Welcome to the Ottawa Valley, famed for our rivers and rapids,

                                                           We are the Whitewater Capital of Canada! 

The Madawaska River features several distinct whitewater sections, which are best described in the book published by the Friends of Algonquin Park - 'The Madawaska River and the Opeongo River Whitewater Guide' by George Drought, where he details optional and manditory portage trails, rapid grades at various water levels, campsites, access points & the best lines to run(pointing out ledges, holes & pillows).

Palmer Rapids Whitewater Train and Play Park - according to George Drought, Palmer Rapids is 'Ontario's Great Training Rapid', loved for its  distinct rapid sections and ease of access. Paddlers flock forthe opportunity to practice and teach white water rescue & skills on these beautiful sets. Palmer Rapids is dam controlled by the OPG(Ontario Power Generation) just above the Palmer Rapids Play Park - water levels can change unexpectedly, and radically.

Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park (from Aumond's Bay to Griffith, Ontario) is a non-operation Provincial Park located south of Quadeville, Ontario and ending at highway 41, in Griffith, Ontario, approximately 25 kilometres of rapid rich river. Although the official boundaries of the Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park officially begin at Aumond's Bay, paddlers often choose to begin their camping canoe trip in Palmer Rapids, adding 17 km of river, and two more set of rapids (Palmer and Aumond's), before reaching Island Rapids, the top of 'Snake Rapids'. Day trippers run "the Snake", from Aumond's to Buck Buck Bay.

Upper Madawaska (from Whitney to Madawaska, Ontario - 22km) - is a spring run featuring grade 1 to grade 5 rapids. The Upper Madawaska River is followed by the old railway bed, making an excellent portage trail on river-right. This section of the river is the farthest away from our base in Quadeville, and kind of out of our range (due to the expense in shuttle/delivery expenses). For shuttle services, try Opeongo Outfitters, Whitney or Algonquin Bound, Madawaska(the town), Ontario.

Middle Madawaska (below the Bark Lake Dam to Kamaniskeg Lake) This section of the river is completely dam controlled (basically like a tap), generally flowing Mon-Thurs 10am to 3pm. This section of the river features grade 1 to grade 4 rapids, depending on water levels.

The Middle Madawaska is home of Madawaska Kanu Centre (canoe & kayak whitewater instruction, family raft trips, cafe, student accommodations). Check there website for waterlevel info. MKC often hosts slalom kayak and canoe races, and seasonally hosts free slalom self-runs and small free timed competitions. Visit their website for more details. 

Whitewater canoeing is an art, where simple skills combined with reading the river, allow the paddler to control their movement and passage through moving water. If you are a novice paddler, intrigued to experience the beautiful whitewater on the Madawaska River, we recommend investing into you skills with Madawaska Kanu Centre or Paddler Co-op, (or going for a 'get your feet wet' raft trip, with the safety of a skilled guide at MKC).

If you would like to experience the wonderful whitewater, without paddling in it, the Madawaska River offers several sections of flatwater river to paddle, above and below the rapids. Explore the flatwater by canoe, and the whitewater from the portage trail, a happy medium. Please get in touch and we can plan the perfect outting or camping trip.

Madawaska River Rentals caters to skilled whitewater paddlers and trippers, instructors, camps. We encourage instruction with sweet instructor packages - instructors please get in touch for details.

Additional information