Mount Royal is more than Beaver Lake, the chalet lookout and the Camillien-Houde belvedere. And it’s best enjoyed on foot.

I’m Andy Riga, a Montreal writer.

A few years ago, I set off to hike the mountain, walking four distinct routes that took me through lush forests, along steep escarpments and to quiet corners so far from Montreal traffic, noise and crowds that I could have been in the backwoods.

Along the way, I took in impressive vistas from some of Montreal’s highest points and learned about the millennia-long history of human use of Montreal’s three-peaked crown jewel. Some unexpected vestiges of bygone eras were discovered along the way.

I wrote a series of stories about my walks.

The routes, offering a mix of lengths and difficulty levels, take hikers to the summits in Montreal, Outremont and Westmount and along the eastern, western, northern and southern flanks:

I started this blog to highlight those walks and to continue my exploration of the mountain.

Unfortunately, my French isn’t up to snuff so my posts are only in English, though many of the links are to French-language sites and documents. N’hésitez pas à me contacter en français.

This is a personal site not related to the Montreal Gazette. Unless otherwise indicated, the photos on the site were taken by me.

Back in the day, I blogged about the St. Jacques escarpment in Montreal’s west end. It’s still online but it hasn’t been updated since 2007: Exploring the Falaise St. Jacques.

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