This wild collection of waterfalls and cascades east of Quebec City, in Quebec Provence, Canada, is quite an unusual attraction. High suspension bridges and overhanging decks allow for some thrilling views of the torrents below. Our visit to Sainte-Anne occurred in early October, just when the fall colors were at their prime adding more brilliance to this already dazzling place.
Officially called Canyon Ste-Anne, this privately-owned park opened to the public in 1973. The Sainte-Anne River falls, as they were originally called when discovered in 1965 by a logger that was camping nearby, is situated on the the Sainte-Anne-du-Nord River. The owners built three suspension bridges over the cascades so that visitors can walk over the falls and marvel at the shear force underneath their feet. One of the bridges is the highest suspension bridge in Quebec province.
The Sainte-Anne Waterfall park is an easy 30 minute or 25 mile-long drive from Quebec City. From the center of the city, find your way onto the 440 Freeway which starts just north of the old city.
Continue on the 440 past the famous Montmorency Falls. Just past the falls, the 440 Freeway ends and turns into Providential Route 138. Stay on 138 past the large Sainte-Anne Cathedral. After climbing a steep hill at about 24 miles from Quebec City, the turnoff to Sainte-Anne will be found on the left.
Below are some pictures of what you will see along the way.
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Walking Around Canyon Sainte-Anne
After paying the modest entrance fee into the park, continue walking down the main path. The general path that we took around the canyon with its giant waterfalls was in a counter-clockwise route.
If you are not fond of heights or being close to fast-moving water, then our virtual tour is probably the best way to see this place. However, seeing it in person and listening to the thundering water is a magnificent experience! So figure out how to overcome your fear of heights or just don’t get to close to the railing.
At the end of the main path, we encountered the first suspension bridge. This bridge is at the top of the falls. The view upstream from the bridge reveals a very mellow and tranquil Sainte-Anne River. But downstream, the mood is very different.
After crossing the first bridge, there are several wooden decks to walk out on to view the main waterfall. These decks on the west side of the falls will give you a great overall view of the entire park and both bridges.
Next is the second suspension bridge. This bridge is supposedly the highest suspension bridge in all of Quebec at 180 feet (55 m) above the bottom of the waterfall.
After the second bridge, you will have an option to take a series of stairs to the bottom of the waterfall. Here, you will cross a third bridge into a smaller canyon and onto a wooden deck. Here your views will be of a different perspective as you will be looking up at everything instead of looking down. Before venturing down to this point, just remember that you have to climb all of those stairs back up.
Next, you will walk along the eastern side of the falls. There are more wooden decks to walk out on to enjoy views of the canyon and falls.
For more information, here is a Google search on Canyon Sainte-Anne listing several websites.
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