Posted on May 25th, 2010 by .

Mount Royal Park celebrated its 134th anniversary yesterday.

People joke that our city’s Mount Royal is more molehill than mountain. But look up. You’ll find it! Our city’s sacred mountain – and infamous make-out spot – defines and orients us.

Imagine how majestic this island appeared to the first native inhabitants, over 5,000 years ago? A vast expanse of land surrounded by mighty rivers, perfectly punctuated by an immense mountain range with rich forests and resplendent views. No wonder people congregate here!

Today, Mount Royal Park acts as the city’s lungs.  As the largest green space in Montreal, the mountain and surrounding parks offer fresh air, repose and woodsy trails that all lead to new perspectives on the city, its history and natural forms.

It takes around 2 hours to climb up and down the mountain on foot. You’ll probably want to stop, look around and explore the surrounding territory too, so budget a full morning or afternoon to do some additional wandering. There are also designated trails for biking and skiing, and spots to picnic and BBQ.

To explore the best views, paths, special haunts, or to learn more about the natural splendours and history of Mount Royal, play around with this new interactive map of the mountain created by Les amis de la montage. I personally like the more hidden forest paths on the North-East flank of the mountain, which offer secluded spots to… idle. The 3 major summits on Mount-Royal offer stunning panoramic views of Montreal: Camilien-Houde summit is ideal for car make-outs. The Kondiaronk lookout offers the best view of downtown and the river. Mount Royal Summit marks the physical juncture where the Plateau, Outremont and Ville-Marie districts intersect.

May was officially Mount Royal Month , so be sure to spend celebrate the mountain’s existence in your own way and style. Or take advantage of the many activities on offer dedicated to the discovery and conservation of its natural environment.

Photo credit:  Amis de la Montagne

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