A Waterfall Request in Northern Ontario
After a couple of days of exploring Samuel De Champlain Provincial Park, canoeing, and fishing, our Canadian friends asked if we had any activity requests. We fished for a couple of hours on Long Lake, but after that our itinerary was up in the air.
I asked if there were any waterfalls in the area. Ontario has perhaps the most famous waterfall in the world in Niagara, and I knew with the preponderance of lakes and rivers that there had to be more. I had witnessed some beautiful waterfalls in Quetico Provincial Park on previous Canada adventures.
Dave pondered for a moment and then suggested the Eau Claire Gorge. We would not be disappointed by this recommendation and it was not far either. It was probably only 20 minutes from the Champlain campground.
On the Way to the Eau Claire Gorge
We turned off on Highway 630 and soon we chugged down a country road. Before we made it to the falls parking lot, we passed a big sign for poutine along the 630. My eyes were wide as we passed by.
We were the only car in the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area parking lot. There is a roughly 2 kilometer loop trail, but there are shortcuts one could take to go directly to the waterfall if a walk in the woods is not a priority.
A poutine waterfall adventure
Poutine waterfall adventure (Ted Nelson, Traveling Ted)
We soon heard the familiar roar of a cascading river signifying water crashing over rock. The beautiful Amable Du Fond River goes spiraling down through this impressive gorge with astounding force. The trail provides several favorable access points for taking pictures.
A little farther down from the falls, a steep path descends to another rock outcropping that gives a fairly unobstructed view of the lower falls. Use extreme caution overlooking the falls as pine needles cover the rocks above. It is very easy to slip on pine needles and a fun visit to a beautiful waterfall could easily turn tragic. Make sure to keep an eye on the kids.
While we were taking pictures of the waterfall a couple came down the trail to check it out. They said they had seen Niagara, so they wanted to see this one as well. I couldn’t help but imagine how different the two falls are. Niagara is much bigger, but it is surrounded by a ton of tourist hype and hordes of people. The Eau Claire Gorge was miles from a major city in the middle of a very green forest. Although I do want to visit Niagara one of these days, I definitely prefer a waterfall in a more pristine environment.
We headed back to the car and Dave asked if I saw the poutine sign and asked if I wanted to stop. Having fished all morning and hiked to a waterfall, I had developed an appetite. We soon found ourselves at Liam’s Poutine stand with a heart stopping mound of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy. The poutine waterfall adventure had turned out perfect.