8 Breathtaking Waterfalls You Need to See near Ottawa

8 Breathtaking Waterfalls You Need to See near Ottawa

Many would agree with me when I say that waterfalls are some of nature’s greatest wonders. It’s simply amazing to watch these formations as the water moves along their rocky structure and down to rivers or lakes.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something therapeutic about hearing the crashing water. It lets me relax and even calm my nerves after a hard week at work.

Ottawa itself has some waterfalls that are worth visiting, but you can pretty much count them on three fingers. Fortunately, the city is surrounded by other great rapids that are a short drive away. 

Today, let me show you some of the best waterfalls that you can find near Ottawa.  

Top Top Waterfalls to Visit Near Ottawa

Ottawa has three waterfalls worth taking a look at. These are the Chaudière Falls, Rideau, and Princess Louise Falls. Other than that, there are plenty of nearby places that are a short drive away from the city. 

Waterfall Location
Chaudière Falls 100 Laurier Ave, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1, Canada
Rideau FallsSussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N8, Canada
Princess Louise FallsSt Joseph Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1C 1T1, Canada
Hog’s Back Falls 303 Park Rd, Chelsea, QC J9B 1T8, Canada
Cumberland Falls3200 Old Chelsea Rd, Chelsea, QC J9B 1G4, Canada
Kingston Mills FallsKingston Mills, Kingston, ON K7L 4V3, Canada
Wilson Carbide RuinsGatineau Park, Quebec, Canada
Almonte River WalkMississippi Mills, ON, Canada

Chaudière Falls

Chaudière Falls

Location: 100 Laurier Ave, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1, Canada

The Chaudière Falls are steeped in history and natural beauty. It’s been a gathering place for Indigenous peoples for centuries and has played a significant role in Ottawa’s industrial development. 

The falls are named after the cauldron-like appearance of the boiling waters, which is an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

One of my favorite things about Chaudière Falls is the way it contrasts with the urban landscape of Ottawa. 

You’re right in the heart of the city, but when you stand by those falls, you feel like you’ve been transported to a serene natural oasis. It’s like a tranquil escape right within our bustling city, and that contrast is truly something special.

Now, let’s talk about the ambiance. The roar of the rushing water is both powerful and soothing. 

There’s a walking trail that takes you right along the falls, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a leisurely stroll there to clear my mind. 

It’s also a fantastic spot for photography enthusiasts, especially during the autumn when the foliage turns those fiery shades of red and orange.

But the icing on the cake has to be the views. Standing there, gazing out over the Ottawa River and watching the water cascade over the rocks, with Parliament Hill and the iconic Peace Tower as a backdrop – it’s a sight that’s hard to put into words. 

You’ll find yourself mesmerized by the juxtaposition of nature and history.

For those interested in history, Chaudière Falls has a story to tell too. 

The old industrial remnants, the ruins of mills, and the remnants of the timber trade are all part of Ottawa’s rich past. It’s like stepping back in time while staying firmly in the present.

And here’s a little secret – visit at sunset if you can. The way the setting sun bathes the falls in warm, golden light is pure magic. 

I’ve had countless picnics and quiet moments there, watching the sun go down, and it’s an experience that never gets old.

Rideau Falls

Rideau Falls

Location: Sussex Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N8, Canada

Ah, the Rideau Falls – an iconic Ottawa landmark that holds a special place in the hearts of locals like me.

First and foremost, the Rideau Falls offer a captivating display of nature’s power and beauty. As the mighty Rideau River narrows and rushes over the limestone ledge, it creates a breathtaking double waterfall. 

The sight and sound of the cascading water are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and it’s a spectacle you won’t soon forget.

What makes the Rideau Falls even more special is its accessibility. Located just a stone’s throw away from downtown Ottawa, it’s a convenient escape from the urban hustle and bustle. 

It’s incredible how you can be in the heart of the city one moment and then, in a matter of minutes, find yourself surrounded by the serenity of nature.

For those who love to explore on foot, there’s a scenic walking path that takes you right to the edge of the falls. It’s a peaceful stroll that allows you to fully appreciate the grandeur of the falls while taking in the lush greenery that surrounds them. 

It’s a wonderful spot for a leisurely walk or a romantic outing.

Now, here’s where the personal touch comes in – I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Rideau Falls during different seasons. Every time I was there, it was like seeing a new facet of its beauty. 

In the spring, when the river swells with snowmelt, the falls are at their most powerful and exhilarating. In the summer, the area bursts into life with vibrant foliage and the soothing sound of rushing water. 

And in the winter, when the falls partly freeze, they take on a serene and almost otherworldly quality.

The Rideau Falls also have historical significance, as they mark the spot where the Rideau River meets the Ottawa River. This confluence played a crucial role in the development of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Historical markers and plaques in the area provide insights into this rich history, making your visit educational as well as scenic.

Princess Louise Falls

Princess Louise Falls

Location: St Joseph Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1C 1T1, Canada

Princess Louise Falls is a testament to the captivating beauty that can be found right in our city’s backyard. Tucked away in Orleans, a charming suburb of Ottawa, this waterfall offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the downtown core. 

What’s remarkable about it is its accessibility – you don’t have to embark on an epic journey to reach this natural wonder.

As you approach the falls, you’ll be greeted by the gentle sounds of water flowing over the rocky terrain. The falls themselves are not the towering cascades you might find in other places, but they have a unique charm all their own. 

The water trickles down in a series of picturesque steps, creating a soothing and peaceful ambiance that’s perfect for relaxation.

The surrounding area boasts well-maintained walking trails that lead you right to the falls. It’s a fantastic place for a leisurely stroll, a family outing, or a peaceful solo adventure. 

I’ve personally spent countless hours hiking these trails, taking in the tranquil atmosphere and feeling reconnected with nature.

Photographers will find endless opportunities to capture the beauty of Princess Louise Falls. The lush greenery that surrounds the falls provides a stunning backdrop, and the changing seasons offer new perspectives for your photos. 

In the spring, the falls are framed by vibrant wildflowers, and in the autumn, the foliage transforms into a tapestry of reds and yellows.

Now, let me share a personal touch – I’ve often visited Princess Louise Falls for moments of reflection and meditation. There’s a certain serenity in this place that’s difficult to describe, and it has a way of calming the mind and nourishing the soul. 

It’s my sanctuary, my escape when I need to recharge and find inner peace.

What adds to the charm of Princess Louise Falls is the nearby Petrie Island. This little-known gem offers sandy beaches, wetlands teeming with wildlife, and additional walking trails.

It’s the perfect complement to your visit and adds to the overall experience.

Hog’s Back Falls

Hog's Back Falls

Location: 303 Park Rd, Chelsea, QC J9B 1T8, Canada

The Hog’s Back Falls is a unique and captivating spectacle of nature. As the mighty Rideau River narrows and rushes over the limestone shelf, it forms a dramatic, horseshoe-shaped waterfall that’s a sight to behold. 

The sheer power and beauty of the cascading water make it a mesmerizing experience for visitors of all ages.

Now, one of my personal reasons for loving Hog’s Back Falls is the tranquility it offers. Unlike some of the more crowded tourist spots in Ottawa, Hog’s Back tends to be a bit quieter and more peaceful. 

It’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll, a quiet picnic, or simply some quiet contemplation amidst the soothing sound of rushing water.

The walking paths along the falls and the surrounding parkland are a true gift to the city. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to unwind by the falls. 

It’s my go-to spot when I need to clear my mind and reconnect with nature.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, Hog’s Back Falls won’t disappoint either. Whether you’re capturing the falls themselves or the vibrant flora and fauna that thrive in this area, you’ll find endless opportunities for stunning shots. 

The changing seasons only add to its allure, with the falls taking on a different character in each season.

Speaking of seasons, the autumn foliage around Hog’s Back Falls is a showstopper. The brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of the trees create a breathtaking backdrop to the falls. 

It’s a prime spot for a fall photoshoot or a leisurely hike to take in the natural beauty of Ottawa.

And here’s a little tip: visit during the spring runoff when the water is at its most powerful. The sight and sound of the rushing water at that time are truly awe-inspiring.

In addition to the falls, you’ll find historical markers in the area, which also tell the story of the Rideau Canal. Learning about the canal’s history while surrounded by this natural beauty adds an educational element to your visit.

So, when you’re in Ottawa, don’t forget to include Hog’s Back Falls on your itinerary. It’s a place where nature’s grandeur meets serenity, and it’s become a cherished retreat for locals like me. 

Hog’s Back Falls has it all for those seeking solitude, a stunning photo opportunity, or just a moment of wonder in the midst of nature. It’s a must-visit location that captures the very essence of Ottawa’s natural beauty.

Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls

Location: 3200 Old Chelsea Rd, Chelsea, QC J9B 1G4, Canada

Cumberland Falls is a pristine oasis of natural beauty right in the heart of Ottawa. Tucked away in the charming village of Cumberland, this waterfall is a testament to the captivating wonders that can be found in our city’s surroundings. 

What sets it apart is its accessibility – you don’t need to venture far to experience its tranquil allure.

As you approach Cumberland Falls, you’ll be greeted by the gentle sounds of water flowing over the limestone ledge. The falls themselves are a sight to behold, with water cascading gracefully down a series of terraces. 

It’s a tranquil and picturesque setting that’s perfect for relaxation and reflection.

The surrounding area offers an inviting network of walking and hiking trails that allow you to explore the natural beauty that surrounds the falls. 

Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll or a more adventurous hike, you’ll find trails suitable for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.

Photographers take note – Cumberland Falls offers countless opportunities to capture the beauty of nature. The lush greenery, the serene pools of water, and the cascading falls themselves provide a stunning backdrop for your photos. 

I’ve spent plenty of time here, trying to capture the essence of this serene spot through my lens.

Here’s a personal touch – Cumberland Falls holds a special place in my heart as a place of quiet refuge. 

It’s where I come to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, find peace in the soothing sounds of nature, and reconnect with the beauty of the world around us. 

It’s my go-to spot when I need to recharge and rediscover a sense of serenity.

Beyond the falls, the village of Cumberland offers a quaint and welcoming atmosphere. After your visit, you can explore the village’s historic charm, enjoy a meal at a local eatery, or even discover the unique shops and boutiques that add to its character.

Kingston Mills Falls

Kingston Mills Falls

Location: Kingston Mills, Kingston, ON K7L 4V3, Canada

If you like history, nature, or seeing the beauty of Canada’s water systems, Kingston Mills is a great place to go.

This waterfall is a piece of history that is part of the Rideau Canal, which is one of Canada’s most famous heritage places. What makes this location interesting is its natural beauty and clever planning. 

The locks and dams here were built in the early 1800s, and they are a great example of how far engineering had come back then. 

The lock system is still working, so people can watch boats go through the canal, which is a fascinating sight that connects us to our country’s past.

What makes Kingston Mills even better is that it is in a beautiful place. The area is surrounded by beautiful woods and calm waters that make for a relaxing experience. 

Along the canal, it’s a great place to take a slow walk, watch birds, or have a picnic. I’ve spent a lot of time discovering the walking paths and taking in the peaceful beauty of the area.

Kingston Mills has a lot of interesting scenes. There is always something to photograph, from the old lock structures to the calm waters that change with the seasons. 

The way light and shade play on the locks and the trees around them can make some really beautiful pictures.

Wilson Carbide Ruins 

Wilson Carbide Ruins

Location: Gatineau Park, Quebec, Canada

The Wilson Carbide Ruins is a captivating hidden gem in Ottawa. 

This waterfall is a place where the past and present coexist in a truly remarkable way. The site transports you to another era. 

The ruins themselves are remnants of an industrial plant from the early 1900s, and they serve as a testament to the region’s history.

What sets this spot apart is the way the waterfall flows through the industrial ruins, creating an ethereal and captivating scene. The juxtaposition of the moss-covered stone walls, the rusted machinery, and the rushing water is a photographer’s dream. 

It’s a place where you can capture the essence of time standing still.

For nature enthusiasts, the surrounding area is a paradise waiting to be explored. There are hiking trails that wind through Gatineau Park, offering breathtaking vistas and a chance to connect with the lush wilderness. 

It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely hike, birdwatching, or a serene picnic along the shores of Meech Lake.

Whenever I visit this place, I like to sit by the waterfall. The calming sound of the water crashing against the rocks helps me reflect on the passage of time and the stories hidden within those old stone walls.

The ruins themselves are a reminder of the past, and they provide a unique backdrop for those seeking a touch of mystery and nostalgia. As you wander through this enchanting site, you can’t help but feel transported to a different era.

Almonte River Walk

Almonte River Walk

Location: Mississippi Mills, ON, Canada

The Almonte River Walk has natural beauty, small-town charm, and a beautiful waterfall all in one place. This hidden oasis is in the middle of the historic town of Almonte. 

It is only a short drive from Ottawa and offers a peaceful break from the busy city.

The Almonte Falls are, of course, the main attraction. When the Mississippi River flows over limestone rock formations in a smooth way, it makes a beautiful scene that is both soothing and amazing. 

The falls are especially beautiful when the snow melts in the spring or when there has been a lot of rain.

The Almonte River Walk is special because it is easy to get to and has a nice path that runs along the river. This well-kept path lets you get close to the falls and gives you a great spot for taking pictures or just taking in the beauty of nature. 

I’ve had a lot of peaceful times here, listening to the water and feeling refreshed by the environment.

Photographers will enjoy the variety of places to take pictures, including the falls, the charming architecture of the town, and the green riverbanks. 

The changing seasons add to the beauty, with colorful leaves in the fall and a winter scene that turns the falls into a frozen work of art.