Waterside camping near Montréal

The rural-urban divide all but disappears when you camp in and around Montreal.

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99% (164 reviews)

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Waterside camping near Montréal guide

Overview

Montreal may be Canada’s second-largest city but it’s filled with green space—and surrounded by it. Those craving outdoor adventures don’t need to leave the city limits to get a dose of nature. From the walking trails in Parc du Mount-Royal to biking along the Lachine Canal, enjoying the great outdoors is easy in downtown Montreal. You’ll also find overnight opportunities to go camping, swimming, hiking, and skiing just outside the city.

Where to go

The Eastern Townships

Lying southeast of Montreal, the Eastern Townships may just be one of the prettiest parts of Canada. Dozens of small towns dot the lakeshores and offer mountain views. Hiking, biking, and even canoeing routes connect many of the communities, and outdoor adventurers can easily refuel at maple sugar shacks, cheese producers, farmers markets, and vineyards.

Oka

Just an hour from Montreal, Oka is home to a beautiful provincial park, one of the best beaches in southern Quebec, and its delicious namesake Oka cheese. At Oka National Park, visitors have ample camping options alongside the Lake of Two Mountains. There are additional ready-to-camp tents (perfect for early and late season stays, as they contain a space heater), plus watersports and children’s programming. White-tailed deer, beavers, muskrats, turtles, and mink are frequently spotted and the list of local birds exceeds 200 species. 

The Laurentian Mountains

A popular skiing destination, the Laurentian Mountains have year-round camping options for everyone from beginners to experienced trekkers. Visitors can find a mix of tent-sites, cabins, and RV spots, many of which offer easy access to the slopes in winter. Traditional tent and RV spots with laundry and showers abound.

When to go

Camping is at its most comfortable between June and September, when evenings are mild. However, make reservations well in advance for Canada Day weekend and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (celebrated across Quebec on June 24). The Eastern Townships and the Laurentian Mountains offer some of the finest fall colours in Quebec but they’ll be busy with weekend day trippers come mid-October.

Know before you go

  • MEC Montreal sells everything an outdoor adventurer could need, from stoves and freeze-dried foods to mountain bikes.
  • There are a dozen farmers markets in Montreal and many more in the surrounding area. Pick up local bagels, which are denser and sweeter than their New York-style counterparts. 
  • Coyotes call southern Quebec home and they even occasionally venture into Montreal. Never feed them and secure your food at night.

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