About Chutes Dorwin
Chutes Dorwin (Dorwin Falls) was a stopover waterfall for us as we took a detour heading towards the city of Montreal.
It was towards the tail end of our long drive west from Quebec City.
Since it was only an hour or so (without traffic) north of the city of Montreal in the town of Rawdon, we figured Chutes Dorwin was more of a getaway for the city folk.
After all, for people who live in the city and are used to the urban jungle, I’m sure the serene Nature punctuated with a pleasant waterfall experience would do wonders of one’s mental and physical well-being.
Even though the Dorwin Falls Park (or Parc des Chutes Dorwin) had a pretty extensive network of hiking trails (said to be about 3km of it), we only did what was necessary to experience the waterfall itself.
Thus, our visit only took us roughly 40-50 minutes total.
Experiencing the Chutes Dorwin
That said, we could have even shortened our visit more by only walking to the upper viewing deck, which was merely 5 minutes or less from the car park (see directions below).
As viewed from the large viewing platform, we could appreciate the dual drop of Chutes Dorwin, which had a combined height of about 60ft (under 20m).
The channeling of the Riviere Ouareau was channeled into a narrow gorge provided that gushing and forceful appearance that made me think this was a year-round waterfall.
Continuing further down into the gorge from this upper overlook, we followed some steps facilitating the descent.
It ultimately led to a spur path that took me to a lower overlook with an even more direct view of the impressive Chutes Dorwin.
The picture you see at the top of this page was taken from this very spot, which was our turnaround point.
Our visit happened to be during a weekday under threatening skies so the entrance kiosk and visitor center was closed while the Park des Chutes Dorwin was quiet.
That made our visit free, but I’d imagine during busier times, it would have costed us about $5 CAD per person (according to the signs as of October 2013).
There were also picnic tables and a restroom facility so this place seemed to be made for family outings on the weekends.
Chutes Dorwin and a Native American Legend
I noticed that there was a sign here discussing a Native American legend of a sorcerer named Nipissingue who loved and wanted to marry Hiawitha.
However, she wanted to be a nun, and upon learning of his intentions to marry, she made love to Nissingue’s rival Arondack.
One day Nipissingue spotted Hiawitha picking plants at what was then a gentle stream atop the Dorwin Chasm.
In a fit of rage and anger, he then pushed her into the gorge as she was going about her business.
When she fell into the chasm, the sorcerer looked over the chasm only to find out that Hiawitha turned the chasm into this waterfall while Nipissingue became stone.
This apparently explained some of the geological features in the park, including the waterfall itself.
Chutes Dorwin (Dorwin Falls) resides in the Parc des Chutes Dorwin near the town of Rawdon in the province of Quebec. It is adminstered by the municipality of Rawdon. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.
To drive to Parc des Chutes Dorwin from Montreal, we’d follow the AUT-25 north to its end, where it eventually becomes the Route 125.
Then, we’d follow Route 125 for about 18km north to its junction with Route 337.
After turning right onto Route 337, we’d continue for 4km or so to the entrance for Chutes Dorwin on the right.
This 80km drive would take a little over an hour.
Since we were coming from the east by Louiseville (after visiting the Chutes de Sainte Ursule), the GPS had us exit at the Rang de la Riviere Bayonne (Route 158), then drive west on Route 345 through several surface streets to the town of Sainte-Melanie.
Once at the rural town, it then had us go south on Route 348 towards the town of Rawdon where we then joined the Route 337 and found the car park for Chutes Dorwin on our left.
This 81km drive took us a bit over an hour.
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