Montreal in the Fall 5

I think the Autumn is the most wonderful time to visit Montreal because of the Fall Foliage, which usually “peaks” in the next weeks. So, in the last post, I gave an overview of some choices of places to see the vibrant maple-leaf color. It is of such amazing beauty, that the red maple-leaf of this season became the national symbol of all of Canada!

For the next couple of posts, I will drill deeper into these suggested areas for autumn leaves; this time it is a quick 1 hour drive north of Montreal, to the Laurentian Mountains.

This range is one of the oldest on earth, and the hills and valleys are of great beauty, as well as being blessed with many lovely lakes. Most of the public connects the American mountains known as the Adirondacks to the Appalachian Mountains, to their south. But, in fact, the Laurentians “breach” the border and the Adirondacks are part of the Laurentian chain.

They contain rocks deposited before the Cambrian Epoch 540 million years ago. And the Laurentians are the central part of the “Grenville orogeny” a formation which is from 1100-1000 mya (million years ago).

Their name comes from their association with the St. Lawrence River, and “laurentian” is an adjective as well as a noun. The Canadian branch of these mountains rise in southern Quebec, along the northern shores of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River They rise to a highest point of 1166 metres (3,825 feet) at Mont Raoul Blanchard.

Shaped by courageous indigenous peoples and pioneers — Amerindian First Nations, French, Irish and Scots — the prolific and colorful local Laurentian history has inspired numerous authors.

In the spring, if you visit then, that’s when several dozen sugar shacks offer menus inspired by region’s world famous maple syrup, but various maple sugar products are available in different forms, all year.

At this harvest time, in Fall, the Laurentians also offer fine regional products including: locally made artisan cheeses, ciders and wines; sausages and dairy products; maple products and honey; fruit and vegetables. You can purchase these fine regional products directly from producers in one of the attractive local markets found in the region. Families can also come to take part in the festivities at harvest time.

This Agrotourism can also extend into going with a group to enjoy a special outing at one of the region’s reputed tables champêtres (for high-quality country dining), and there remember vineyard tours followed by tastings of some locally-produced wines. Bon appétit!

Once you arrive at the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), (formerly called Dorval Airport – a name still used by many locals), you are approximately 20 km from downtown Montreal. Get your rental car company to give you the maps you need to get to this 4 season mountain playground. People from all over the world come to Montreal just to enjoy this area.

If you do not want to drive yourself, then check into using Galland which enables its passengers to travel across the Laurentians – from Montréal to Mont-Laurier – via Laval, Saint-Jérôme, Piedmont, Saint-Sauveur, Sainte-Adèle, Sainte-Agathe, Mont-Tremblant and L’Annonciation. Urban buses (Lower Laurentians), phone 450 433-7873 for information.

Undoubtedly your hotel concierge should be able to offer information about official tour bus packages, too.

More, next time. Enjoy!


Tourisme Laurentides is the official tourism organization for the region. Find it at:
14 142, rue de la Chapelle
Mirabel (Québec) Canada J7J 2C8
Tel: 450 436-8532 or 1 800 561-NORD (6673)

Also see Montreal’s Fall Foliage.

Montreal Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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