Things to Do in Cap St. Jacques Nature Park

Spring, Summer, and Fall Activities in Montreal's Largest Park

Cap St. Jacques in Montreal's largest park.

Multivac42/Flickr CC 2.0

Perhaps best known for its sandy beach, a popular Montreal summer destination for locals, Cap St. Jacques also happens to be the city's largest park—even larger than Mount Royal— a peninsula spanning a whopping 302 hectares (746 acres) of beachfront, silver birch and maple woods, fields, and farmland. Activities at Cap St. Jacques are featured every month of the year, from archery and boating to cross-country skiing.

Things to Do in the Fall, Spring, and Summer

Of all of Montreal's on-island beaches, Cap St. Jacques is the biggest, located on the northwestern tip of the island of Montreal, overlooking Two Mountains Lake at the mouth of Rivière des Prairies. A small admission fee grants access to the waterfront and boat rentals.

General admission is $4.75, seniors ages 60+ and kids ages 6-17 pay $3.25, and it's free for ages 5 and under. Pedalo, canoe and kayak rental prices vary by boat, for up to $35 for 2 hours. Renting a boat? Go west (i.e., take a left) when heading out with the boats to avoid the growing river current building up eastwards. Beach season usually runs from mid-June through late August.

Cycling through the park is another choice activity in warmer months with up to 26 km (16 miles) of hiking trails open year round, including in autumn when fall colors make Cap St. Jacques one of Montreal's best leaf-peeping destinations

While you're there, visit Cap St. Jacques' organic farm operated by D-Trois-Pierres. Open seven days a week 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., admission is free. Farm animals on-site include lambs, goats, horses, ponies, donkeys, chickens, and rabbits.

Locals can also sign up for organic food baskets provided by D-Trois-Pierres, available roughly 20 weeks of each year, in the summer and fall. Non-committal types can purchase produce from the general store instead. January through April, the farm operates a small scale sugar shack. More on that further down the page.

The public can also sign up for archery lessons, participate in obstacle courses, treasure hunts, group games, and other activities available on the grounds of Cap St. Jacques. 

Things to Do at Cap St. Jacques in the Winter

Representing the most extensive cross-country ski trail network on the island of Montreal, Cap St. Jacques features 32 km worth of winter trails. The public can rent cross-country skis and snowshoes on site. Prices vary by piece of equipment, time used, and age of renter.  

Also, keep an eye out for a specially organized evening winter forest treks offered January through March led by a nature guide. Cap St. Jacques didn't offer any in 2017 but that may change in 2018.

Finally, by January and until April, Cap St. Jacques' sugar shack opens for business. Don't expect a full-blown traditional cabane à sucre meal, but do anticipate tasty soups, pancakes, maple taffy on snow, and hot beverages. Visitors typically park near the main entrance and then either ski their way to the sugar shack or for a small fee, hop on a tractor to get there. Call ahead of time to find out if and when tractor rides are available. 

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