The Most Beautiful Waterfalls Near Quebec City, Canada

Impressive waterfalls can be found in the countryside surrounding Quebec City
Impressive waterfalls can be found in the countryside surrounding Quebec City | © Ophelia Fournier-Laflamme / Unsplash
Patrick Twomey

The word Quebec – or Kébec – is of Algonquin origin and means “where the river narrows”. Cape Diamond, which is located at the narrowing point, was quickly established by the French as a way to control the Saint Lawrence River and therefore the entrance to North America. On the north side of the Saint Lawrence, the Laurentian Mountains drain south into the river, and to the south, part of the low Appalachian Mountains drain north. The result of this system are some impressive waterfalls on both sides of the river in the hilly country around Quebec City.

1. Montmorency

Natural Feature

Montmorency Falls in Autumn
© Rakesh Goudar / Alamy Stock Photo
Only 12 kilometers (7.5mi) from Quebec City, the largest falls in the region are 84 meters (275ft) high with two drops. The park is quite developed with a cable car, zip-line, stairs and road access to the top and bottom. The falls are also visible from the road, but the park is worth visiting. In winter, huge amounts of ice and snow accumulate.

2. Chutes-de-la-Chaudière

Natural Feature

Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere or Chaudiere Falls are 35-meter high waterfalls in Levis, Quebec, that are the last and most impressive jolt of the Chaudiere R
© Ronnie Chua / Alamy Stock Photo

On the south side of the river, the dark waters of the Chaudière River form a 35-meter (115ft) waterfall that drains north into the Saint Lawrence and are accessible from the only bridges to cross the Saint Lawrence in the Quebec City region. The park has a suspension bridge for viewing the falls and walking and bike access.

3. Canyon Sainte-Anne Falls

Natural Feature

30 minutes outside of Quebec, on the north shore past Montmorency, the falls in Sainte-Anne Canyon can be thunderous during the spring melt. There is a trail system and three suspension bridges for viewing the 74-meter (243ft) falls. This post-glacial area exposes ancient hard rock, and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré can be viewed, or visited en route.

4. Kabir Kouba Falls

Natural Feature

Only 16 kilometers (10mi) from Quebec City, the Kabir Kouba falls (the name of which comes from the Inuit language) mark the transition from the fertile Saint Lawrence Lowlands to the Canadian Shield. Much of Quebec – which is home to over a million lakes – is shield country, with some of the oldest exposed rock anywhere on earth.

5. Chute de la Dame Blanche

Natural Feature

Close to Montmorency, this more delicate waterfall takes its name from a woman dressed in white, perhaps in a wedding dress, or more evocatively as a ghost. The waterfall appears out of the rock wall as the subterranean water emerges out of the cliff face. The entire fall freezes in the winter, which is quite a sight to behold.

6. Chutes Rouillard

Natural Feature

South of Quebec City in the municipality of Saint-Anselme, this rocky park is quiet and easily accessible. The small agricultural communities of the region are entirely French-speaking and friendly, and even some of the communities across the border in Maine are French-speaking.

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