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Mont Saint-Hilaire (in English: Mount Saint-Hilaire), (see names of mont Saint-Hilaire for other names) is an isolated hill, 414 m (1,358 ft) high, in the Montérégie region of southern Quebec. It is about thirty kilometres east of Montreal, and immediately east of the Richelieu River. It is one of the Monteregian Hills. Around the mountains are the towns of Mont-Saint-Hilaire and Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Other nearby towns include Otterburn Park, Beloeil and McMasterville. The area surrounding the mountain is a biosphere reserve, as one of the last remnants of the primeval forests of the Saint-Lawrence valley. Most of the mountain is currently the property of McGill University, as the Gault Nature Reserve. The University has opened the western half of the mountain to visitors (at a fee) for hiking and cross-country skiing, as the Milieu Naturel (natural area). The eastern half, or Milieu de Conservation (preservation area) is not accessible to the general public. Until the late nineteenth century, the lack of information on more remote summits of Quebec, as well as the relatively high prominence (about 400 m (1,312 ft)) of Mont Saint-Hilaire, led to it being mistaken as the highest summit in the vicinity of Montréal. In actuality, Saint-Hilaire's 414 metres falls far short of making it the highest mountain in Quebec. Mont Saint-Hilaire is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora, as well as a number of rare minerals, including some which were discovered on the mountain and some which are unique to the region. These minerals are exploited by a quarry on the north-eastern side of the mountain. In addition, the soil is ideal for the growth of apple trees, and the mountain's apple orchards draws tens of thousands of visitors each year.