Sutton attracts nature lovers throughout the four seasons. But without a doubt, fall is unique in this region. No matter what time of the year you decide to go, you will get your fill of hiking trails in Sutton. Most visitors plan on hiking Round Top with amazing views, but don’t underestimate the other summits in the park; they are worth adding to your list.
Sutton is a small town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The region is part of the Green Mountains Nature Reserve in the Canadian Appalachian Mountains Range. The reserve comprises three trail networks, including the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton hiking trails.
Save it for later.
Access to Trails
Trail access is behind the ticket booth, close to the Mont Sutton ski resort. You can park at the end of Chemin Réal. A shelter with picnic tables and restrooms is available for hikers at the trailhead. All trails start from this point. There is also a huge sign with a map of all trails in the park.
Dogs have limited access to the trails in this park. Be sure to inquire if the path you choose welcomes dogs. Dogs are prohibited on both trails described in this blog. However, they are accepted in some park sections, always on a leash.
**Note: Due to this infamous pandemic, booking your tickets in advance is now essential since the number of entries to the park is limited. This may change depending on restrictions in place.
Hiking Trails in Sutton
Park attendants highly recommended the Sommet des Hollandais and the Round Top. Both are part of the hiking trails network of the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton.
A loop including the two summits is possible for experienced hikers who are not intimidated by distance. The complete 14-kilometre loop includes several climbs and descents to an elevation gain of 780 meters.
Since we were spending a few days in the region, we opted for two days of hiking. Our first 10-kilometre hike will take us to the Sommet des Hollandais, the Dos d’Orignal and Mont Gagnon before returning to the reception centre. We were also looking forward to the second day of hiking for the famous Round Top, a 7-kilometre loop.
As always, we carry all the necessary equipment to be safe and enjoy the trails.
Hiking the Sommet des Hollandais, Dos d’Orignal and Mont Gagnon
- distance: 10 kilometres
- elevation gain: 480 meters
- altitude 855 meters
- estimated time: 4 hours
Although the weather forecast called for rain showers, we didn’t want to miss a day of hiking during our stay. So we buried our raincoats in our backpacks and readied for our first hike, which would take us to the Sommet des Hollandais, the Dos d’Orignal and Mont Gagnon.
With our tickets in hand, we make our way to the Sommet des Hollandais. We were told the views are exceptional at the three lookouts on this summit. The trail is well laid out and well marked. We have fun stepping over rocks and roots, crossing bridges or fording small streams.
And as the weather forecast predicted, an hour after our departure comes the downpour. We quickly put on our raincoats and cover our bags with their rain covers, then continue on our way. Following the deluge, a fog settles in the forest, giving it a sinister look.
And unfortunately for us, this fog persists as we arrive at the top. Nothing of the promised magnificent views! A little disappointed, we continue our climb towards the Dos d’Orignal. Luck smiles upon us when we notice, through tree branches, the sun’s rays. The fog has lifted, and the landscapes surrounding the park are back.
From the Dos d’Orignal, the trail continues to a third summit, Mont Gagnon. The trails are well marked, and even with all the intersections along the way, we follow the signs. Of course, a map of the trails comes in very handy.
From Mont Gagnon, hikers can go back to the reception center, or those who prefer the entire 14-kilometre loop, including Round Top, will keep going for the extra 4 kilometres.
Hiking Round Top Trail
- distance: 7 kilometres
- elevation gain: 420 meters
- altitude: 968 meters
- estimated time: 3 hours
The Round Top is the busiest trail in the park. Needless to say, hiking Round Top is fun and challenging. However, even before reaching the summit, you will be rewarded with magnificent views.
The trail passes near Spruce Lake. There is a small pavilion right on the shore of the lake. Hikers can have a snack and a break admiring the surrounding forest and calm waters of the lake while staying in the shade. The sun’s rays reflected on the lake make the views even more enjoyable.
Stairs, sometimes made of rocks and sometimes made with wood, help hikers climb the 420 meters of vertical gain to the top. We also get to use ropes to climb a boulder in a section of the trail that is particularly steep. The Round Top hiking trail is well-marked and often busy, so you will surely meet a handful of hikers on your way up.
Once at the summit of Round Top, it is a perfect place for a picnic. It is often crowded, especially on lovely summer or fall days. You might have to share the space or be creative to find a more private spot. However, the panorama makes the effort of the climb very worthwhile. The landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see.
More Hiking Trails in Sutton
Short easy hikes:
- Vieux Chemin Loop – 4 km
- Val-Sutton Loop – 2,4 km
- Mud Pond Loop – 5 km
- Des Lacs Loop – 3 km
Longer moderate hikes:
- Mont Écho – 12 km out-and-back trail with 540 meters of elevation gain
- Devil’s Pass to Mont Singer – 13 km out-and-back trail with 645 meters of elevation gain
- Mont Singer Summit Loop – 14 km and 575 meters of elevation gain
The Green Mountains Nature Reserve does not disappoint. Its trails are pleasant and enchanting, and its peaks splendid, including those in the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton. Hiking trails in Sutton are worth exploring.
For more trails in the Eastern Townships, consider hiking the Border to Marble and Saddle Mountains. Those peaks sitting right on the American border offer additional rewarding views of the Appalachians.