There is nothing quite like the view of a frozen waterfall; water frozen in mid-air by bone chilling temperatures creates a stunning display for the onlooker. This sight is made only sweeter by the challenging trek that takes you there. For those utmost perfect and unbelievable frozen waterfalls are often tucked away, hidden in the depths of winter begging to be explored by those willing to go the distance.
Chute-a-Bull Regional Park in Quebec offers the perfect snowshoeing adventure all year round with over 9km’s of trails; a previous logging camp that connects the local culture with nature. For inexperienced snowshoers this is perhaps the easiest route to trek to discover the beauty of the waterfall; for well-marked trails and signs point you in the right direction. A covered bridge, a lookout point and a history lesson await you on this trail. Snowshoers will come to the top of the frozen waterfall and gasp as they peer over the ledge at the solid ice that magically stands still in time.
But the real treat is for those serious snowshoers that are looking for more of an adventure, more of a thrill and the chance to get up close and personal with this stunning waterfall. An epic hike awaits the serious snowshoers with the opportunity for shelter along the way ranging from 17-25km. Starting from the parking lot at the Swaggin Trailhead snowshoers can hike the 8km Swaggin trail and seek refuge at the Swaggin shelter overnight. The next day trekkers will continue on the La Boule trail to the Chute-a-Bull regional park where they will come face to face with the stunning waterfall. The other option is to start at the La Boule trail and hike 7km the first day to the Lavigne shelter. The second day is just a little over 10km to the waterfall.
Along the way beautiful frozen rivers, an abundance of wildlife and complete nature engulfs you. Suddenly you are face to face with a stunning display of frozen artwork, icicles and complete silence as not a drop of water gets through this solid ice formation. As you stare up at the towering waterfall it dawns on you just how small you really are in this world. The cold temperatures in this region allow trekkers to get off the beaten path and explore the ice up close without risk of falling ice (just be aware of what time of year it is and exercise caution and common sense). Stand under the waterfall and imagine the rushing water during the spring and summer, imagine years ago when this logging camp pushed the giant logs over the waterfall and drifted them downstream. Bask in the beauty that surrounds you.
When you are rested it is only a short 1.5km hike to the trailhead where a parking lot awaits if you choose to have someone pick you up. For those wanting to spend just a little more time in nature, Chez Roger L’Ermite offers eco-lodge accommodations just a short hike from the falls. Beautiful hand built cabins complete with handcrafted furniture, recycled materials and solar panels are available to rent all year round. As you stroke the fire that warms your insides and think about the amazing trek you just embarked on, to stand under a towering frozen masterpiece, you will wonder if anything can top this experience.