Trail running: Paméla Boucher’s 5 favorite trails


October 3, 2022


Facebook Email
5 favorite trails Pamela Boucher

Are you mostly running around your neighborhood or in nearby parks and would like to explore more uphill trails, a bit further from home? Paméla Boucher, kinesiologist and running expert, unveils her favorite trail running destinations, as well as one essential item to take with you on each trail so you can enjoy your experience to the fullest.

Article written in collaboration with Paméla Boucher, kinesiologist

In this article, you will discover Paméla Boucher’s five favourite trails, as well as some practical information on:

  1. The Michel Jodoin cider house
  2. Mont Saint-Grégoire
  3. Mont Gale
  4. Mont Saint-Hilaire
  5. Mont Sutton

The Michel Jodoin cider house (Montérégie)

ciderie michel jodoin AN

Photo Credits: Noémi Laganière & Tourisme au Coeur de la Montérégie

Whether you visit in the spring when the apple trees are in full bloom, or in the fall when their branches are filled with beautiful crunchy apples, the Michel Jodoin cider house is a popular destination for hikers and runners. There are two uphill trails leading to a belvedere, from which you can look down and admire the orchards. There is an elevation gain of a few hundred metres and the trail is fairly rocky, so make sure you’re ready for the climb. It could be a good idea to take walking sticks with you.

If you are new to trail running and would like some advice on how to get started, follow Paméla Boucher’s recommendations.

Place: Michel Jodoin cider house, Rougemont
Distances: 3.2 km or 4.6 km
Elevation gain: 220 metres
Route: loop
Difficulty rating: intermediate
Trail’s main attraction: a belvedere with a magnificent view over the orchards
Main challenge: the trail has a good elevation gain and lots of rocks
Essential piece of equipment: some light and foldable walking sticks

Mont Saint-Grégoire (Montérégie)

mont saint gregoire AN

Photo Credits: @cynbea

A year-round destination, it can be spotted from far away thanks to its distinctive silhouette, which stands out from other mountains in the Montérégie region. Mont Saint-Grégoire has beautiful running grounds and a network of fairly technical steep trails for intermediate to advanced runners. The main reward can be found at the top, i.e., a panoramic view of the metropolitan area, both in the summer and in the winter.

If you are wondering how to dress for winter trail running, read our expert’s tips here.

Place: Mont-Saint-Grégoire
Distance: several trails are available, with distances varying from 1 to 3.2 km
Elevation gain: 250 metres
Route: loop or roundtrip
Difficulty rating: intermediate to advanced
Trail’s main attraction: two belvederes at the top featuring a 360-degree panorama
Main challenge: very technical steep trail with lots of rocks
Essential piece of equipment: in the winter, ice cleats are recommended to avoid slipping on the ice, which forms quickly on the trail

Mont Gale (East Townships)

mont gale 2 AN

Photo Credits: Mathieu Lachapelle / Tourisme Bromont  *The Lake Gale network, which is part of the Parc des Sommets, is only accessible to outsiders on weekdays.
Weekends are reserved for Bromont citizens.

The Bromont region has an incalculable number of suitable running trails. Amongst Paméla Boucher’s favourites, the network of Mont Gale (one of the mountains that form the Bromont massif) is ideal for those looking for a two-hour outing over fairly technical terrain. The forest is luxurious in the area, and it is a real pleasure to get the blood pumping up while surrounded by such a setting all the way to the top.

Place: 201 chemin du mont Gale, Bromont
Distance: a variety of trails, with distances of up to 7 km
Elevation gain: 174 metres
Route: loop
Difficulty rating: intermediate
Trail’s main attraction: beautiful forest along the path to the summit
Main challenge: a trail with a good elevation gain, more technical towards the summit
Essential piece of equipment: a light and comfortable hydration bag so you run over long distances without getting thirsty

To find out what other essential gear you’ll need for trail running, read the article here.

Mont Saint-Hilaire (Montérégie)

mont saint hilaire 2 AN

Photo Credits : Felipe Collado-Fabbri | @felipecollado

It is a popular destination for trail runners who want to work on their climbing power, or simply run in a superb setting. Mont Saint-Hilaire offers various routes. Easier ones are located on the mountain, around lake Hertel, and more difficult ones towards its three summits. If you choose to climb to the top, expect a more technical trail starting from the middle of the mountain. Here, nothing beats a pair of good running shoes with deep lugs, whatever the weather.

Place: chemin des Moulins, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Distance: several routes, from 2 to 7 km
Elevation gain: 240 metres
Route: loop and roundtrip
Difficulty rating: easy to advanced
Trail’s main attraction: year-round views over Montreal from the park’s summits
Main challenge: a good elevation gain, and a trail that becomes quite technical near the summit (depending on the trail chosen)
Essential piece of equipment: a pair of running shoes with deep lugs

To pick the best running shoes according to your favourite type of trail running, read our article on the topic.

Mont Sutton (Eastern Townships)

mont sutton AN

Photo Credits: @lee_duplin

Those who enjoy running uphill and would like to do so surrounded by a beautiful setting should head for the Sutton region and the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton (PENS). Here, you’ll be treated to a network of incredible trails, each running up the side of one of the most beautiful massifs in the Eastern Townships. The Round Top trail is certainly the most spectacular once you reach the summit, even if it requires a very steep uphill climb. Do not underestimate the elevation gain, and avoid weekends which can be very busy (especially during the fall colours).

Place: Sutton
Distance: about 6 km
Elevation gain: 460 metres
Route: roundtrip
Difficulty rating: intermediate to advanced
Trail’s main attraction: a magical view from the summit of the Round Top
Main challenge: a path with a good uphill climb, very technical in places (tree roots, stairs, etc.)
Essential piece of equipment: warm and versatile clothes for running in winter and transitional seasons. It can be warm at the base of the mountain, but very cold at the top.

Inspired by these great suggestions from our expert Paméla Boucher? All that remains to do is to prepare your gear, grab a drink and a few snacks and head off for the trails. Happy running!

You might also like