Hundreds of Montrealers strapped on snowshoes and went for a moonlit hike Thursday evening on Mount Royal.

"I typically don't go snowshoeing very often so it's pretty fun to be able to have that chance to just do it as a group," said An Nguyen.

Wearing the 'friends of the mountain's trademark blue tuques, Nguyen was one of 600 hikers taking part in the annual event, which raised almost $225,000 for conservation and protection programs.

Peter Howlett was impressed by the turnout, but not surprised, saying Mount Royal holds a special place in the hearts of many people.

"So many Montrealers have grown up playing on it, meeting on it, reading on it, having dates on it. It's very, very meaningful to Montrealers," he said.

Those who were accustomed to snowshoes raced through the snow, leaving those who only occasionally indulge in the pastime to stroll along in their wake.

Post-workout, snowshoers took part in a catered dinner -- complete with warm drinks.

The friends of the mountain offers guided snowshoe walks every Saturday evening until March 9.