7 Waterfalls to Visit in The Seven

Looking to add some sparkle to your social feed? Some of the province's most beautiful and secluded waterfalls can be found right in Northeastern Ontario.
A father and two young sons sitting on a large rock together, looking at High Falls on a sunny summer day.

When TLC broke out the line ”Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls” in their hit 1994 song, perhaps they hadn’t experienced the wonders of Northeastern Ontario yet.

For those of us who live in the GTA, waterfalls don’t hold the same meaning as they do up in The Seven. Here, small trickles and splashes dropping down a few metres can draw oohs and aahs from gathering crowds. But up north, it takes a little more splash to elicit any attention.

The dramatic rocky landscapes of the Canadian Shield and countless lakes and flowing rivers of Ontario’s northern reaches create the perfect environment for chutes, cascades, and dramatic falls.

That’s one of the things that regularly draws me up north from my home in Brampton. The jaw-dropping nature of Northeastern Ontario dazzles my brain every time I travel here.

My last visit was on a camping trip with my children that brought us through Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park, with its four powerful waterfalls, along with Ivanhoe Lake, Esker Lakes, and Fushimi Lake, further west. But we regularly visit Manitoulin Island, Sudbury, and Cochrane in search of scenic falls and untamed rivers.

If you’re looking for some of the most breathtaking falling water to dazzle up your feed, don’t follow the crowds. Shift your gaze up north to where some of the province’s most beautiful and overlooked waterfalls lie.

Here are the best waterfalls to visit in The Seven. 

1. Bridal Veil Falls

Kagawong, Ontario

A father and son swim in the calm clear pool at the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls in the summer. Bridal Veil Falls, from the rocky ledge behind the Falls' curtain of water.
Being able to dabble around the pool and duck behind the falls makes Bridal Veil seem like a tropical paradise. // Photo credits Kevin Wagar

Flowing from the shimmering waters of Lake Kagawong on Manitoulin Island, Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most photographed waterfalls in The Seven. It may not be large and mighty, but its easy access and picturesque scenery have made it a popular spot for waterfall chasers since the Lake Huron island was connected by bridge and ferry to the mainland.

Bridal Veil Falls drops dramatically over a ten-metre tall cliff with a slight overhang, creating an idyllic curtain before falling into a rocky bed and pool below.

Along with its beauty, the allure of Bridal Veil Falls stems from its accessibility. The falls has two observation platforms off Highway 540 along with a short staircase that leads down to a pool at the base of the falls.

The pond is fairly deep, with crystal-clear water and I may have been known to take a dip beneath the falls’ veil from time to time. In fact the waterfall is so accessible that (for those with grippy shoes and comfortable knowledge of the risks of walking along slippery rocks) many people will walk right behind the waterfall for some seriously cool photography angles.

If you love unique takes on waterfalls, wait until the deep winter, around January and February, when Bridal Veil Falls freezes over. It makes for some of the most surreal landscapes on the island.

If you have the opportunity to visit in the fall, you may be lucky enough to see the fall salmon run. During this time, you can catch thousands of silvery fish making their way up the Kagawong River to spawning pools throughout the island.

2. The Falls at Chutes Provincial Park

Massey, Ontario

The roaring turbulent waters of Chutes Falls, a long low high-volume waterfall.
The historical and stunning Chutes Provincial Park. // Photo credit Kevin Wagar

The Aux Sables River winds its way south from Lac Aux Sables. As it reaches the postcard-perfect waters of the Spanish River, it passes over a series of drops in Chutes Provincial Park.

I visited Chutes Provincial Park during a road trip through Northern Ontario that took us through the towns of Timmins, Sudbury, and Killarney. The easy strolls and swimming in the deep pond created by the falls' heavy flow were a favourite swimming spot along our route.

Chutes Provincial Park is the only provincial park between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. The park’s history lies in Ontario’s logging industry. In fact, its name comes from a logging chute that was built at the main falls—it was created to reduce the risk of logs jamming up the river, affecting the flow of the water.

The park itself is wonderful. It offers bathrooms and showers for campers, a lovely gravel beach for swimming and several scenic hiking trails. The Twin Bridges Trail was wonderful.

3. Duchesnay Falls

North Bay, Ontario

Duchesnay Falls; a low, bubbling waterfall along a bouldered riverbed in a thick green forest.
North Bay's gorgeous Duchesnay Falls // Photo credit Kevin Wagar

North Bay, Ontario is one of the most idyllic cities in Northeastern Ontario. The beautiful downtown core is packed with delightful cafes and restaurants serving up everything from casual fare to fine dining (don’t miss Station Taphouse & Steak Co. for one of Ontario’s best menus).

Hiding just out of view along a hiking trail just west of the North Bay Regional Health Centre off of the north side of Highway 17 lies one of Northeastern Ontario’s prettiest and most overlooked waterfalls.

Duchesnay Falls has a series of small cascades and a large 20-metre steep rapid that can be reached by an easy ten-minute hike from the parking lot. The trail is especially beautiful in the fall when the autumn colours are at their height and fallen leaves blanket the forest floor. There’s a well-built bridge that crosses the stream at the top of the falls that offers picturesque views on both sides.

After hiking Duchesnay Falls in the summer, I love to swing over to The Cove on Trout Lake. This out-of-the-way swimming hole is a local hot spot often overlooked by visitors.

4. The Falls at Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park

Englehart, Ontario

Kap Kig Iwan Falls; a deep, roaring waterfall over huge bouldered banks, stirring up a large cloud of mist. A boy stands at a high point on a rocky cliff, looking at the falls at Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park on a summer day.
Kap Kig Iwan: a waterfall lover's park. // Photo credits Kevin Wagar

When my family embarked on our epic Boreal Route road trip in Northern Ontario, our first stop was the newly re-opened Kap Kig Iwan Provincial Park. I had heard rumours that this park was one of the best in the province for waterfall lovers, but I hadn’t imagined just how awesome this tiny park truly was until we pulled into our campsite.

The park sits about halfway between Sudbury and Timmins. It stretches along the rocky banks of the Englehart River and is home to a series of five cascading waterfalls and white rapids that draw waterfall enthusiasts from across the province.

Kap Kig Iwan has three hiking trails, which total about eight kilometres, that run along the banks of the river offering several different viewpoints along the way. Make sure to bring waterproof shoes or boots, as the trail can get quite muddy, especially after it has been raining.

There are just 42 campsites at the park. So far, it has flown under the radar, but as word gets out, its popularity is sure to increase, so book early if you can.

5. High Falls

Sudbury, Ontario

High Falls; a long tumbling waterfall down a rocky riverbed surrounded by thick pine forest.
The famous Onaping Falls from AY Jackson Lookout.  // Photo credit Kevin Wagar

For many, the city of Sudbury is a must-stop in Northern Ontario. And the first stop that I make on any visit to this exciting city is High Falls.

Located just 30 minutes southeast of downtown Sudbury, Onaping Falls is one of the city’s best nature escapes. In fact, this Northeastern Ontario waterfall inspired one of Canada’s most famous landscape paintings.

In 1953, famed Group of Seven artist AY Jackson perched at a bend in the river and brushed “Spring on the Onaping River.” This stunning painting was stolen in 1974 and has never been seen since. The spot is now referred to as A.Y. Jackson Lookout.

High Falls, often referred to as “Onaping Falls,” is accessible from a parking lot off Highway 144. There’s a washroom with flush toilets as well as open-air exhibits showcasing Sudbury’s rich mining history.

Stop at the lookout and enjoy a hike up the banks of the Onaping River and across a wide bridge looking down over the rushing water. There is a one-kilometre hike leading up to the bridge and an additional two-kilometre loop after it.

High Falls cascade drops 45 metres down a rocky drop into a bubbling pool, and once you set eyes on it, you’ll understand what led Jackson to capture its natural beauty.

The hike is short, but there are plenty of opportunities to continue the adventure. The falls trail continues on to an education centre. There’s also a small lookout tower at the centre of the trail network that offers sweeping views of Lake Nipissing and the Manitou Islands.

If you’d like to continue your outdoor adventures in Sudbury, consider renting some bikes at Kivi Park to explore the trails or walk along the marshy boardwalks of the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area.

6. New Post Falls

North Cochrane, Ontario

New Post Falls; a steep, narrow, raging waterfall that slices through two sections of thick pine forest and falls into a wide rocky riverbed below. The falls is raising a lot of white mist that hangs over it in a cloud.
New Post Falls is among the most epic. // Photo credit Bill Steer

Would you believe me if I told you that one of the most jaw-dropping waterfalls in Ontario is one of its least-visited?

Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls, Sunset Country’s Kakabeka Falls, and Ottawa’s Rideau Falls tend to garner most of the visitors in the province. But hidden in a dramatic chasm carved into 46 metres of stone about two hours north of the town of Cochrane, Ontario lies New Post Falls. And if you love waterfalls, you should start planning your visit right now.

Situated on an offshoot of the Abitibi River called the Little Abitibi River New Post Falls makes an epic drop into a chasm framed by a rocky gorge. You can get great views from the top of the falls, but the best come from a hike along the left bank or by water. There’s a boat launch that’s popular with kayakers not far from the base.

A dam has reduced the flow of the falls, but during the spring, it still has significant flow. Near the dam is a bronze plaque that shares the poem “Sons of Martha” by Rudyard Kipling.

While you’re up here, don’t miss a visit to the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat. This incredible sanctuary and rehabilitation centre is currently housing three polar bears in their natural habitat. There are education centres, a re-enactment village, and playgrounds that make a nice respite for children and families.

7. Eau Claire Gorge

Eau Claire, Ontario

Eau Claire Falls; a fast, whitewater falls that cuts through a lush, dense green forest into a rocky gorge.
Eau Claire Gorge: you don't get prettier than this. // Photo credit Henk Geurts

At the height of Ontario’s logging boom, the rivers of Northeastern Ontario acted as the industrial highways of the industry, offering a convenient way to transport endless supplies of timber down to the yards further south. 

Among the many treacherous routes and waterfalls along the way, the Eau Claire Gorge in, what is now the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area, was one of the most challenging to traverse.

Here, the gentle waters of the Amable du Fond put on a fierce mask as they tumble desperately through a series of white water rapids and a steep drop into the Eau Claire Gorge before continuing on to the mighty Mattawa River, the aquatic “superhighway” of Northeastern Ontario.

The Eau Claire Gorge waterfall roars 12 metres down over a series of cascades. You can get excellent views on the right-hand side of the falls where an 18-metre tall cliff offers a fabulous viewpoint. Be careful though, the top of the cliff is slightly rounded and can be quite slippery from the mist of the falls. Little remains of the lumber slide that once helped the lumber crew to more safely navigate the steep drop, but if you look closely along the two kilometres of trails, you’ll see evidence of what was once a busy operation.

The falls are easily accessible by car, located just 40 minutes west of North Bay in Amable du Fond Provincial Park, which is one part of the large conservation area. One of the highlights of the park’s hikes is Godin’s Cabin. This reconstructed log cabin was built to commemorate a squatter who made the area his home for years until the 1940s.

It’s said that he fled Gaspe, Quebec after accidentally shooting his brother. He made his way to an abandoned lumbermen's hut before disappearing, never to be heard from again.

It’s Time To Chase Waterfalls in Northeastern Ontario

Chasing waterfalls in Northeastern Ontario will lead you through dense forests, across rustic bridges and deep into moss-covered gorges. And the reward for nature's treasure hunt will be more than just memories and photographs. You may just find a piece of yourself that you never knew was lost.

About Kevin Wagar

Kevin Wagar is a family travel expert and award-winning travel writer and photographer. He explores the world with his wife and children seeking out adventurous experiences, cultural immersion, and opportunities to learn from the local people that he visits, and shares his stories on his website Wandering Wagars - Adventure Family Travel. Kevin is also a co-founder of Ultimate Ontario, a digital publication with a passion for sharing the stories of Ontario's travel, food, and beverage experiences.

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