Ziplining and climbing in a majestic canyon

Published on June 27 2016

Via ferrata. Know what that is? Yes? So you know it’s a ton of fun. Never heard of it? You enjoy action sports? OK, then: get ready for a trip to Coulonge Falls Park—there’s no time to lose!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

First, let me give you a little background on Coulonge Falls Park, a site that played an important part in the logging industry in the Pontiac for many years. George Bryson, the lumber baron who owned the timber rights to a vast stretch of land surrounding the majestic Coulonge Falls, built a log slide to bypass the falls and the canyon below, to protect the logs coming down the Coulonge River from being damaged. He also built a sawmill on the site. Though the timber industry has declined, Bryson’s influence can still be felt throughout the Pontiac. The park highlights his important contribution through interpretive activities and walking trails that invite visitors to discover traces of the fascinating history of this beautiful spot.


Today, you can admire the area’s natural beauty from a couple of spectacular vantage points: from the treetops, and from within the canyon itself!

From the treetops

Got your helmet? Got your harness? You’ve practised opening and closing your carabiners? You’re good to go! Coulonge Falls Park has several aerial routes with obstacles and zip lines. It’s beautiful, it’s super safe, and most of all, it’s REALLY FUN!!! There’s even a course for little kids! Throw in the picnic and water play areas and you’ve got the perfect spot for a family day trip.


In the canyon

I’ve already mentioned that the falls are magnificent. An impressive volume of water thunders over the edge every second, and if you were to fall in … well, let’s not go there. On the other hand, what better way to show off your courage and determination than to venture into the canyon at the foot of the raging waterfall?
You start by going down a loooooooooong zip line (you can see the swirling rapids beneath your feet!), then you cross a wire-and-plank bridge (since you’re perpendicular to the current, you can fully appreciate that it’s insanely fast and strong. Deep breath.) to reach the cliff face and the start of the via ferrata (“iron road” in Latin). For the next few minutes, you’ll be climbing and scrambling along a huge rock face, securely attached to a safety cable. Though you can choose to leave at a few spots along the way, it’s worth hanging in for the complete course, which has some surprises in store, including truly breathtaking views (and more zip lines!).

This is a great activity to enjoy with friends and family, so this summer, head east along Highway 148, explore the Pontiac, and cut loose at Coulonge Falls Park. I’m betting that once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to go back!

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