McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve is a private reserve that protects nearly 1000 hectares of natural environment. Situated at Mont Saint-Hilaire, approximately 40 km from Montreal, this panoramic natural landscape is ideal for viewing the last great vestiges of old-growth forests in the St. Lawrence Valley. With its 25 km of trail network, it is open 365 days a year for the enjoyment of visitors.
Affiliated with the Faculty of Science at McGill University, the Gault Nature Reserve team offers support for natural science research and teaching while providing a wide range of services to the university community and the general public.
The human history of Mont St. Hilaire is fascinating. The fate of the mountain has been closely connected to the lives of the men and women who have shaped this land. Notably that of Brigadier Andrew Hamilton Gault, who bequeathed his property on Mont Saint-Hilaire to McGill University in 1958 so:
"...that its beauties and amenities may be preserved for all time to come, not only to the immediate interests of the university itself, but through its corridors of learning, as a great heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the youth of Canada."
Of all the Monteregian Hills that rise so majestically from the floor of the St. Lawrence Valley, Mont Saint-Hilaire (414 m) is by far the least disturbed by human activity and the richest in terms of natural beauty and cultural interest.