Top 5 – Waterfalls in Gaspésie
Among the many majestic waterfalls found in the region of Gaspésie, here are five that will enchant you with their natural beauty.
Chute Hélène, réserve faunique de Matane
At 70 metres high, the impressive Chute Hélène waterfall is taller than legendary Niagara Falls, which are only 53 metres high! Chute Hélène is on the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) in the Réserve faunique de Matane. The Mem stream, which feeds this waterfall, comes from two small mountain lakes, Bardey and Coleman, at the foot of Mount Collins.
There are two ways to get to the waterfall. You can hike along a 3-km intermediate trail (with an elevation gain of 280 metres) from the Auberge de montagne des Chic-Chocs or go on a day hike via the ZEC Cap-Chat. To get to the ZEC, take Rue des Fonds in Cap-Chat, east of the bridge that crosses the Cap-Chat River, and follow the signs. From the ZEC entrance, you will then drive 20 km on a gravel road to reach the Petit-Sault parking lot. The trailhead to the waterfall is located 1.6 km north of the parking lot, where the International Appalachian Trail crosses Route 1. Another parking lot is located 200 metres past this intersection, north of the bridge over the Bascon stream on Route 1.
The trail to the Chute Hélène waterfall is an intermediate trail that is 8.2 km long (round trip). It features a succession of long climbs and short descents. The trailhead is just beyond a stream you will need to ford. Keep walking north and cross the Bascon stream on a suspension footbridge. When you reach the other side, you can admire your first view of Chute Hélène. Keep walking to the end of the trail, which allows you to approach the waterfall. The altitude at your destination is 385 metres.
Voile de la Mariée, La Martre
The small village of La Martre is best known for its famous red wooden lighthouse, which is still functional; however, it also has another attraction: the Voile de la Mariée (Bridal Veil) waterfall. A small rest area along Route 132 allows visitors to stop and observe this natural attraction in complete safety. The waterfall’s poetic name derives from the fact that the Sorel stream, which feeds the falls, tumbles down a rocky escarpment, creating a misty effect that resembles a bridal veil. The waterfall has inspired the name of a Belgian-style white beer (witbier) from the Le Malbord microbrewery (Sainte-Anne-des-Monts) called Le Voile de la Mariée, which is brewed with locally grown organic hemp.
Chute de la rivière aux Émeraudes, Percé
Portage River, known locally as Rivière aux Émeraudes (Emerald River), is located between Bridgeville and Coin-du-Banc, near Percé. This corner of paradise with turquoise waters surprises all visitors who stop here! At the foot of the waterfall, the river offers an unsupervised swimming area as well as a pebbly riverbank where you can sit.
To get there from Percé, drive 10 km towards Gaspé on Route 132. About 1 km past the intersection with Route Lemieux (flashing yellow light), turn left at the yellow sign for Rivière du Portage (Rivière aux Émeraudes). Keep driving on this road for approximately 4.5 km. You can park at the rock quarry (watch out for trucks). You will then need to walk about 600 metres on a trail leading to a platform that offers a beautiful view of the waterfall. You can also walk down a steep staircase to the river. Be careful: the exposed roots along the path and the stairs can be slippery if wet. This hike may be difficult for some people, including young children; access to the river is at your own risk. It is up to you to judge how far you want to go.
Hiking enthusiasts should note that the Rivière aux Émeraudes site is one of the first stops on the Sentier des Rivières trail, which links Coin-du-Banc to L’Anse-à-Beaufils. This trail is 27 km long and varies from easy to intermediate.
Chute du Grand Sault, Carleton-sur-Mer
You can see the beautiful Grand Sault waterfall from the trail of the same name, which is part of the Carleton-sur-Mer–Maria trail network. This 2.9-km easy trail is accessible from the parking lot located on 3e Rang in Maria. This trail leads to the intersection of the Mont Carleton and Les Pionniers trails in Carleton-sur-Mer shortly after the Grand Sault waterfall, which is fed by the Glenburnie stream. Other trails in the network, ranging in length from 1.4 km to 4.9 km, offer views of various streams and waterfalls. These trails are interconnected and safely constructed, with several bridges, stairs and lookouts offering superb views.
Chute à Philomène, Saint-Alexandre-des-Lacs
At 33 metres high, the magnificent Chute à Philomène waterfall is accessible at any time year-round. To get there, head towards Saint-Alexandre-des-Lacs from the flashing light a little south of Amqui, then follow the signs. (Note that this road is not suitable for RVs.) You can access the waterfall from two trails, located after the picnic areas where you can stop for lunch. One of the trails will take you down a staircase to the bottom of the waterfall—which will provide you with a good workout on the way back up!
This site features a spectacular lookout in the shape of a boat’s bow over the waterfall, with a see-through floor at the end. Developed by the local ATV club, this infrastructure is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
Are you enchanted by the idea of contemplating the natural beauty of waterfalls in Gaspésie? Be in the loop! Plan your trip at tourisme-gaspesie.com today! #gaspesie
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