While the actual mountain range stretches roughly from Ottawa to Charlevoix, the “Laurentides” refers to a mountainous region just north of Montreal. Other than being a nature’s lover idea of paradise, thanks to lush forests, the Laurentians are actually one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world - it contains rocks deposited before the Cambrian Period 540 million years ago.
The region is very popular with Montrealers wanting to escape the city’s hustle for a weekend, as well as visitors with a thing for hiking, rock climbing, rafting, cycling, canoeing, zip-lining, golfing and a host of winter activities like snowshoeing, alpine and cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice skating and many, many more. In fact, the Laurentians are home to some of the best ski resorts in the province, top-notch golf courses, world-class Nordic spas and a 230-kilometer-long (140 miles) linear park. The first ski lift in North America was actually built in Shawbridge back in the 1930s! The Laurentians are lovely throughout the year although locals will tell visitors to come in October to admire the splendid foliage or in the winter to get the full Canadian winter experience. Foodie visitors will also enjoy the Farmlands Route, a gourmet route that winds through the hilly countryside in search of the best creations.
The Laurentian Mountains are located one hour north of Montreal. They can be accessed by a number of roads (including 117 and 148) but the fastest and most popular one is A15.