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5 Waterfalls in the Ottawa Valley to Visit TODAY!

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

Believe it or not the Ottawa Valley does in fact have waterfalls, now of course they are not all as grand as those of Southern or Northern Ontario but none the less we have some and you should go and see them!


If you are local to the Ottawa Valley I am sure you know that the Valley was the start of logging in Ontario - the logging history here is rich and vast. Countless lives lost to these same frigid waterfalls I am going to showcase below; please try to remember this while visiting and pay respects to the land and the people before you.


First up: Okay so this one... technically.. isn't located in the Ottawa Valley but it is certainly the most GRAND and definitely a fantastic day trip.. or possibly start to an epic Eastern Ontario road trip?? *hint hint* Eau Claire Gorge - Mattawa, Ontario

Where: Graham Road, Calvin, ON P0H 1V0


When: We have visited in 3 seasons now: winter, spring and summer - the waterfall was immensely powerful and absolutely beautiful each time we went. Limited number of visitors each time we visited too when arriving before noon!


What: There are over 3.5kms of well maintained hiking trails here with plenty of routes to choose from for various skill levels. A map is in the parking lot, study it (take a picture) then choose your route & enjoy!


$$ Eau Claire is a conservation area - admission is free however there is a donation box on site ! If you can afford to leave something, contributions go to trail maintenance & keeping the washroom on site clean!


To note: When visiting in the winter the climb down to the waterfall is extremely slippery, exercise the utmost caution, do not let children attempt, where the proper footwear and ice spikes prior to attempting the climb.


Second on the list: Bissett Creek Falls, located in Bissett Creek Provincial Park - Head, Clara and Maria Township, Ontario

Where: Locating this falls was a bit tricky - First Google Map Bissett Creek Road - off highway 17 you turn onto Bissett Creek road for a little over 5kms - then you turn right onto the provincial park road for about 1-2kms - the trailhead is unmarked on the right hand side but on a curve and there is a bit of a shoulder there with space for 1 vehicle. If you make it to the bridge you’ve gone too far.


When: We visited in May... bug season! I don't recommend as this area is extremely muddy/swampy - try to visit in Late Summer or Fall!


What: The falls pictured here is 100m from the above parking spot - further up the road at the bridge you will see some crown land camping spots, there is a 100m trail here to a natural waterslide!


$$ This is a non-operational Provincial park so admission is free! Be sure to pack out anything to bring with you, stick to the trail and remember to respect the lands!


Thirdly: I debated posting this one... it is located on Crown land and is often overrun by garbage. However it is an absolute favourite of ours and I am sure if you're reading this you pack all garbage out! If not. You suck. Gariepy Falls, Petawawa Ontario

Where: Finding the parking lot can be a bit of a challenge. The easiest way is by entering these coordinates into your GPS: 45°43'33.4"N 77°23'21.9"W


When: We have visited once a month this whole year! Top flow is definitely March-May however the decent down to the falls is quite muddy at this time. In July-September you can go right up to the falls which my kids absolutely adore doing! And in the winter the whole waterfall is completely frozen over!


What: The trail is about 1km each way - located at the rear of the small gravel parking lot. There is a steep decent at the end so exercise caution with small children, spikes are recommended in winter months.


$$ This set of falls is on Crown land - completely free to visit but remember to respect the lands we walk on.


Fourth: Fourth Chute in Eganville!


Where: Located directly across from Bonnechere Caves - 1247 Fourth Chute Rd, Eganville, ON K0J 1T0


When: Best time to visit is from May long weekend to Thanksgiving weekend when you can visit the Bonnechere Caves at the same time!


What: A vast set of rapids and falls located directly across from Bonnechere Caves; you can park either at the caves parking lot or the small gravel parking lot on the left hand side of the bridge. Although there are no clear hiking trails here there is plenty of dirt paths that lead you down to the falls - here there are flat slabs of rock you can snap that Insta-worthy photo!


$$ Visiting the falls is completely free - if you would like a tour of the caves admission is $19/adults, $17/seniors, $14/youth (13-17 years), $13/children (4-12) & kids under 4 are free!


To note: Although access to the falls is open during the winter the rock slabs can get extremely slippery - wear ice picks and never go close to the waters edge from November-March - there are TONS of cool rock formations worth checking out here as well!


Last but certainly not least! High Falls on the Little Bonnechere, Bonnechere River Provincial Park


Where: First drive to the junction of Round Lake road and Turners road 45°39'33.3"N 77°34'49.5"W. Once you turn off Round Lake road onto Turners road reset your odometer and drive until kilometre 23.3. The trail in follows the Old Bonnechere Road, there is a trail marker indicating the start of the High Falls hike.


When: Best viewed in Spring when the waterfall is at peak flow!


What: A moderate 4.8km out and back hike - the trail is relatively flat for 2kms, then it veers into the woods for 400 meters to the falls. Easy to follow however not maintained so expect fallen logs and short detours.


$$ Located in a non-operational Provincial Park, admission is free! If possible please stop at Bonnechere Provincial Park on your way out and make a small donation to the Friends of the Bonnechere Foundation which helps maintain the roads leading to these falls!


To note: During winter, access to Basin Depot road is completely restricted unless on a snowmobile



HAPPY HIKING!!



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