Chutes de Sainte-Ursule

Trois-Rivieres District / near Louiseville, Quebec, Canada

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Chutes de Sainte-Ursule

TABLE OF CONTENTS



[Back to top]

INTRODUCTION

Our Chutes de Sainte-Ursule experience contrasted our experiences of other waterfalls in the province of Quebec in many ways. For starters, it felt far less developed around this falls as the only signs of civilization amongst its forested surroundings were the railroad, the visitor center and camping facilities, and of course, the trails and boardwalks. Absent were the urban developments, the power lines, the hydro schemes, the crowds, and the traffic. Thus, we had a much quieter and naturesque experience accompanied by gorgeous Autumn colors.

As for the waterfall itself, it was really a series of several cascades on the Maskinonge River. The main and most attractive drop amongst this cascade series was a 30m tall stretch that was viewable from an overlook perched atop a knob. The rest of the cascades weren't really photographable though they added to the ambience of the hike as the trails would consistently meander alongside the river to break the stillness of the forest.

Our experience began at the visitor center (see directions below) where we paid a per person fee (though I forgot exactly how much we paid). The friendly lady at the visitor center predicted accurately that our walk and self-guided tour would take 90 minutes. Anyways, after passing through the visitor center, we walked through a picnic and playground area, which would come in handy later on when our daughter would play when we were done touring the falls. The path quickly arrived at a bridge over the Maskinonge River where there were some trail junctions on both sides of the river.

The lowermost tier of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule While on the bridge, we could see the cascades already tumbling downstream deeper into the narrow gorge below. Meanwhile, looking in the other direction, there was a short but attractive segmented cascade tumbling before a railroad bridge. Just upstream from the bridge we were standing on, we noticed there was a dry riverbed, which turned out to be the former flow of the Maskinonge River. This flow actually led to the former site of a different waterfall, which we were able to see after crossing the bridge and seeing an overlook facing a tall tressel bridge belonging to the railroad. The dry riverbed eventually curved and rejoined the Maskinonge River thereby creating an "island" known as L'ile de la Chute (Isle of the falls). We didn't stay on the island for long since the views of the falls weren't very good from here. However, we did have to be careful of the slippery footing on the wet boardwalks full of wet fallen leaves.

Back across the bridge, we then followed the trail downstream on a combination of steps and slopes. All throughout this descending stretch, we were walking alongside the cascades making up the main part of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule, but they really weren't photographable from here. But once we made it to the bottom of this climb, we continued on a leafy path (ignoring the unpaved road to the left), which curved around a hill before reaching a signed junction in the middle of some stairs.

We turned right and went up the stairs to the top of the hill or knob, and that was when we managed to stand upon a large wooden viewing deck with a very satisfying view of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule as you can see from the photo at the top of this page. This was by far the best place to experience the falls, and there really wasn't much more we could do to see this falls in other ways that would've been satisfying. So this was the turnaround point for both Julie and Tahia.

Meanwhile, I continued all the way to the bottom of the stairs where I saw another suspension bridge as well as a dilapidated lookout fronting what appeared to be the last appreciable tier of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule before the rest of the Maskinonge River in this vicinity were nothing more than rapids and river. I eventually made it all the way down to the bend in the river where I saw a few picnic tables that were thoughtfully placed there. All throughout the hike, there were interpretive signs to better understand and appreciate what we were experiencing.




[Back to top]

PHOTO JOURNAL

Looking upstream over the uppermost tier of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule towards the railroad bridgeLooking upstream over the uppermost tier of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule towards the railroad bridge
Looking over the dry waterfall towards the tressel bridge in the distance from the L'ile de la ChuteLooking over the dry waterfall towards the tressel bridge in the distance from the L'ile de la Chute
The Chutes de Sainte-Ursule was between 1-2 hours drive from Montreal, which was a pleasant city to visit as shown here from the vista at Mont RoyalThe Chutes de Sainte-Ursule was between 1-2 hours drive from Montreal, which was a pleasant city to visit as shown here from the vista at Mont Royal
The car park for Chutes de Sainte-Ursule with gorgeous Fall colorsThe car park for Chutes de Sainte-Ursule with gorgeous Fall colors

Looking towards the booth at the head of the car park, though we were supposed to walk towards the Visitor Center to proceedLooking towards the booth at the head of the car park, though we were supposed to walk towards the Visitor Center to proceed

Julie and Tahia walking through the picnic area and playground just past the visitor centerJulie and Tahia walking through the picnic area and playground just past the visitor center

On the bridge spanning the Maskinonge River and taking us to the L'ile de la ChuteOn the bridge spanning the Maskinonge River and taking us to the L'ile de la Chute

Here's proof that the bridge was for a railroadHere's proof that the bridge was for a railroad

Julie and Tahia walking on the deceptively slippery boardwalks on the L'ile de la ChuteJulie and Tahia walking on the deceptively slippery boardwalks on the L'ile de la Chute

This was probably the most satisfying view of part of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule while on the L'ile de la ChuteThis was probably the most satisfying view of part of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule while on the L'ile de la Chute

Back at the footbridge near the top of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule, where you can see the dry riverbed on the left no longer part of the river itselfBack at the footbridge near the top of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule, where you can see the dry riverbed on the left no longer part of the river itself

Looking downstream from the footbridgeLooking downstream from the footbridge

Following the steps alongside the Chutes de Sainte-UrsuleFollowing the steps alongside the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule

Ignoring the road on the left to continue on the leafy trail going around the knob on the rightIgnoring the road on the left to continue on the leafy trail going around the knob on the right

The leafy trail eventually swung around to this junction in the middle of some stepsThe leafy trail eventually swung around to this junction in the middle of some steps

Looking down at the main part of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule after going to the top of the stairsLooking down at the main part of the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule after going to the top of the stairs

Going back down the steps after having our fill of the Chutes de Sainte-UrsuleGoing back down the steps after having our fill of the falls

While Julie and Tahia returned to the playground near the visitor center, I kept going down the trail where I encountered this suspension bridge connecting to the lower end of the L'ile de la ChuteWhile Julie and Tahia returned to the playground near the visitor center, I kept going down the trail where I encountered this suspension bridge connecting to the lower end of the L'ile de la Chute

Looking downstream from the suspension bridgeLooking downstream from the suspension bridge

The dilapidated lookout of the lowermost drop of Chutes de Sainte-UrsuleThe dilapidated lookout of the lowermost drop of the falls

Picnic tables thoughtfully placed at the bend in the river well below the Chutes de Sainte-UrsulePicnic tables thoughtfully placed at the bend in the river well below the falls

Looking back upstream towards the lowermost tier of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule and part of the suspension bridge above itLooking back upstream towards the lowermost tier of Chutes de Sainte-Ursule and part of the suspension bridge above it


[Back to top]

VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Top down sweep from the first footbridge starting with the upper cascade beneath the railroad, then ending downstream of the bridge


Looking up and down the falls before panning to show its context


Upstream to downstream sweep from the suspension bridge downstream of the main cascade


[Back to top]

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From Quebec City, we drove west on the AUT-440 to the AUT-40, and then we continued on the AUT-40 for about 155km to the town of Louiseville (passing by Trois-Rivières en route). After taking the appropriate off-ramp, we then drove about 6km on the Boul St Laurent (Route 138) towards its junction with Route 348 in the heart of Louiseville. At this point, signs for the Chutes de Sainte-Ursule were pretty obvious to follow.

Once we turned right to go onto the Route 348, we drove nearly 13km to the signposted turnoff for the falls at the Ch Rheaume, which ultimately ended at the car park and visitor center in another 1.2km. Overall, this drive took us nearly 3 hours from Old Quebec.

Going in the other direction, it would be roughly an hour's drive along the AUT-40 northeast of Montreal to the off-ramp closest to Louiseville.

For context, Montreal was 255km (about 3 hours drive) southwest of Quebec City and 199km (2 hours drive) east of Ottawa.




[Back to top]

ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




[Back to top]

MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





[Back to top]

TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




[Back to top]

TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




[Back to top]

NEARBY WATERFALLS




[Back to top]

RELATED PAGES



Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.



[Back to top]

[Go to the Quebec Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Canada Page]


[Return from Chutes de Sainte-Ursule to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]