The Eau Claire Gorge is truly one of the scenic gems of Mattawa Voyageur Country, making for a memorable hike or snowshoe outing.
Situated 10 km West of Mattawa or 45 km east of North Bay, turn off Highway 17 and follow Highway 630 and the well marked signs will lead you to the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area. The interpretative trail, is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 mile) loop
Enjoy the easy 5 min direct route from the parking area to the falls. If time allows longer loops are available that take 45 minutes or 1.5 hours and allow visitors to explore more of this well maintained and fascinating trail system. The trail navigates through the 120 hectare Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area, which is owned and maintained by the North Bay - Mattawa Conservation Authority. Enjoy views of the picturesque Amable du Fond River, 12 interpretive stations, remnants of a historic log slide, the Squatters Cabin and of course the breathtaking falls.
An interpretive booklet is produced by the conservation authority, that corresponds with 12 numbered signposts along the trail. These booklets may not always be available at the trailhead so click here for a description of the 12 interpretive stops, and use this to follow along on your smartphone or to print and take with you! Getting There:
Situated, 10 km West of Mattawa or 45 km east of North Bay, turn off Highway 17 and follow Highway 630 and the well marked signs will lead you to the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area, managed by the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority. (NOTE: The access road to the parking lot is not plowed in the winter, don't let this deter you, it will add an easy 1.5km to your snowshoe trip).
Backroads Bill Steer:
Throughout the year, Eau Claire Gorge initiates an array of feelings and emotions. It is a walking place, very moving. It is one of those waterfalls that you hear before you see the tumbling water. The anticipation you feel will not be disappointed when you peer over the edge!
The interpretative trail, is approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 mile) loop, and would mostly be considered an easy hike with some moderate sections. Walk it clockwise or downstream. (There is a shorter, direct center trail to the gorge which you would arrive at in minutes. Here you could return or walk the last half of the loop.) A detailed trail map, along with washrooms and picnic tables can be found at the trailhead parking area, which is large enough to accommodate buses.