The sight of gushing water scrambling over cliffs around the world really is a spectacular experience, especially when you are fortunate enough to see some of the world’s leading waterfalls such as Niagara Falls or Victoria Falls. However, when you come across a relatively unheralded waterfall as we did during our visit to Quebec City, Canada it really is an inspiring find that warrants some exposure.
If you head to Quebec City, I would highly encourage you to take a short 15 minute drive away from the historic downtown district to sample Montmorency Falls which truly are a breathtaking natural phenomenon.
The area surrounding the falls is protected within the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency and after leaving Autoroute 440E, you have to pay the admission fee in order to truly experience the waterfalls. Sure, you could decide to watch the waterfalls from a distance but the true experience takes place as you enter the park and have the option of viewing the falls from the cable car that takes you up the mountain side.
The cost for two adults is $29 (Canadian Dollars) which includes unlimited access to the cable car and also your parking fee (alone that would be $10) which at first may seem a little expensive but after spending a few hours you will soon realize that this is money well spent.
Your self-guided tour of Montmorency Falls begins at the railway station which conveniently allows visitors to stop here or for those just passing through provides spectacular scenery en route to their final destination.
We opted to take the cable car which offers amazing scenery not only of the Falls but also the bridges crossing the St. Lawrence River and distant Quebec City skyline. Gliding up the mountain in the cable car provides you with ample time to take some memorable photographs.
After disembarking from the cable car, the first thing you notice is the impressive design of Montmorency Manor. This manor is most famous for being the summer residence of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and father of Queen Victoria.
Built in 1781, this manor now offers visitors with a restaurant where you can sit inside or outside overlooking the spectacular scenery that surrounds the park, and also a visitor center where you can pick up more information on the Falls along with purchasing some gifts to really help cherish your experience here!
Spending some time inside the Manor is certainly worthwhile before venturing out towards the suspension bridge that covers the majestic waterfall.
If you have any fear of heights or suspension bridges, walking across Montmorency Falls is probably either a great way to overcome these fears or perhaps the swaying feeling of the bridge may worsen your phobia. Although Heather’s fear of heights isn’t enough to prevent her from experiencing such attractions, I could tell as we made our way across the bridge that she was a little wary of her surroundings.
You really get to appreciate the force of the waterfall as it makes its way down the apparent calm river and then rapidly picks up speed as it makes the 275ft drop. The scene is majestic and worthy of the admission fee alone.
As you cross to the other side of the suspension bridge, there is a scenic walk that you can take around the valley and down to the panoramic stairs which were unfortunately closed whilst we were there. When open, these give visitors the opportunity to climb 487 stairs down the ridge to feel the real force of the waterfall as you edge closer to the attraction.
I have to admit that this staircase looks a little precarious as it snakes its way down the side of the cliff. It’s obviously a great spot for folks working out as even when the staircase was closed, there was a couple of daredevils running up and down as they tested their endurance.
The walk back to the cable car gives you the opportunity to revisit all the same locations again but from the opposite angle. Our experience at Montmorency Falls was a definite positive one and I am envious of locals who are able to relax here after work or on the weekend and listen to the calming sound of the water cascading down the Falls.
Have you experienced Montmorency Falls before? What other unsung waterfalls around the world have you visited that are worthwhile exploring?