The most beautiful waterfalls in the Outaouais to visit in spring
The Outaouais is full of waterfalls and cascades whose beauty is at its impressive peak in the spring, as the snow melts. Some are well known, while others are secrets closely guarded by the most contemplative among us, who discover them by chance on a hike and return to witness their transformation over the seasons. Here are 7 waterfalls in the Outaouais to admire and be amazed by this spring!
In the western sector of Gatineau Park, discover Luskville Falls in all its glory on the Eardley Escarpment. This rocky slope is home to an ecosystem that’s unique in the region. Access is via the Luskville Falls Trail, a 4.2–km loop (difficult level) with a steep 290-metre elevation gain. Along the trail, a fire tower and lookouts offer amazing views of the Ottawa Valley.
Entrance via the Luskville Falls parking lot in Luskville.
No dogs allowed.
Coulonge Falls is well worth a visit. You can contemplate the cataract’s 48-metre drop during a picnic, on a hike, or while trying out the various aerial courses! Coulonge Falls Park is both a historical park with an interpretation centre about the log drive and an outdoor adventure park. Looking for a thrill? Cross the Coulonge River canyon on a giant zip line, or admire the rapids and falls from your lofty perch on the via ferrata. Museum, footbridges, lookouts—there’s something for everyone!
100 Promenade du Parc-des-Chutes, Mansfield-et-Pontefract
Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm
Children (6 to 17 years old): $5.20 | Adults: $8.70 | Seniors: $5.20 | There are additional fees for the aerial park, the via ferrata, etc.
The hiking trail (1.5 km) is accessible to all. | You can view the falls without visiting the aerial park.
Four trails linked in a loop lead you to beautiful Denholm Falls in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. As you walk through the mature forest, you’ll discover permanent outdoor art, a marsh teeming with life, and some breathtaking views. Take time to observe the wilderness on this 5-km circuit offering different levels of difficulty. For a relaxing stroll, take the Sentier du Ruisseau (creek trail). The site is maintained by the PERO – Pôle d’excellence récréotouristique de l’Outaouais.
830 Paugan Road, Denholm
Dogs on leash are allowed.
With its 63-metre drop, this natural waterfall in Petite Nation is recognized as the most impressive in the territory. It can be observed from the walking trail that leads from the head to the foot of the falls, and to the lookout and rest areas. The Plaisance Heritage Interpretation Centre also offers walking tours highlighting the buildings that shaped the region’s history. This majestic historic and natural site is perfect for getting a breath of fresh air and enjoying the invigorating effect of the falls.
100 Malo Road, Plaisance
Children (12 and under): Free | Students: $5 | Adults: $8 | Seniors: $7
The site is accessible by car and by bicycle. | Dogs on leash are allowed.
Lauriault Falls (also called Bridal Veil Falls)
In Gatineau Park, follow the Lauriault and Waterfall trails to reach the famous waterfall. It’s also known as Bridal Veil Falls, so named by former Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, a great lover of its rushing waters. There are lookouts from which you can admire the valley and the Ottawa River. At the end of Lauriault Road, relax on the shore of Mulvihill Lake.
Access from the P6 parking lot of Mackenzie King Estate
The trail is 3 km long, and ranges from easy to intermediate. | Dogs on leash are allowed.
Between the Gatineau and Ottawa shores of the Ottawa River is a set of falls of incredible power. Closed to the public for more than a century, the Chaudière Falls site has now been developed for all to appreciate the majestic beauty of the river and discover its six hydroelectric generating facilities. In addition to enjoying a breathtaking view, you’ll learn more about clean energy and the rich history of this site. A must-see!
4 Booth Street, Ottawa
Accessible by bike, by bus and on foot.
From the bank of the Ottawa River near the Canadian Museum of History, from the riverside bike path or on a boat ride, you can see the iconic Rideau Falls on the southern shore, at the point where the Rideau River flows into the Ottawa. In the 19th century, the twin falls powered an industrial area, now transformed into a park.
100 Laurier Street, Gatineau
Already familiar with these seven falls? Then you might want to explore the falls at the Carbide-Willson Ruins, Quinn Creek Falls, or MacLaren Falls outside the Wakefield Mill!
With 10 destinations to choose from, you won’t be bored. Pack a picnic and take advantage of the warm spring weather to sit by the falls and dream. In the summer, the flow of many of them diminishes greatly.
Waterfalls and rivers are part of the Outaouais’ DNA; they have shaped the region’s landscape and history. Plan a vacation with an aquatic theme: follow the Chemins d’eau (“waterways”), our famous tourist route!