Waterfalls, or: Friday off work

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I have some innate inner force that attracts me to pretty much anywhere that is new to me. It doesn’t particularly matter what or where, if it’s a discovery and it’s new to my eyes, it works.

One of my best friends drove up to Laval Friday and we decided to enjoy a sweltering hot sunny day by getting OUT of the suburbs and into the country. While hiking when the mercury is at 32 degrees celcius might seem counterintuitive, it was cooler and less crowded in the woods than any public pool or beach.

So, thanks to a Tourisme Quebec guidebook to the Lanaudiere region, terra nova for us, we randomly selected the Chutes Dorwin in Rawdon, about an hour North of Montreal.

The guidebook advertised a 5km hike, which was a touch misleading. There was a network of trails totalling 5 km, but actually hiking that distance required a lot of looping on short trails and some backtracking.

The trails were easy hiking, generally all flat with a couple of staircases. I donned my heavy duty hiking boots, but it would have been walk able in my beach sandals. The park was clean, the waterfalls impressive despite the current drought and current low water levels. The waterfalls are super accessible, about a 500 meter walk from the parking lot. ( See above for pictures of Dorwin Falls and the park.)

Swimming was prohibited in the park; despite the many signs, many park goers chose to ignore them. (A quick Google search shows that, as far as drownings go, this is a pretty dangerous swimming hole, making the ban logical).

However, the 5$ admission to Chutes Darwin gives to a bracelet with access to the Rawdon Beach and Parc des Cascades where swimming is permitted.

We went to Parc des Cascades but didn’t stay long as it was very crowded. There was some confusion over swimming being allowed; at the Dorwin falls park we were told it was allowed at this location, but we were greeted by a series of No Swimming signs…. And tonnes of people swimming in the falls.

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We ended up our day with a swim at the Rawdon Beacj, which was surprisingly not crowded. The water was clean, no boats or currents, and the beach was supervised. All in all, a great discovery.

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