Mont saint-hilaire is a big park where you can enjoy the nature, do hiking, or just walk and relax. Personally I went to see the fall colors, I admit that i went little bit late but it was very nice, I still found some colors :)
A fairly extensive trail system exists on Mont St Hilaire and its surrounding hills. We were on our way to Quebec City and only had time to do one of the shorter trails. Still, the views of the surrounding landscape was beautiful. The trail we hiked was fairly steep and most of the other trails are even steeper, so be prepared for a workout.
Mont St-Hilaire has always been known first and foremost for, well, its mountain. Nowadays, it is the centrepiece of the Centre de la nature Mont-St-Hilaire.
In fact, St-Hilaire is not a mountain, but a rather imposing hill (400 m). There are five different trails of varying difficulty levels, although experienced hikers will find none of them particularly challenging. The Pain de sucre (5 km there and back) is rather steep but it is the one to take to get the best vistas at the top.
What makes the Nature Centre special is that it is a federal migratory bird refuge since the 1960s, not to mention that it was named the first UNESCO biosphere reserve in Canada back in 1978. This has served to ensure that the Mount St-Hilaire area will remain intact for generations to come.
Please note that there is an entrance fee.
In what has become an annual tradition, we and our group of friends always stop at the Cabosse d'or (literally, the Golden Cocoa Pod) on our way home from our afternoon of apple-picking in the Mont St-Hilaire area.
Specializing in chocolate, the Cabosse d'or holds a chocolate shop as well as a restaurant. The menu features sandwiches and soups, but most people just come here for a decadent dessert and hot chocolate.
The restaurant's only downside is that it has become a victim of its popularity. During the fall, when city dwellers invade the area to pick apples or watch the leaves turn, the waiting time becomes rather long and the service tends to suffer as well.