Chasing waterfalls in Ottawa? Princess Louise Falls should be one of your first stops! This waterfall makes it feel like you have left the city and travelled deep into a forest, when reality Princess Louise Falls are just a few steps from a busy freeway in Orleans. It is very easy to access (once you know how to find out).
Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Princess Louise Falls!
Visiting Princess Louise Falls
Princess Louise Falls is located off St Joseph Boulevard in Orleans. If you are arriving from downtown (coming from the West) then you may not even see the falls hidden in the trees as you drive by! View the location on Google Maps.
From downtown Ottawa, take the 417 West. Exit at 10th Line Road. Turn left on to St Joseph Boulevard. You’re almost there! Princess Louise Falls is about 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa.
Rather than looking for Princess Louise Falls, watch the street signs on your left. Princess Louise Falls is hidden in the trees directly across from 1st Avenue.
You will need to park a 10-15 minute walk away. We parked on Lacolle Way. Just a little past Princess Louise Falls, turn on to Taylor Creek. There is street parking on Taylor Creek and the adjacent street Lacolle Way. There is also a Starbucks on Trim road that you can park at if you want to get a cold drink before your adventure!
NOTE: Do not turn down 1st avenue and do not park in the neighbourhoods across from Princess Louise Falls. This is private property and you risk having your car towed if you park in this area.
Getting to Princess Louise Falls
Coming from St Jospeh Boulevard there is a small trail on the right side of the Falls. If you just want a great vantage point, follow this trail for a lovely view of the falls. This is accessible to all. If you want to explore further you will have to climb down a small rock escarpment. Watch out for mud if there has been rain lately as this area can be slippery.
When to Visit Princess Louise Falls
Spring! When the snow is melting, Princess Louise Falls is in full force. The water is decently strong through June but decreases as summer goes on. If you can, always visit at off-peak times. We managed to get Princess Louise Falls to ourselves on a Wednesday afternoon.
Waterfall Photography Tip
You definitely want to take photos of Princess Louise Falls! If you have a camera then bring your tripod and take a long exposure. Princess Louise Falls is sheltered in the trees (lots of shade) so it is easy to photography. The light is very even without any direct sun.
On your iPhone capture the waterfall using a Live Photo. Turn on LIVE mode (the circle + sun icon from your camera. It will be yellow when on). Stay very still and take your photo. From your gallery, swipe up on your photo to access Effects. Select Long Exposure.
Day Out Idea
Princess Louise Falls is a beautiful, but it is ultimately a photo-op where you might want to hang out for a little while. You could bring your swim suit or a picnic and hang out at the falls but since it can busy I recommend going to Petrie Island Beach after your visit to Princess Louise Falls.
Once you’ve enjoyed a day at the beach get an ice cream at Chocolats Favoris or an old favourite like Marble Slab, Dairy Queen, or Baskin Robbins. All have locations nearby!