Best time to travel to Quebec

Fall Colors (Indian Summer) in Quebec 2024

When the days are getting shorter and colder, Quebec's landscapes explode with colors

Best time: mid-September–mid-October

Fall Colors (Indian Summer)
Fall Colors (Indian Summer)

In the vibrant tapestry of Quebec's autumnal landscape, the phenomenon of "Indian Summer", or "l'été indien", paints the province with breathtaking hues of red, orange, and gold. As the days grow shorter and the air crisper, nature transforms Quebec's forests, hills, and valleys into a masterpiece of fall colors, drawing visitors from around the world to witness this stunning spectacle. Whether by car, bike, or on foot, exploring Quebec's fall colors is a feast for the senses, offering an opportunity to create lasting memories.

When to See Fall Colors in Quebec

The best time to experience the splendor of fall colors is usually between mid-September (last two weeks) and mid-October (first two weeks), though this can vary depending on the specific location and annual weather patterns. Generally, peak foliage occurs in mid to late September in the higher elevations of the Laurentian Mountains and regions further north, while lower elevations and southern areas, including cities like Montreal and Quebec City, reach their peak later in October.

Where to see fall colors in Quebec

To observe this natural metamorphosis, you should leave the city and head in the direction of Mont Tremblant to La Mauricie National Park, the Charlevoix and Beauce regions, the Laurentians, or the Eastern Townships (Victoriaville, Drummondville, and Thetford Mines). These destinations are charming when fall comes around with its warm sunny days and gorgeous shades of gold and red.

La Mauricie National Park

Located in the heart of the province, La Mauricie National Park encompasses a diverse landscape of forests, lakes, and rivers, creating an idyllic setting for fall foliage viewing. Visitors can explore the park's extensive network of hiking trails, paddle along the meandering waterways, or simply relax amidst the tranquil beauty of nature.

Mont-Tremblant

Renowned for its stunning natural beauty year-round, Mont-Tremblant transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. The mountainous terrain provides panoramic views of the surrounding forests blanketed in vibrant foliage, while activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and scenic gondola rides offer opportunities to immerse oneself in the autumn landscape.

Mont du Lac-des-Cygnes

Mont du Lac-des-Cygnes is a beautiful, well-maintained trail to feel the fall spirit. It is situated in the Grands-Jardins National Park and starts at the visitor center. When the sky becomes clear, the views of foothills and valleys become breathtaking. However, even in foggy weather, the trail can be excellent.

Mont Chauve

Mont Chauve track near Sherbrooke is about 6 miles (10 km) long, which makes it perfect for a day trip. It represents a 4-hour hike up and down through the forest. Several viewpoints on the way show each side of the mountain. Picnic benches invite you for an unforgettable lunch in the thick of fall.

Mestachibo trail

If you’re up for a real challenge, try out the Mestachibo trail. It’s beautiful, but it is not for beginners and those who are scared of heights. Yet, vistas from the lookouts are absolutely stunning, especially during the Indian summer.

Montreal to Jonquière train ride

A scenic train ride from Montreal to Jonquière by VIA Rail is a delight any time of year, but especially worth checking out during the peak of fall colors. The 317-mile (510-km) route runs through Quebec's extensive woodlands and overlooks picturesque lakes. You can get this treat for about $50.

Quebec City

For those who prefer not to venture into the wilderness, Quebec City offers a charming and accessible destination of urban sophistication and stunning autumnal landscapes. Stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec, wander through the Plains of Abraham, or admire the foliage from the elevated vantage point of the Dufferin Terrace, overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River.

Eastern Townships

While traveling around Quebec, don't miss a chance to visit small villages in the Eastern Townships and try local cheese and wine. A small tip: take a ski lift to behold all the beauty from up high. The Eastern Townships boast a patchwork of forests, lakes, and quaint towns, making it a prime destination for leaf-peeping. Visitors can explore the picturesque towns of Knowlton and Sutton, hike through Mount Orford National Park, or embark on a scenic drive along the Townships Trail to soak in the autumnal splendor.

Practical info

When can you view autumn colors in Quebec?

Autumn colors in Quebec can be viewed between mid-September (last two weeks) and mid-October (first two weeks). Tourists should plan a visit between mid-to-late September when trees are covered with orange, yellow and green. Fall colors in the Greater Montreal area peak in early-to-mid October. Show more

Which are the must-visit destinations for fall colors in Quebec?

For the best fall colors in Quebec, visit Charlevoix, Beauce regions, the Laurentians, Mont Tremblant, La Mauricie National Park, and the Eastern Townships (Victoriaville, Drummondville, and Thetford Mines). These destinations have breathtaking views of foothills and valleys, well-maintained trails through the forests, and scenic train rides through Quebec's extensive woodlands. Show more

What is an Indian Summer and how does it impact Quebec's fall colors?

Indian summer is an uncommon period of late autumn with unseasonably warm and dry weather that typically happens in Quebec around mid-to-late September. At this time, a lot of maple trees burst into yellow, red, and orange colors, creating a stunning landscape flushed with fall colors that illuminates Quebec's northern and eastern regions. Show more

What other activities are there besides seeing fall colors in Quebec?

In addition to admiring fall colors, visitors to Quebec can also enjoy local delicacies like cheese and wine. Tourists can take a ski lift for a bird’s-eye view, hike through well-maintained trails likeMont du Lac-des-Cygnes Trail, Mont Chauve, or the difficult Mestachibo Trail. Another exciting capability is taking a VIA Rail scenic train ride from Montreal to Jonquière for around $45. Show more

What is the most suitable means of transport between Montreal and Jonquière in order to capture the beauty of Quebec's fall colors?

A VIA Rail scenic train ride from Montreal to Jonquière is a delightful option during the peak of fall colors. The 317-mile (510-km) journey offers picturesque lake and woodland views. The cost varies according to the time and date of travel but is generally around $45. Additional information and reservations can be made via VIA Rail's official website. Show more

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