Canada #32 Montmorency Falls
The splendour of Montmorency Falls can be seen from many vantage points, each one crowded with visitors to the highest waterfall in Québec.
A wide suspension bridge over the Montmorency River passes above the water just where it tumbles over the cliff edge. From the bridge, a panoramic vista extends beyond the river’s junction with the Saint Lawrence River to downtown Québec City 12 kilometres away.
Platforms and staircases on both sides look out over the 84 metre high falls. To the right, the viewing decks are enveloped by dense forest while, on the left, 487 steps lead down the steep gravelled slope to the base of the falls.
At the bottom of the staircase is another platform where a cloud of mist envelopes everything. Raincoats and ponchos are no barrier to the power of the water.
A path at the bottom of the staircase goes along the river bank to a footbridge which leads to the visitor centre. Inside the centre is the lower terminal for the Funitel, an aerial tram rising above the river and forest-covered slopes to Montmorency Manor.
For those with a sense of adventure, a ride on a 300 metre zipline goes closest of all to the cascading water.
We find two more ways to view the Montmorency River and, unlike the crowded viewing platforms and staircases, we share them with just a few other people.
From the side of the suspension bridge an unmarked path leads upstream through the forest, taking us away from the falls.
The path ends where Avenue Royale crosses over the river; the calm water flowing under the bridge gives no indication of what lies a little further downstream.
Later, near the visitor centre, we spy another path beyond the train tracks. This one, lined by water meadows filled with wildflowers, takes us to the opposite side of the river and almost to the base of the falls.
A fallen log makes the perfect picnic seat and we linger after our lunch is eaten. We have the best view of Montmorency Falls – almost to ourselves.
Join Jo for Monday Walks