, and cost $23 + tax. While you can also take your own transportation there, buses will meet us in front of the Hall Building at 8:00 a.m. If you want to learn a bit more about the mountain, here’s a quick guide!
A photo from this semester's Mont Tremblant hike
Another personal favourite for hiking—during the fall or otherwise—is Mont Orford. This mountain has a really balanced selection of hiking trails for all experience levels, and you can bring your dog along too! Orford is also a good spot for bouldering, and has cool sports routes to climb too! The Pic aux Corbeaux is mainly recommended for intermediate and advanced climbers, but there are some beginner routes that are accessible as well. However, your furry friends are not allowed to explore this part of the mountain with you. If you’re curious to learn more about the climbing routes and rules, check out Orford’s Sepaq page.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the fall leaves from the water, you can do that here too! Orford offers canoe and kayak rentals depending on the weather and water temperature. Though if staying dry is more your speed, you can still enjoy the views from Lake Stukely beach. And if you’re feeling really brave, you can always wrap up the day with a cold plunge!
Grabbing a bite or coffee in Magog is another cute way to end your adventure. This cozy little city is about a fifteen minute drive from the mountain, and has a lot of character!
Although Mégantic is a bit farther than the other mountains, its main attraction will keep you there all day… and night! After a day spent summiting the mountain and appreciating the trees’ fiery shades of orange and red, you can turn your attention up to the night sky for another stunning sight: stars! As far as the eye can see!
Mont Mégantic is home to the first International Dark Sky Reserve, earning its title in 2007 by the International Dark Sky Association. The certification essentially recognizes the region’s leadership and initiative to preserve the darkness of the starlit sky, which is impacted by light pollution. For those of us living in the city, stargazing is a luxury we don't always have access to... but we can drive to Mont Mégantic to lie under the starry sky!
Although foot traffic on this mountain is quieter than some of the others, its view of Lake Memphremagog and Vermont really do wonders for the soul. It’s about a twenty minute drive from the Vermont border, so you can also use this hike as a pit stop for a bigger road trip if you’re craving an extra trek!
Mont-Saint-Bruno & Mont Saint-Hilaire
These two are the closest hikes in relation to the university's downtown campus. Mont Bruno is a thirty minute drive away, and an additional half hour will take you to Saint-Hilaire. Both are modest mountains, with mainly ‘moderate’ level hikes on All Trails. However, the Rocky and Dieppe Summit Loop at Mont Saint-Hilaire is quite beautiful (especially during golden hour).
Last but not least, one of the most popular answers we received on our Instagram poll for this blog was: “anywhere lol!” And this really sums up the most magical part about being outside!
Although it can be tempting to try and squeeze in trips to these mountains and expansive views, sometimes it’s just not in the cards. Especially for students during midterms. So with that being said, “anywhere lol” is a good reminder that we don’t need to go very far to feel connected to the outdoors... Or to appreciate the beauty of the season! So even if all we have time to do is explore some local parks and green—I mean orange—spaces, that is more than enough!