This 245-hectare forest reserve holds Montréal’s largest grouping of native Canadian trees: fragrant junipers, cedars and yews but also exotic species such as ginkgo, cork and yellowwood. There’s a wonderful trail map and the area is perfect for a long hike in the woods, strolling through magnolia blossoms or having a family picnic. Spring and fall offer the best colors.
The grounds of the arboretum serve as an educational facility for McGill’s MacDonald agricultural school. There are several species of wildlife and reptile, and it’s also a stop for 170 species of wintering or migratory birds, making it a thrill for bird-watchers.
In winter, this is a beautiful location for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.
Located about 15km west of Montréal on the western tip of the island, the arboretum can be reached most easily from Autoroute 40. Take exit 41 and follow signs for Chemin Ste-Marie; at the stop sign at the top of the hill, turn left onto Chemin des Pins for the registration office.