Natural running circuits
Running has become a real in thing! As soon as spring arrives, foot-race enthusiasts slip their running shoes back on, at least those who didn’t lace up during the winter season. Running is gaining in popularity, offering a source of pleasure for people of all ages.
Are you looking for the ideal circuit to become acquainted with this most accessible sport? Why not opt for our Sépaq destinations and discover unique natural environments while you run!
A few suggestions
Put aside the traditional city circuit, forget the sound of horns, and avoid the stress caused by cars practically driving on your toes. Instead, head out on our trails in the heart of nature, with only the chirping of resident wildlife to break the silence. Any stressors here? Perhaps just a momentary fear of not taking in the entire magnificent panorama as it unfolds before your eyes.
Near the city
The largest and oldest park in the network is a destination of choice for all types of runners, from beginners to the most advanced. These include Lac-des-Femmes, La Roche, Coulée, Corniche, La Bois-Franc and the Chutes-Croches loop in La Diable sector, which are perfect for running. Come and discover the true nature of the Laurentians! In the La Pimbina sector, La Chutes-aux-Rats and L’Envol trails are good options, as are the Boucle du Lac-de-L’Assomption and Les Grandes-Vallées trail in L’Assomption sector. If you are looking for long distances, the 85 km long hiking trails will surely satisfy you!
Jog in the heartland of the Montérégie hills, along a 27 km network of trails surrounding Seigneurial, des Bouleaux, des Atocas, du Moulin, and de la Tortue lakes. Less experienced runners will be able to run in the 7 km of the Montérégien trail, while the more experienced ones will be able to work their cardio in Les Lacs trail.
Stop off in the midst of an 89 km2 wooded playground to explore its forest trails. Located a mere 30 minutes from Québec City, it’s the perfect destination for trail-running enthusiasts. Le Lac Jaune and L'Orée trails remain good options for beginners, while La Tourbière, La Randonnée and Le Riverain trails, sometimes combining groomed and wilderness segments, are sure to please runners with a little more experience under their belts. For an over-the-top challenge, why not opt for Le Coureur des bois trail, which is reserved for dyed-in-the-wool running enthusiasts?
Opt for the rich historical and natural heritage of Parc national d'Oka, located a few steps (running of course!) from the Montréal region. Le Calvaire d'Oka trail is the best option for runners and offers a great challenge. For enthusiasts of longer distances, La Sauvagine trail is a must. Also, find out about the several races that are organized in this ecological jewel during the season.
Sometimes tracing the edges of a turbulent river and at others piercing the heart of a yellow birch forest, the trails of this park located 30 minutes from downtown Québec City will give you access to the most incredible lookouts.
Elsewhere in Quebec
Runners will not be able to resist the 25 km of well groomed trails that reveal the beauty of this coastal park. Because there's nothing better than enjoying one's favourite sport while breathing in a good dose of sea air!
Attention all lovers of mountain trails and uphill climbs! Parc national de la Gaspésie offers more than 140 kilometres of trails to introduce you to mountain running or where you can train for your first 100 miles.
For an awesome view and to admire Mont Albert in all its splendor, head for the 4.5-kilometre Mont Ernest-Laforce loop and its 155-metre uphill climb. Breathtaking Mont Xalibu trail, which passes by bucolic Lac aux Américains will take you from the boreal forest to the alpine tundra on a 10.7-kilometre outing and a 540-metre climb.
Meanwhile towering Mont Albert awaits the athletic climber with its changes of scenery, its 944-metre elevation, and a 17.2-kilometre trail that will lead you directly to the terrace of Gîte du Mont-Albert for a tasty beer from a Gaspé microbrewery. The ultimate reward after all that effort!
Located at the heart of the spectacular Eastern Townships, Parc national du Mont-Orford offers beginners a chance to stretch their legs on Étang-Fer-de-Lance trail. It will lead initiates through a maple grove to a lookout providing a magnificent view of the peat bog at the foot of the Mont-Orford massif. Meanwhile experienced runners can storm the mountain circuits or opt for a long hike thanks to the Sentiers de l'Estrie network that criss-crosses the park.
Welcome to runners of all levels! The Franceville sector especially offer easier paths for the amateur jogger as well as more technical mountain courses for experienced athletes. The more difficult paths, such as Des Cîmes and Des Escarpments loops, will lead you to surpass yourself. But at the summit, in front of an exceptional view, you will be able to shout "victory"!