I am happy to write about this hike as we were confused by the information about this walk when we first looked at it. Hopefully, it will be easier to follow now.
This great park is totally worth the visit. It has three main entrances, Porte Ste- Béatrix, Porte St-Jean de Marta and Porte Ste-Mélanie. The Rivière L’Assomption crosses this park and offers three waterfalls which can be viewed from bridges. The walk – Sentier Desjardins which is described here is about 5km return.
Address: 561 Rang des Dalles, Sainte-Béatrix, QC J0K 1Y0Parc National des Chutes Monte-á-Peine-et-des-DallesRegion: LanaudièreCar: Drive north about 1h20 from MontrealOpen: usually May until end of OctoberEntrance fee: 7$ per person, 4$ for kids 6+, other rates for groups, family, please check websiteTo my opinion a regular stroller would not be suitable, an all-terrain stroller would suffice but be prepare to carry it at some parts
The walk (Sentier Desjardins) starts from Porte Ste-Béatrix were we have parked the car and also had a lunch picnic with a view of the river. We have not tried yet the other walks in the park but will surely come back next summer. One of the other entrances has a kids playground in it.
We started the walk just by doing a circular walk from the car park, returning to the car park – Number 10 on the map – very short and easy, not suitable for strollers as there are many steps on the way. The walk is crossing the two sides on the river bank with two bridges: Pont Yvon Trudel and Pont Bruno Paradis. The water stream was strong and very impressive.
Once we were back to the initial starting point (car park and office), we continued with walk number 1. The first part of the walk is along the river. Cross the road of the parking, pass the park’s hut and you will reach the starting point (the walking area is fenced at this part so you cannot miss the path).
During October, there was a nice exhibition of local artists which exhibit on the trees and along the path their artifacts. We would not recommend using a stroller as the beginning of the path inside the forest was full of tree roots and can be difficult to walk with a stroller. Around the river curve, the path opens up to a huge green field and easy to walk pathway. Once you reach the junction of walk number 1 with walk number 7 (Des Castors – which was closed when we visited), you cross a bridge above a small pond and then there is a steep climb uphill. My 5yo did it slowly but it was manageable. The walk continues inside the woods, a bit further from the river, but there are nice views of the hill of the other river bank.
After a while, the path starts to go downhill until you reach the waterfall Desjardins (Chute Desjardins). Once we reached the waterfall, we sat on the big rocks and had a small break, with the strong sound of water streaming down the waterfall.
We have decided to go back the same path we arrived (walk number 1) and not to continue further as in total the walk was about 5km (return). The steep climbing before on the way to the waterfall was fun going downhill on the way back!