Ottawa-Gatineau Nearby Communities and Attractions: Fort Coulonge, Quebec
This 2,000 resident community is at the point the Colounge River flows into the Ottawa, roughly across the river from Pembroke. The community began as a fur trading post, built in 1694 and 1695 by M. Nicolas D'Alleboust. The area was developed commercially by George Bryson, a lumber baron.
The community took its name in 1853 from the 1784 trading post etablished by the North West Company. The river, the post, and the town were named for Nicolas d'Ailleboust de Mathet (1663-1709) who was also the Sieur de Coulonge, afte the title of his grandfather, Nicolas d'Ailleboust de Colounge-la-Madeline.
The town still has three magnificent stone buildings constructed in the second part of the 1800s. Spruceholme, the Toller family residence was built in 1875, and still has original furniture, decoration and art. Two historical churches in town, the St Pierre Catholic church and the St Andrew's Presbyterian church offer a choice of architecture and religious persuasions. The 129 metre Marchand covered bridge takes you across the river. The PPJ Cyclopark Trail crosses the town, letting mountain bikers access the area's rugged scenery.
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Fort Coulonge Attractions
Coulonge Falls (Grand Chutes des Coulonge)
Promenade du Parc des Chutes, Bois Franc Rd via Hwy 148
This small park includes a 48 metre (16 storey) waterfall, a small canyon and scenic walking trails. In the days of the voyageur, these falls required a 3,234 foot portage. The Coulonge Falls and spectacular canyon were first bypassed by lumber baron George Bryson, who built a wooden slide along the canyon's walls. This enabled hand-hewn pine logs to bypass the falls and the gorge, going directly to the Ottawa River. A museum displays sawmill artifacts, and presents the history of logging in the area. Allow 1-1/2 hours. There are hiking trails, bridges, picnic areas. Hours of operation are 9-5 weekdays, 9-6 weekends, open daily, May to October 15. Admission: adults $5, children under 12 free, accompanies by an adult. Season pass $10.
79 Thomas-Lefebvre Road, Davidson (west of Fort Colounge)
This sawmill dates back to the heyday of Ottawa Valley logging. There is an interpretive panel provides information about the history of the mill.