Good swimming, lakeside cliffs to jump from, idyllic pine, cedar and hemlock shaded campsites, abundant wildlife (moose, beaver, great blue herons, barred owls, sandpipers, ravens, black ducks, mergansers, bank swallows and kingfishers) and lots of time to learn or improve upon the skills of canoe camping in a remote wilderness setting. Your guide has a pack full of campfire tales, games, popcorn parties and marshmallow roasts that will cap off the trip as an unforgettable and rewarding family or corporate experience.
The Papineau-Labelle Wildlife Reserve is located directly north of Montebello, Qc. It is about 200-km northwest of Montreal and about 175-km northeast of Ottawa, Ont. in a remote section of Québec. The northeastern part has all the lakes and a very high deer population. It is the headwaters of the Rivière de la Petite Nation. This wildlife reserve was created in 1971 and is adorned with over 770 lakes. The forest is predominantly tolerant hardwood with beech, birch, and maple as the dominant species, but the shores of the rivers and lakes contain these species mixed with hemlock, spruce, fir, cedar, and white pine. It is an ideal location for 3 or 4-day canoe trips on beautiful lakes where the emphasis could be on a return to nature expedition - spending quality time with your children, friends or family. It also contains the Rivière du Sourd (River of the Deaf), which has some nice short sections of rapids, mostly class II, runnable in springtime, separated by beautiful stretches of flat water. Native peoples used the portage trails and campsites long before the white man discovered them. Remnants of old fishing and hunting camps are found on most of the larger lakes. There are also some hiking trails to mountaintops with incredible views.
On all our trips we usually start the day early rising before 8:00 hrs to get on the water before 10:30 hrs. During the day we will stop at the occasional beach for a swim and lunch. We try to finish paddling early (between 15:00 and 16:00 hrs) each day in order to get a decent campsite and this allows plenty of time for relaxing, snoozing, swimming, reading, fishing (you need a license), games, etc. The daily distance seldom exceeds 16 km (10 miles) and can be a lot less if you want. We can design a trip for you, which can be as relaxed, as instructional, or as challenging as you like. On portages we usually make 2 trips, one with the canoes and one with our packs. When we encounter rapids, you choose (with the help of your guide) whether to run, line, or portage according to your skill levels. Your guide is quite prepared to offer anyone some canoe camping instruction, whether flat water paddling, steering, portaging (canoes and packs) or running rapids. But, you have to ask for it. Everybody helps in setting up tents (we will show you how), gathering firewood and other chores.
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 $35.00 per person per night.
Notes: An adult must accompany children under 14. The minimum age is 6. For the Riviere du Sourd the minimum age is 12. The minimum number of participants is 2. The maximum number is 12 adults and 6 children but this will depend on the ages of the children and the kind of trip desired.
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Canada Quebec Outdoor: Water Drifter Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting
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