Laurentians, Quebec

Some of the best places to run in the Laurentians, from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier.

Sunset bring lots of colour to the sky over Lac Pontbriand in the Laurentians

The Laurentians (Laurentides in French) is a popular recreation destination only 70 km north of Montreal. In summer, people flock there for biking, running, hand hiking, plus swimming and boating on the area’s numerous lakes. During Autumn, the hills are covered in spectacular colors. In winter, it’s a popular ski destination. We’ve researched some of the best places for running in the Laurentians, in the area stretching from Saint-Jérôme to Mont-Laurier. Note: Lac=Lake, Piste=Trail.

Among the best places to run in the Laurentians are two long multi-use trails: the P’tit Train du Nord and the Corridor Aérobique. For some nice waterside running, we suggest the trail along Parc Riviere-Nord. In the Mont Tremblant resort area, there are some nice roads and multi-use paths for running around the Village, and terrific trail running options on Mont Tremblant and in Park National Mont Tremblant.

Note many of the main roads in the Laurentians lack shoulders. But there are hundreds of km of more remote, wooded dirt roads with little traffic. Runners should note that winter here is the real deal.

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The weather in the Laurentians is a study in contrasts, with mild to warm summers, brief, chilly autumns, and frigid winters with abundant snowfall. In summer, average high temperatures are a delightful 24C (75F), though nights dip to 12C (54F), so a layer is always handy. Winters here are the real deal — in Sainte-Agathe, the average low is -19C (-2F), and daily highs are -8C (teens, Farenheit). It’s even colder toward Tremblant and points north. Snowfall averages 350-400 cm (150-200 inches), depending on area and elevation, and can fall from October to April. Runners should be prepared in winter, with proper clothing and footwear. Note also that spring can be muddy on the trails. Note also that some of the trails that are popular for running/biking in summer are used for XC skiiing in winter.

Climate for Sainte-Agathe.

The Laurentians is a popular vacation area, with a large selection of places to stay. Best bets for accommodations are in the ski areas, major towns such as Saint-Sauver and Sainte-Agahte, and the resort area of Mont Tremblant.

The P’tit Train du Nord Marathon is a fantastic marathon and a Boston qualifier. It’s a point to point course, during the last weekend of September, right when the colors are starting to peak!