Egan Chutes is a spectacularly beautiful waterfall. This was the perfect short hike for us during our Silent Lake camping trip and the waterfall views were breathtaking.
Located near Bancroft, Ontario, Egan Chutes Provincial Park is a non-operating park – this means it is not maintained and the trails are not marked and there are no safety features near the waterfalls. If you want to visit a waterfall that has been untouched, this is the perfect spot to visit. However it also means it’s a difficult place to find.
We learned about Egan Chutes from K’s Waterfalls of Ontario book. We were looking for something close to the campground that would be an easy day trip. It’s located about 15km east of Bancroft, ON, on Highway 28. We set off not really knowing what we would find, with our eyes peeled for the common provincial park signs you would usually expect to see.
So, pro tip – that sign doesn’t exist. In fact, the small dirt driveway you need to take is marked only by a small, yellow, park boundary sign. You would never find this place by chance. Even then, we had to backtrack twice before finding what we were looking for. If you are coming from Bancroft, the driveway is before the York River. If you cross the York River, you’ve gone to far.
Once we found the driveway, we traveled down a narrow, overgrown lane (at this point we were wondering how we were going to turn around) and eventually came to a small parking lot. We weren’t sure if we should continue, or if this was even the trail we were looking for, since the parking lot was deserted and their was no signage on the trail. We could see that we were next to the river though, so we decided to give it a go and see where the trail took us.
The trail starts out as a double track, and then narrows. Eventually you can hear the waterfall in the distance, and this told us we were on the right track. When we finally found it, the views were fantastic. There are several vantage points along the trail, starting at the top of the waterfall. We started at the top and made our way down to the bottom, loving that we could get up close and appreciate Egan Chutes without any ugly barriers in the way (BE CAREFUL! There are some steep drops. And extra caution if you have small children). At the bottom, we could climb on the rocks. The rock walls on the far side of the river had some beautiful colours in them.
There was so much to see here. It was quiet and we only saw a couple of people on our trek back to the truck. The trail was interesting and made for a beautiful hike. Mushrooms, moss and wildflowers were only a few of the natural things we found along the way. The waterfall was spectacular and the rock climbing was fund for all. It was about a 15min hike from the parking lot to the bottom of the waterfall, or just under a two kilometer round trip. It was the perfect length for my 6 & 8 yr old.
I can’t say enough good things about this park, trail and waterfall. It’s definitely a must-visit if you are in the area. I love that there are untouched natural areas like this for us to enjoy. I hope visitors continue to respect Egan Chutes and other places like it so that we can continue to enjoy places like this for a long time to come!
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