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Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

Portland, Oregon
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Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

Hello everyone - my hubby & I are coming to Montreal & Quebec City for 8 days starting on Oct 5th. We'll be renting a car to go to Quebec city. Can anyone recommend some good drives to see the fall colours? Thanks a bunch, Jan

Surrey, Canada
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for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
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1. Re: Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

My 3 suggestions :

1. Try to see if you could not come 1 week earlier, cause at that date, there will be either not much nice colors worth a drive, or it will be the end of the 2nd period in the change of foliage colors (the 1st period = more reds and oranges, even pink, and burgundy colors; the 2nd period = ocres, brown ...)

2. Around Québec City, keep in mind that there are more chances for you to see colorful trees on the South shore than on the North shore, where there are more evergreens

3. This being said, I suggest you type: www.maps.google.com, click on "itinerary", and then type: from "Quebec City, QC, Canada" to "Armagh, QC, Canada". From Armagh, you may either drive east through the scenic village roads (St-Paul, St-Pierre) with century-old houses of Montmagny county, and come back by the road that follows the St-Laurent river, or drive west to the Beauce County (see: St-Joseph-de-Beauce, or Lac-Etchemin on the map). From there, you make your way back north to Québec. All in all a half day. Or more if you stop for pics! If you prefer following the river, then Québec City to Lévis (through Pont de Québec, not Laporte bridge: Laporte will lead you to HWY 20), then drive east through the 132 hwy as long as you please.

Atlantic Canada
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2. Re: Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

Great advice from Eirelover, makes me want to check out that route near Armagh this fall!

Foliage time changes from year to year depending on many factors. I agree that you should start a few days earlier than Oct. 5 just to make sure you don't get there too late. Eight days will be great to catch some colours. You might want to start with the Quebec city area, then back towards Montreal (the leaves usually turn starting from the north).

There is a fall foliage festival in Mont-Tremblant (in the Laurentians) if you want to make a day trip there from Montreal. A bit less known, the Lanaudiere area, north of Montreal, has -wonderful- colours in the fall (good for a day trip as well), especially (if you're willing to venture off the beaten path) along the country roads around Saint-Ambroise, Sainte-Marcelline, Saint-Alphonse and Rawdon... Further north on highway 125, Saint-Donat also has a festival of colours (Sept. 23 - Oct. 9).

In Montreal the botanical garden has an enchanting exhibition of lanterns every fall in their Chinese garden (from dusk to 9 pm).

Before going on day trips, check out the foliage table on bonjourquebec.com/us-en/symphoniecouleurs0.h… to find the best spot.

Happy fall traveling!

Surrey, Canada
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for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
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3. Re: Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

@FrancNord: if you want to check around Armagh, make sure to go early enough : I have lived in this county for a few years, and the farther you go into the Appalachian mountains, towards the US border, the earlier the changes in the foliage colour. A solid 10 days earlier than Quebec City is standard.

I forgot to mention to the OP: if you go east through Montmagny's hinderland (St-Pierre, St-Paul), the landscape will be almost flat (but then you habe the possibility to come back driving along the river - priceless!), while if you choose to drive west, towards Beauce County, it is gently hilly. This county, and further west and southwest, is an area where lots of Irish immigrants choosed to live when they arrived in the province, a long time ago. Now that I know Ireland, I understand why.

4. Re: Autumn leaf drives around Montreal/Quebec City

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