The chances of seeing wildlife (moose, deer, beaver, etc.) are greater because the younger forest has a greater abundance of food and cover. It is a great trip for families with teenagers. Great blue herons, barred owls, sandpipers, ravens, black ducks, mergansers, bank swallows and kingfishers abound in quieter sections. The portage trails and campsites are thousands of years old. The river is named after Louis Ailleboust, Sieur de la Madeleine et de Coulonge who built a trading post at the mouth of the river in 1694-5. In the 19th century the Mitchikinabik Inik of Barrière Lake used the river as their main travel route between the upper and lower Ottawa Rivers. Just think, your feet will be travelling on rock and soil tramped on by the Ki-we-gama Anishnaubae people for centuries before white man arrived.
The river drops 210 m (700 ft.) and this doesn't include the Grande Chute near Fort Coulonge because we take out just before it. This is about 60 m (200 ft.) more than the Dumoine. So, why don?t more people run the Coulonge. Don't tell anyone about it just come along.
We usually start the day early rising around 6:30 hrs to get on the river before 8:30 hrs. We will scout the more difficult rapids and each canoe will decide whether to run, line or portage. Your guide might be able to run canoes solo through some rapids that you have chosen not to run. We try to finish paddling early (between 15:00 and 17:00 hrs) each day in order to get a decent campsite and this allows plenty of time for relaxing, snoozing, swimming, reading, fishing, etc. The trip begins and ends at Ste-Agathe-des-Monts where you can park your car in full security. You will be transported via minibus to the put-in in Réserve La Verendrye and brought back from the take-out near Fort Coulonge.
For those who want to arrive the night before trip departure and/or stay overnight after the trip we have limited bed and breakfast accommodation in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts for CAD $25.00 per person per night. There are also hotels and motels in the area and we would be pleased to make reservations for you.
All trips are payable in Canadian dollars.
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Canada Quebec Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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