After my hike at Mount Kajakokanak in the Outaouais region, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was in Duhamel to do another hike in the area. I headed to the Ruisseau Iroquois, west of Duhamel, with the goal of following a trail that would allow me to see up close the waterfalls of the creek.
Like Mount Kajakokanak, the Iroquois Creek Falls Trail is part of Rando Québec’s 75S hiking challenge. It is also part of the vast Sentier National trail network in Quebec. The perfect opportunity for me to complete another 75S hike, in addition to doing a few more kilometres on the SNQ!
So I parked in the small parking lot on Chemin des Lacs and headed for the trail head.
As soon as I stepped into the forest, I almost immediately heard the falls. I reached these after just a few metres on the trail. The falls plunge in cascades on about thirty metres. An interpretive sign along the trail gives some details of the history of the creek.
And that history is rather interesting! Located on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin Weskarinis, the creek has been exploited by logging companies who have used it to transport cut trees from Lac Iroquois. A 100-metre log slide was built along the falls, allowing the logs to be transported to Lac Simon, 11 kilometres away.
At the top of the waterfalls, you can still see an old railway bridge, a reminder of the industrial past of the creek.
I had barely started my hike, so I had to keep going! After crossing the creek on a small wooden bridge, I continued to follow the water, discovering other small waterfalls. The forest was very quiet, and the sound of rushing water accompanied each of my steps on the trail.
And that’s how the hike was for almost 2.5 kilometres. The trail follows the creek, where the water sometimes flowed in small waterfalls, and at other places was rather calm. The hike was not very difficult, although in a few places I had to watch where I was stepping to avoid tripping over a large root or a rock.
After 2.5 kilometres I came to another small wooden bridge which allowed me to cross the creek again. This bridge was built in 2008 and is made entirely of spruce cut on site. A red and white marker reminded me that I was walking on the Sentier National (which always make me dream of hiking it entirely until I reach the Gaspésie).
After the bridge, the trail splits: on the right, the trail leads to Iroquois Bay on Lac Simon, while on the left, the main trail continues and allows you to follow the creek on the other side. I took a left turn, in order to complete the loop and hike back in the direction of Chemin des Lacs and the parking lot.
This section of the trail seemed to me much less groomed than on the other side of the creek. The trail disappeared under brush in places, and some sections were muddier and slippery. Fortunately the trail was well-marked, otherwise it could have been a little difficult to find my way in the forest at times!
The trail eventually left the creek to cut through the forest and it brought me back to Chemin des Lacs. The Iroquois Trail continues on the other side of the road, towards Duhamel. But I had accomplished the hike I wanted to do on that day, so I walked along the road, back to my car. In all, my hike totaled 5.4 kilometres and allowed me to discover another beautiful trail in Duhamel!