LiquidLore - Quebec



This page was last updated in December 2008 and it is not regularly maintained. Information may be inaccurate.

The Chutes de Plaisance is located about 45 minutes east of the city of Ottawa where the Petite Nation River joins the Ottawa River. A sister to the Rouge River just a little further down the road, it loses the same gradient as the Rouge through the 7 Sisters only it is all lost in one big rapid/waterfall. It makes for a good day trip from the Ottawa area for those looking to run a big, somewhat clean rapid - the only downside is there isn't more like it over there!

The Chutes are easy to get to - they're located along the 148 east of Ottawa on the north side of the Ottawa River between Thruso and Papineauville - just look for the town of Plaisance. Once in town you'll see signs showing where to go - they're a bit of a tourist attraction for both scenic and historic reasons. The street to the falls is called Montee Papineau. Drive about 3-4 km up this road and take the first left after leaving the small town. After turning left you'll go down a steep hill to the river, and there will be a parking area on the left. There is another large rapid upstream from here - instead of taking the left to the Chutes, continue up the main road and take a left at the T intersection - this drop is downstream of another bridge, and you can look at it by walking along river left from the road to see if you want to run it.

The Chutes de Plaisance area is a small park so if you go in the summer expect to pay a small entrance fee to scout, which you'll want to do first - river level scouting is tough and you can't scout the last section from the island you scout the first drops from. It's daunting to look at when you first get there, but it's all really good to go. Starting from the bridge above the park is a quick warm up before the falls.

The Chutes have two channels that are both runnable. The left side is a narrow sluice style drop and the right is the big cascading monster that is seen from the park. The island in the middle is a good spot to take a look at both channels, and it's possible to set safety for the initial drops of both channels from the bottom of the island, although it's debatable as to how effective that safety will be. Unfortunately you can't scout the second drop very well from the island, so you'll have to have done that from the park. You definitely can't scout the run-out, so you'll also have to have scouted that beforehand too. There is one eddy on the left below the big drops where you can check out the last section.

Back to the left channel. There is quite a bit less water in this channel, but it's definitely stout. Out of the staging eddy is a critical boof into the sluice that will make or break a run of this channel. The sluice is wild and a little out of control - it lands in a large pool with an exit boof that leads to the same run out as the river right channel.

And that's it for the Chutes - feel free to climb back up to the top and do them again, or go back to the cars a have a celebratory pint!

Chutes de Plaisance The rapid under the bridge - the only warm up.
Chutes de Plaisance The big cascade.
Chutes de Plaisance Ready to fire off the big boof off the second part of the Chutes.
Chutes de Plaisance Coming in hot through the left channel.
Chutes de Plaisance The little boof at the end of the left channel - you can see the beginning of the runout rapids in the background.

Updated Dec 11, 2008