Quebec is incredibly vast. It’s about three times the size of France, with ten times fewer people, give or take.
Due to the sheer size of the province, you will want to know the best destinations for fall foliage in Quebec before planning a fall trip.
Before jumping into where to find the best fall colours in Quebec, to help you plan the best trip, here are some helpful tips.
Best Time for Fall Colours in Quebec
To make the most of Quebec in the fall, you want to make sure the weather will be on your side and timed when the trees have begun their colourful change.
For the past years, Quebec has been graced with unusually warm weather in September, delaying the magnificent fall display. To appreciate fall during its peak, you want to plan your trip at the earliest, around the third week of September and at the latest, the second week of October. The earliest fall peak will take place in the northern regions.
Don’t forget, Quebec is known to be cold. The province often experiences frost at night as early as October. Keep this in mind if you plan a fall camping trip in Quebec.
Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Quebec
Allow at least a few days, preferably more on your Quebec itinerary starting from the north moving south to maximise the opportunity for the best fall foliage display. As mentioned, the fall peak doesn’t come at the same time across the province; it starts earlier in the north.
Don’t forget to pack your camera for some beautiful travel pictures because Quebec puts on quite a colourful fall show.
My favourite place and, in my opinion, the best place to enjoy fall foliage in Quebec is Mont Tremblant.
The gorgeous mountain landscape, complete with a quaint ski village and a small lake where we can appreciate the vibrant fall reflections – it’s hard not to love Mont Tremblant in the fall.
Hiking is definitely at its best at the beginning of October. If you plan to reach the top of the mountain, whether hiking or taking the lazy path (also known as the chair lift), pack a warm jacket as it’s quite cold up the top.
Among the things to do in Tremblant, you will find a great chocolate factory as well as several good restaurants, including La Forge Bistro-bar.
About an hour south of Mont Tremblant, the entry to what was once called “Les Pays D’en Haut” (northern countries), Sainte-Adèle is a tranquil place for quiet vacations.
It’s a place where one can escape the city while enjoying some of the best amenities in Quebec, such as restaurants and spas. If you are a cycling or walking enthusiast, you will appreciate the path named “le petit train du Nord” (the little northern train), 230 km of scenic joy.
Formerly a railroad between St-Jérôme and Mont Laurier, it was abandoned around 1989, it is now a path available to all nature enthusiasts.
Gatineau is the frontier between Ontario and Quebec, but technically, it is still one of the best places for fall foliage in Quebec. While you are there, take the opportunity to cross the border and admire fall in Ottawa.
Whether you decide to cross the border or not, you will be amazed by the stunning views Gatineau can offer. Sunset over the Outaouais river is well worthwhile, where you can enjoy views of the Canadian Parliament located on the other side.
If Mont Tremblant is my absolute best spot to see fall foliage in Quebec, Oka is a close second. As opposed to Tremblant, Oka is not a very well-known touristic region; so, if you are looking for a quiet vacation, Oka may be the place to visit.
From scenic winding roads to wonderful culinary experiences, Oka has a lot to offer, especially in fall.
For a quick scenic drive; take the route along the 344, driving west to east. The route offers lovely views of the Deux-Montagnes lake below on your right and the mountain on your left. Make sure to purchase local cheese at the old abbey; you will pass right in front.
Or, if you want to spend a little more time, the Oka National Parc is a delight. It costs around CAD 9 to park a car and CAD 95 to rent a camping spot for the night.
Sherbrooke is the Eastern Townships’ jewel. It is, in my opinion, the ideal mix of city and nature. One of the best low-key activities in Sherbrooke to appreciate fall foliage is a leisurely walk around the Lac des Nations – A lovely 4 km stroll around the boardwalk. Make sure to taste the gelato from Savoroso ice cream parlour.
Sherbrooke also offers beautiful pedestrian paths in the Mont Bellevue, right next to the university. The “hike” is very easy, so you don’t need to be fit and is suitable for families.
It would be remiss to write a guide on the best places for fall foliage in Quebec, and not include Quebec City, one of the most beautiful cities in Canada.
If you want a mix of culture and nature, Québec city is undoubtedly the place. Views on the Plaines d’Abraham are gorgeous, and Quebec has a fascinating history.
If you are looking for a physical challenge or want to squeeze a workout in your vacation, take the Cap Blanc stairs in the lower portion of the old town. It’s a mere 398 stairs to reach the Plaines. If you don’t fancy a 398 stair climb, you can access the same views using the entrance on Grande-Allée street.
Take a stroll along the Dufferin Terrace, a high boardwalk on the St-Lawrence River for beautiful views of the colourful fall landscape and the spectacular Frontenac Castle.
Frontenac Castle or the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of Quebec’s most iconic and historic hotels. While it may not be in everyone’s budget, the morning view from the Dufferin Terrace is definitely worth it.
Fall in Quebec
No matter where you go, you will always find wonderful places to see fall foliage in Quebec. The province is a beautiful place to explore, and fall is the best time of the year to visit. The colours are stunning, the weather is delightful, and the people are welcoming all-year-round.