Words and often photos simply don’t do justice to the seemingly countless waterfalls throughout Quebec. Within a three-hour radius of Montreal lies some stunning falls that you probably didn’t know existed. Here are a few to get you started with your adventures. While some of the best waterfalls near Montreal are listed here, there are many more to explore around the province of Quebec.
Admittedly, Montmorency Falls aren’t the closest waterfalls to Montreal but they are among the most spectacular. It’s a 3-hour drive but well worth it, especially if you make an overnight trip where you can also visit Quebec City (about 15 minutes from the falls) or Ile D’Orleans (about 5 minutes away) which its many stops from wineries to chocolatiers.
You can see the falls from the highway but it’s ideal to take the cable car up and hike down the almost 500 steps. The area around the falls is being updated and so far they are doing a fantastic job of creating new areas from which to experience the falls. There’s a restaurant at the top and fair sized chalet at the bottom. You can have a picnic on the grounds. You can view the falls from the suspension bridge that hangs right over the tip or let the mist cool you off on a hot summer’s day at the bottom. There is a small entrance fee for parking and an additional fee for the cable car. You can park at the top or bottom of the falls.
An hour and half away from Montreal you’ll marvel at Plaisance Falls. It’s actually about 30 minutes from Ottawa. These falls are easy to get to as they are close to Highway 50 and once you park, it’s just a few minutes into the forest until you see them. There are multiple places to view them from, with picnic tables and bathrooms available. There’s some historic places on your trek through the woods as well, discussing the significance of these falls over the past couple hundred years. There is no entrance fee. Just park and visit!
Doncaster River Falls
In Saint Adele, you’ll find these waterfalls along the Doncaster River. Officially, they are located in Parc de la Riviere Doncaster so if you are not from the area, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee. The river is stocked with trout multiple times during the summer and you can go fishing here. There are many smaller falls along a riverside hiking trail through the forest. It’s not flat so expect to watch your step. You can hike on either side of the river. For less than an hour’s drive from Montreal, it makes for a nice day trip.
Tens of thousands of cars pass by these waterfalls on a regular basis as they head from the Montreal area to “up north” (aka the Laurentians where they have country houses). Yet so few know that they drive by these pleasant falls. Located just after St. Jerome in Parc Régional de la Rivière-du-Nord (North River Regional Park), you can park your car at the entrance and walk around. It can get crowded but the hiking trails are decent. There is a fee. People go fishing here but it’s very crowded in the ideal spots and it’s not particularly fun when everyone is top of each other.